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The Boys of Winter

The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (150 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Once upon a time, they taught us to believe. They were the 1980 US Olympic hockey team, a blue-collar bunch led by an unconventional coach, and they engineered perhaps the greatest sports moment of the 20th century. Their "Miracle on Ice" has become a national fairy tale, but the real Cinderella story is even more remarkable. It is a legacy of hope, hard work, and homegrown triumph. It is a chronicle of everyday heroes who just wanted to play hockey happily ever after. It is still unbelievable.

The Boys of Winter is an evocative account of the improbable American adventure in Lake Placid, New York. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, Wayne Coffey explores the untold stories of the US upstarts, their Soviet opponents, and the forces that brought them together.

©2005 Wayne Coffey; foreword copyright 2005 by Jim Craig; afterword copyright 2005 by Wayne Coffey (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Well-written and thoroughly researched.... Filled with primary interviews and exceptional insight, Coffey's effort should delight more than just hockey fans." ( Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great, but...

This book provides phenomenal additional depth to the story of the 1980 gold medal winning USA hockey team. You will not be disappointed.

The one bad part (and this might just be nitpicking) is the narrator mispronounces just about every hockey term, and Russian name throughout the entirety of the book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Story But

Obviously this story needs little help. The author does a great job diving deep into the people involved and fleshing out many details. The narrator is brutal. He has a sort of sissy lisp. He obviously doesn’t know hockey as many of the terms are savages. IE blue line is one words, not two. It’s obnoxious after hearing it over and over. Plus his efforts to jazz up the Soviet names is pointless and distracting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely fantastic!

I have to echo what others have said about the reader. How can audible let this happen? They have people recording these books, why not have someone verify the pronunciations? It's pretty simple, blue line is one word in hockey, the Russian 'accent' was distracting, and it really took away from the the story at times.

Now that's off my chest, this book was wonderful! If you think you know everything about the 1980 olympic team, you probably don't! I am a huge hockey fan and I learned a great deal about the team and it's personnel from this book. The book is broken down into periods, much like a game and it jumps around quite a bit from player to player, but I knew enough of the story, it didn't bother me. Watch the movie 'Miracle' and then read this, it will help a good deal.

If you are an American ice hockey fan, this is a must listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A masterpiece

This is a poignant, beautiful book about the men who performed the miracle on ice.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

USA...USA..USA

Great story of the GAME interwoven with the background of each player and their interactions with the Coach. I did not know the background on many of the players or about how Herb Brooks developed a team to beat the USSR.



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For that post Olympics withdrawal

For readers who love hockey, the olympics, a great underdog story, and sticking it to Socialism, this book is for you! If you loved Boys in the Boat, you will love this book. It's got the same spirit, just with more ice.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great story but not the right narrator

the overall story is great. loved hearing about the background of the players and coaches, but the some of the game's narration was a bit too detailed. I don't think that this was the right narrator for this story. something about his voice ... Just didn't match my expectation for a hockey story.

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  • easyfour
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 03-10-17

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD... THE AMERICANS WIN

What made the experience of listening to The Boys of Winter the most enjoyable?

This event combined with a phenomenal sophomore NHL season by a guy named Wayne Gretzky helped turn me into a huge hockey fan. I thought I knew this whole story by heart. i was wrong. There was so much I didn't know. I knew the players by number, position, and school, but I never knew the men behind the uniforms. This book gives great insight into them by using a very clever framing device. it will appeal to both the casual fan who may not have been around to experience the "miracle" and to the sports know-it-all.

What did you like best about this story?

The storytelling was really well done. It sounds corny, but I actually got chills as the final seconds of the game ticked off.

Have you listened to any of Kirby Heyborne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Heyborne did a pretty good job, but after only a few minutes of listening it became very evident to me that he knows very little about hockey. He paces well and gives the text a lot of flair, but each time he said "blue line" as two separate words I would lose my mind. Hulk would have smashed his iPod.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It makes me smile. It's just a wonderful story about a bunch of college kids who were able to defeat the greatest team in the world.

Any additional comments?

Good story for a hockey family to listen to on a long trip.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful