Book Review: The Game by Ken Dryden

Book Review: The Game by Ken Dryden

Book review by John Spychka

Paperback: 336 pages
Published by: Harper Collins (Oct. 22 2013)
ISBN: 9781443427920

The_Game_BookcoverIt’s no surprise that Ken Dryden’s book, The Game, is a “Sports Illustrated Best Sports Book of All time.” The book lives up to this accolade mainly because of its underlying authenticity and honesty. It is intensely believable.

The Game takes you through nine days in the life of an NHL superstar in 1979, Dryden’s last year as a professional hockey player. Coincidence or not, the 78-79 season also signaled the end of the Canadiens’ reign as an undisputed Stanley Cup contender, a reign that brought six Cups in eight years.

Throughout the nine days, Dryden offers the reader a backstage pass to the Canadiens’ locker room: players, management, support staff, road trips, practices, and much more. He talks of how the game has evolved from the style of play to goalie equipment to hockey as entertainment to fighting to refereeing.

Dryden articulates his thoughts and opinions in an insightful and sometimes philosophical manner. The stream of consciousness style he uses puts you in the middle of the action, makes you feel like you are on the ice with him or in the Canadiens’ locker room with the team.

If you have an old copy of The Game, dig it out and give it another read. If not, pick up the 30th anniversary edition, which includes a new chapter, and enjoy it for the first time. You won’t be disappointed.

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About Author

John Spychka

John Spychka has dabbled in writing since the early ’90s. His closest claim to fame came around 2006 when his work, “The Slava Ladies League Christmas Pyrogy Fiasco,” was shortlisted for the annual Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Calgary and also has a Master’s in English Literature from Université Laval. He has travelled extensively, having lived in Japan and France. John is a manager in a multi-national software company and dreams to one day be able to live off his writing. He lives in Quebec City with his wife and two children.

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