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Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father

Narrated by: Murray Howe
Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Globe and Mail Best Seller

As a child, Murray Howe wanted to be like his father. He was an adult before he realized that didn't necessarily mean playing hockey.

Gordie Howe may have been the greatest player in the history of hockey, but greatness was never defined by goals or assists in the Howe household. Greatness meant being the best person you could be, not the best player on the ice.

Unlike his two brothers, Murray Howe failed in his attempt to follow in his father's footsteps to become a professional athlete. Yet his failure brought him to the realization that his dream wasn't really to be a pro hockey player. His dream was to be his father. To be amazing at something, but humble and gracious. To be courageous and stand up for the little guy. To be a hero. You don't need to be a hockey player to do that. What he learned was that it was a waste of time wishing you were like someone else.

When Gordie Howe passed away in 2016, it was Murray who was asked to deliver the eulogy. Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father takes the listener through the hours Murray spent writing the words that would give shape to his father's legacy - the hours immediately after his hero's death, as he gathers his thoughts and memories, and makes sense of what his remarkable father meant to him. The result is nine pieces of wisdom, built out of hundreds of stories, that show us the man behind the legend and give us a glimpse of what we can learn from this incredible life.

©2017 Murray Howe (P)2019 Penguin Canada

Critic Reviews

“In Nine Lessons, the one Howe son who never played professional hockey reflects on the more important things he learned from his dad, in a tribute that offers sweet inside stories that fans will lap up.” (Chatelaine)
 

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A loving tribute to Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe was one of those special athletes who was well recognized by people who don’t follow the athlete’s sport but still know about that person. He was known as a fierce competitor on the ice during his legendary hockey career with the Detroit Red Wings. He even got to play professional hockey in the World Hockey Association with two of his three sons, Mark and Marty. His third son, Murray, didn’t play professional hockey but nonetheless still had a special connection to his father. That connection and the lessons he learned from Gordie are captured in this excellent book.

The audio version is narrated by Murray Howe as well and this makes it even more authentic and heartfelt. Throughout the book, the reader or listener will learn a lot about Gordie Howe’s compassion and care for other people, especially for women (Gordie would always rise when a woman entered the room and stay standing until she was seated) and children. The same was true if Gordie saw someone, any age, man or woman, with his assistance if someone was having difficulty with a task – anything from chopping wood (one of the more entertaining stories) to carrying bags of groceries. If there is one takeaway from the book, it is that each of the nine lessons Murray describes – they are the titles of each chapter – illustrates the kind of man his father was to him.

There are passages that are about Gordie’s childhood in Saskatchewan, memories of Gordie’s parents and of course, significant room for Gordie’s hockey career as well. But his on-ice accomplishments are not the point of the book, nor the reason that Murray wrote a moving eulogy for his father’s funeral in 2016. The love and care that Mr. Hockey (which is what Murray called his father very frequently throughout the book) is what he talks about, including the stories shared by other family members at the time when they gathered for the funeral. It should be noted that thousands filed to pay respects to Mr. Hockey at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena and many of those respects were about the man more than the player, including President Barack Obama. For any reader who wants to learn more about Gordie Howe the man, this is the book to read.

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Thank you for sharing

This makes me want to be a better person. Mr. Hockey has been one of my heros for some time. I am pleased to learn that my adoration has been well placed. Thank you for sharing your family stories.