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Publisher's Summary

“The Great One” weaves memories of his legendary career with an inside look at the sport of professional hockey and the heroes and stories that inspired him.

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, 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

Critic Reviews

“The Great One delivers a personal history of the National Hockey League...Gretzky’s sense of his sport’s history rings clearly throughout these pages, as if he is the tour guide of a museum in which he also has created some of the best art.... This enjoyable book provides an overview that will educate longtime fans and relative newcomers alike.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Arguably the best player in the history of hockey, [Gretzky] has written a warm and enthusiastic collection of memories and stories. This book showcases some of hockey’s best moments through the keen eyes of an avid student, lover, and ambassador of the game. VERDICT: Essential for all hockey fans, old and new.” (Library Journal)

“Wayne Gretzky’s 99 glides across a lifetime of high sticks and higher stakes.” (Vanity Fair)

What listeners say about 99: Stories of the Game

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A great book

This book is amazing ! I love hockey and I play it even though I'm a girl because girls can play hockey too and I hope you agree with me. Your book is incredible thank you.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great hockey history

Gretzky has a great knowledge of the game and hockey history and shares many great stories of past and present. However, the book lacks much of Gretzky's own experiences and stories as many of the stories he tells are about other people. The reader is not Gretzky which was disappointing and his performance lacks energy and becomes a little monotone. Overall, if you're a hockey fan you'll enjoy the book.

4 people found this helpful

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more Wayne stories

The history lesson was good and it's obvious that Wayne is a professor in hockey history but I just wish there were more Wayne stories. Maybe his next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Really Old Stories

I was excited to learn more about Wayne Gretzky - he played from 1979-1999. This majority of stories talked about in this book are from the 40's and 50's. They're kind of boring because I don't relate to them - I don't know who he's talking about. I want to know the ins and outs of his game - what Wayne did, who were Wayne's opponents, etc. Good narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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KILLLER BOOK

Wow,

I grew up playing and thought I knew a lot of the game. This book was some really cool insight and some even better stories of past!!

1 person found this helpful

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knowledge for a true hockey fan

this book is more about hockey than gretzky , it takes you on path from the start of hockey and its teams, to the players before gretzky and after him. it is both interesting and educational for all hockey fans. it's really not a total wayne gretzky book rather a hockey book with stories sprinkled in about him.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

This is a really good book. Whether you are a casual hockey fan or a serious hockey fan or maybe even a brand new fan there is a little bit of everything in the book for everyone.

1 person found this helpful

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Off-putting that it isn't read by Gretzky

What made the experience of listening to 99: Stories of the Game the most enjoyable?

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.

What didn’t you like about Mike Chamberlain’s performance?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

3 people found this helpful

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Love it.

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+++++

1 person found this helpful

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Great hockey history

When I purchased this book, I thought it was an autobiography of the great one’s life. I was disappointed at first that it was so heavy on hockey history and not on Gretzky’s own life. As I continued to listen, I couldn’t stop. Wayne’s passion for the history of the game is so addicting that I think it could turn someone who isn’t a fan of hockey into one. His humble approach to his own life is refreshing and he puts a lot of great players above himself. Gretzky’s account of history shows him as not only the best hockey player to ever live, but as one of the biggest fans of the game.