An award-winning writer sets the record straight on hockey's forgotten golden boy - Bobby Hull....
In his prime, few could dispute Bobby Hull's athletic brilliance - the first to have five fifty-goal seasons, the highest scorer on the 1976 Canada Cup team, the first to use the slap shot as a scoring weapon, and the first hockey player to sign a million-dollar contract. With his body-builder torso and his 100 mph volleys across a rink, the world of hockey glory was his to lose. And he did.
With his publicized marital troubles and his defection from the NHL to the WHA, Hull's star began to fall, leaving him broke and in exile from the game. In The Devil and Bobby Hull, this once great hockey player and pioneer is finally given his due.
Not only are Hull's remarkable on-ice achievements finally put in perspective, so, too, are his achievements off the rink - including endorsements for a wide array of products (rare for an NHL player) and his appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record four times. And the book details how Hull's battle with the owners of the Chicago Blackhawks - challenging the reserve clause in his contract, a move that enabled him to move to the WHA - helped other players follow him. The author places Hull squarely in the pantheon of other hockey greats, including Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, and Wayne Gretzky - and makes the case that he is the game's most influential and important player
This full, unauthorized story of Hull's life - that doesn't sidestep the controversies (including the domestic violence tainting his private life) - details Hull's recent reconciliation with the Chicago Blackhawks. A candid look at one of hockey's most gifted and controversial figures, The Devil and Bobby Hull tells the story of his extraordinary career and life - and why this remarkable man has not faded into oblivion.
©2011 Gare Joyce (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Tell us about yourself!
This is a fantastic listen. I love Bobby Hull and am a HUGE Jets fan. I recently bought a copy of Hull's photo book 'The Golden Jet' from him (autographed and all!). I recommend giving that book a quick read before listening to this. While I don't think the Golden Jet was anything special...especially since it only concentrated on his Chicago Black Hawk days, this book takes place during a typical signing session that Bobby Hull is doing for it. So, that book kind of creates the setting and when they mention a photo or some blurb contained within it, it was nice to know what they were talking about. However, it is very minimal and won't affect anything. It just enhanced my listening experience with this book.
The story was great. Like I said, Bobby Hull is a favourite of mine and I found that this book was the most well rounded biography I have ever listened to of his. It is honest. It is critical. It still gets through to the listener just how great of a hockey player he was. It tells of how he changed hockey, toppled greedy National Hockey League (NHL) extortionists, and on and on.
The book is very thorough. Like I mentioned previously, in the Golden Jet, nothing else but the Black Hawks are mentioned. I know the NHL likes to ignore anything to do with the old World Hockey Association (WHA) or even Hockey Canada stuff from back in the day. This book treated all the stages of Hull's career equally. His NHL career, the WHA, some international games, its all there. From a personal aspect, his troubled family life, health, and many other aspects of it are touched upon.
I hated taking away stars from the rating system but here is the only kicker with this audiobook. While I LOVED the narrator, heck he kept it interesting and fun, I will definitely listen to more stuff by this narrator... however he's got to first look up how to pronounce the people's names! I can overlook a couple, heck a few, but we are talking dozens of incorrectly pronounced names. The narrator must be great at his job because he must literally not know anything about hockey. He even mispronounced Rocket Richard and Guy Lafleur for Pete's sake! I hate the Montreal Canadiens but anyone who knows a little bit of hockey knows how to pronounce these names. I can understand people that may not be household names like the former Winnipeg Jet's owner Barry Shenkarow, etc., but there are just too many mispronunciations to overlook in this case! Mark Messier is another off the top of my head. There are probably many names I didn't even catch since I don't know all the characters involved in this book!
The name being read wrong was very distracting and I feel could lead others to not really know who the narrator is really talking about. Heck, it took me a few moments to realize he meant to say Rocket Richard. I've never in my life heard anyone call him 'Richards' like saying 'Richards Dawson' if I can explain one example of the mispronunciation though typing. I would hate for people being first introduced to many of these people to actually think this is what their real names are!
Overall though, the narration of the book (overlooking the names issue), the subject matter, and everything else about it was five star! I love this book and am so happy I used a credit on it! A mandatory listen for hockey fans interested in the history of the game!
Finding someone who can properly pronounce ubiquitously known hockey names.Some just off the top of my head:Henri RichardRocket RichardGuy LaFleurChico MakiLloyd PettitVezinaOddly enough, he nails "Borje Salming."
The story. It tells the story of Bobby Hull that the old guard of the NHL wants erased from the history books. You learn (well, in some cases are reminded) of how big of a sleaze bag the typical NHL owner was back in the '60's, and you really get an insight as to the level of risk Bobby Hull exposed himself to in going to Winnipeg.
Please, for the love of hockey, learn how to pronounce the names and read hockey terms and abbreviations.
It's far too distracting to get a true enjoyment of the book.
Everything but the reading.
First the ugly. Bernard Clark, the narrator, gives an excellent dramatic reading. At times, though, his (and the producer's) compete lack of knowledge about hockey will drive you nuts, as he mispronounces names left and right. French players get English pronunciations (Rocket Richard, as in Poor Richard's Almanac), English and Russian players get French pronunciations, and, inexplicably, the Esposito brothers get different pronunciations of their last name.
That said, Gare Joyce is a talented writer and tells his story through metaphor and allegory, not just straight narrative. In the end, he makes a very convincing case that Bobby Hull likely suffers from CTE, and that much of his erratic behavior is likely a result of that illness. It doesn't excuse that behavior, but it helps reconcile the Bobby Hull that would hold the team bus until every kid got a signed autograph, with the Bobby Hull who carries anger, grudges and sometimes violent behavior through his life.
Sometimes, you wish you knew less about your childhood heroes. This is exactly the case with Mr. Joyce's great book. While I know intuitively Joyce does a great job capturing the history, good and bad, of this hockey legend, I wish it could have been more good, and less bad. That being said, it is an extremely well-written and thoroughly researched volume, and I strongly recommend it. Just don't be too disappointed when you learn Bobby Hull's skates were oft times made of clay...
Bobby Hull was a phenomenal player who revolutionized the game. More than anyone else, he caused the NHL to expand to cities where the NHL would not have ventured and his efforts resulted in raising the salaries of players.
I watched Bobby Hull play live and on television. He was a complete player who could skate, shoot, and pass better than anyone else on the ice with him. Off ice he would spend endless hours signing autographs, talking to fans, and submitting himself to interviews.
The author shows a darker side to Bobby Hull and the ugliness of the business of hockey. The NHL will never live down the fact that they kept Hull from participating in the 1972 Canada-Soviet Hockey Summit.
The narrator spoils the story by not having done his homework. He pronounces Russian and Swedish hockey player names flawlessly but completely butchers half of the Canadian players' and sports officials' names. Take the name Henri Richard, it is not pronounced as Bernard Clark chooses as the Shakespearean Kings Henry and King Richard. Rather the correct pronunciation is "On-Ree Ree-shard". This mangling renders some of the play by play accounts to be ridiculous and grating. Worse, no 10 minutes of narration goes by without a mispronounced name.
Just the reader...it's a story about a hockey icon ! If you love the history of the game and the changes Bobby Hull ( good & bad ) brought to the game, then you'll like this. If you were around then and have fond memeories of those times, then this will bring your memories flooding back.
It brought me back to a time so long ago. I was a 12 year old kid in Winnipeg when Bobby Hull signed witht he WHA Winnipeg Jets. My dad took us down to Portage and Main to for the ceremony and I can still remeber it like it was yesterday.
We all loved and played hockey and everyone wanted to be Bobby Hull, Gordie Howe or Bobby Orr.
To hear some of the behind the scenes situations and dealings was a bonus.
I probably got his autograph fifty times and he always had a smile on his face and always had time for the kids and the fans.
Despite the picture this author tries to paint a times, I'll always be a Golden Jet fan !
Find someone who knows even 1% about the game and it's history or at least proof the performance before you make it available. This guy mispronounced the name of just about every person and place. It made it sometimes hard to listen to. It may not seem imprtant to the author, but only true fans will be interested in listening to this and they deserve better. A real hockey writer wouldn't have let this happen, it's direspectful to the players of that era.
The narrator did a horrible job with the names of the players. Didn't seem they did there homework before reading the book.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.