Searching for Bobby Orr by Stephen BruntThe book that hockey fans have been waiting for: the definitive, unauthorized account of the man many say was the greatest player the game has ever seen.
The legend of Bobby Orr is one of the most enduring in sport. Even those who have never played the game of hockey know that the myth surrounding Canada’s great pastime originates in places like Bobby Orr’s Parry Sound. In the glory years of the Original Six – an era when the majority of NHLers were Canadian – hockey players seemed to emerge fully formed from our frozen rivers and backyard rinks, to have found the source of their genius somehow in the landscape. Like Mozart, they just appeared – Howie Morenz, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard and Bobby Orr – spun out of the elements, prodigies, geniuses, originals, to stoke the fantasy of a nation united around a puck.
Bobby Orr redefined the defensive style of hockey; there was nothing like it before him. He was the first to infuse the defenseman position with offensive juice, driving up the ice, setting up players and scoring some goals of his own. He was the first player to win three straight MVP awards, the first defenseman to score twenty or more goals in a season. His most famous goal won the Boston Bruins the Stanley Cup in 1970 – for the first time in twenty-nine years – against the St. Louis Blues in overtime. But history will also remember Bobby Orr as a key figure in the Alan Eagleson scandal, and as the unfortunate player forced into early retirement in 1978 because of his injuries. His is a story of dramatic highs and lows.
In Searching for Bobby Orr, Canada’s foremost sportswriter gives us a compelling and graceful look at the life and times of Bobby Orr that is also a revealing portrait of a game and a country in transition.
So Bobby Orr could skate, he could stickhandle, he could fight when he had to. He could shoot without looking at the net, without tipping a goaltender as to what was coming. His slapshot came without a big windup, and was deadly accurate. Skating backwards, defending, he was all but unbeatable one on one. He could poke check the puck away, or muscle a forward into the boards. In front of his own net, stronger on his feet than his skinny frame would suggest, he wouldn’t be moved. But there was more…
–from Searching for Bobby Orr
Stephen Brunt on Searching for Bobby Orr
Post a Comment. Stephen Brunt is one of the more thoughtful, insightful, and measured sports journalists who populates the Canadian landscape. Even in this modern age when sportswriters are meant to give good footage on camera, and good quotes on air, he does so by the content and analysis he provides, rather than by RPM's or decibels.
Searching for Bobby Orr
Searching for Bobby Orr By Stephen Brunt Alfred A Knopf Canada, pages This book is part celebration, part expos, part documentary, partly a work of biography, with lots of great hockey stories and characters thrown in. Notoriously private, Bobby Orr allowed his play to speak for itself, often eschewing public glimpses into his private life and private thoughts. This book was completed without his co-operation or blessing, it must be noted. What Stephen Brunt has done in this book is not only given us a clearer understanding of the roots and maturation of the hockey phenom that was Bobby Orr, but also a compelling and fleshed-out portrait of Bobby Orr the man. Yes, there's lots of action demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt as to why Orr is considered to be one of the two or three best hockey players to ever lace up blades.
The legend of Bobby Orr is one of the most enduring in all of sports. More than a decade later, Brunt was asked if he sought an opportunity to interview Orr for the book, and if so, did he make himself available. Was he standoffish? For Brunt, writing about Orr was a serious, important endeavor. No one had ever done the Orr book.
It is also available in hardcover , and later in it will be available in mass-market paperback. Brunt's biography was the class of the hockey book season, bar none. I am a notoriously slow reader, but I devoured this book in only a couple of days. It is a super-easy read but retains the high literary quality that escapes so many hockey biographical books. A super job by Mr. Brunt , one of Canada's top hockey journalists, and beautifully designed by the folks at Knopf Canada and Random House.