ISBN: 0385254849 Global Overview for this book
3 journalers for this copy...
Cover illustration by Russ Willms. Cover design by Tanya Craan.
2008 Canada Reads winner
Winner of the 1988 Stephen Leacock Award for Humour
Shortlisted for the 1988 Trillium Award
“A fresh and zany voice.”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
“An extraordinary writer with a rare gift.”
Percival Leary was once the King of the Ice, one of hockey's greatest heroes. In the South Grouse Nursing Home, where he shares a room with Edmund “Blue” Hermann, the antagonistic and alcoholic newspaper reporter who once chronicled his career, Leary looks back on his tumultuous life and times: his days at the boys' reformatory when he burned down a house; the four mad monks who first taught him how to play hockey; and the time he executed the perfect “St. Louis Whirlygig” to score the winning goal in the 1919 Stanley Cup finals.
Now all but forgotten, Leary is only a legend in his own mind until a high-powered advertising agency decides to feature him in a series of ginger ale commercials. With his male nurse, his son, and the irrepressible Blue, Leary sets off for Toronto on one last madcap adventure as he revisits scenes of his glorious life as the King of the Ice.
PAUL QUARRINGTON is the author of Home Game, The Life of Hope, Whale Music (now also a major Canadian film with screenplay by Paul Quarrington) and Logan in Overtime. His latest novel is Civilization. He lives in Toronto.
Paul Quarrington at Wikipedia
Paul Quarrington Homepage
Boy, the book is great! It's funny, it's witty, it's hockey history, it's a sports novel beyond dreams. It's almost as good as Elmo by Juhani Peltonen. (For those who may not now, Elmo is the greatest and the most versatile sportsman ever and Elmo is the funniest and greatest Finnish sports novel ever written.) Elmo did not have such a king-size ego like King Leary had, but he beat, among others, even the best hockey teams all by himself.
King Leary is categorized as humour and the story is really funny. I even laughed aloud in a bus crowded with travellers when I finally realized why Poppa Rivers called Percy loof-weeda. In spite of all the funny parts the story is also extremely sad. Tears and laughter, only the best of writers can bring them together.
The book actually tells a lot about Canadian hockey history but you don't have know hockey to enjoy the storyline. It also tells about friendships, about getting old and being old, it shows that you're never too old to learn something important, it tells a lot about real life. It has some magnificent characters like the four monks. I just wish I had got to know Manny, the Wizard of Oz, a little better. With the monks, he was my favourite character, even if he was a ghost.
I really, really love this book. It is very much Canadian. In fact, I don't think King Leary could not be anything else. Hockey has changed a lot since the days of legendary King Leary but King Leary is not outdated. Winning 2008 Canada Reads is a proof of that.
King Leary in Wikipedia
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