One of the greatest sports figures of all time salutes his heroes and takes us inside the game as few others can.
From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed "The Great One", he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has - but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw.
For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid and the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the dressing rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; and shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history.
Warm, direct, and revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.
©2016 Wayne Gretzky (P)2016 Penguin Audio
Wayne Gretzky's personal stories of conversations on the ice, friendships and rivalries, and the process of being an NHL great, were the best part of the book.
He isn't Wayne Gretzky. The book is written in first person so when he says "I did this" or "I was friends with him" it doesn't work. He is a narrator, he is not Wayne Gretzky, so it either needed to be read by Wayne Gretzky or it needed to be written in the third person. I heard Wayne in an interview promoting the book, and he has such a distinctive and familiar voice, that hearing anyone else pretend to be him just doesn't work.
It is obvious which parts of this book were contributed by Mr. Gretzky and which were the research done by the co-author. Some bits of it are incredibly dry. The history of the creation of the NHL is in depth, and some of the stories of the original players were obviously historical anecdotes. There may be 99 stories but 45 of them are not Wayne's reflections or have anything to do with him at all and were written like a history lesson.
While I appreciate Wayne's historic stories regarding the early days of hockey, it was the stories of his own time that I found the most interesting. This would have greatly benefited from his own narration. The actual narrator delivered an OK performance but I want to hear Wayne speak his own words.
Gretzky definitely knows a lot about hockey. I anticipated this to be more first hand accounts. I wanted more STL stories, behind the scenes stuff, but it was a history of the NHL. Well done if that's what you're looking for.
Any time you can hear a pro athlete talk about the stories from inside the game you're in for a treat. This book is no exception.
When thinking about Wayne, you always think of him as being the greatest player to ever play the game but it never really occurs to you that he his also, probably, the biggest fan of the game as well. Hearing his stories and insights just made me appreciate a whole other side of Wayne I didn't acknowledge existing until now.
I loved the book. I believe any hockey fan will love it too. Listening to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of one of the greatest players to play the game is truly compelling. The book lived up to its promise in every way. Gretz's respect for fans, players past present and future and the game itself is clear.
This is so nostalgic, I love it! The narrator is a perfect fit. The story follows a very wide scope while keeping things interesting and on topic throughout the truly enthralling tales of The Great One's life. A+++++
This book felt very real. Not a tell-all, exposing dirty laundry but, instead, Wayne tells stories about the league that provide history, evolution, and context about the game. Most of the stories didn't even involve him directly, although he had a connection to many.
Most of the stories were very interesting for a fan of hockey, but I liked hearing about the Red Army team from the USSR. I was lucky enough to see many of the those top player play in the NHL years later.
I never really laughed or cried, although there were emotional moments. But there was heart in every story and I was certainly moved by many of them. There is no doubt that Wayne Gretzky felt strong emotional ties to these stories--even ones he wasn't the focus of.
Any fan of the game will enjoy this book. It held my interest and I couldn't believe how quickly it went by. I still want to hear Wayne's personal memoir, but he did an excellent job with this book, telling the stories about the game that he loved and thought were essential to what hockey is and was. Often I felt like I was sitting in room with all these historical hockey figures hearing Wayne and them talk about the key moments in their lives and careers.
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