King Leary

by Paul Quarrington | Humor |
ISBN: 9780385666015 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingPooker3wing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 12/27/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, December 27, 2007
A Christmas gift. Oooh, I love Christmas!

One of the 2008 Canada Reads candidates!

Journal Entry 2 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, January 05, 2008
This was to be my fourth book read for John Mutford's The Canadian Book Challenge, but it's on thin ice (Oh, teehee! There was no pun intended but that's cute, if I do say so myself!)

I thought that with the favourable cover blurbs and the Canada Reads nomination, this would be the Quarrington book that has not only come into my hands but that I'd actually read. But he's irked me once and he's irked me twice. Once with the spelling of honour without the "u" and again having his main man refer to the Maple Leafs as the Maple Leaves. Gasp! I have been a Leafs fan for about fifty years. In fact I've always thought that kid in Roch Carriere's *The Hockey Sweater* a dope for wanting the Canadiens sweater. But I digress. I haven't checked Quarrington's age but I suspect fifty years is longer than he's been alive. So how could he get that wrong?

Plus, I don't think I like that old codger Leary much.

I'm about 30 pages in so I'll give the old man a chance over the weekend. As for Quarrington, maybe the "u" was a typo and maybe in the olden days the Leafs were really the Leaves. I doubt it. The Laughs maybe. Even I've called them the Maple Laughs in their darker days but never ever the Leaves. Somebody can prove me wrong though if they can.

Journal Entry 3 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, January 06, 2008
What a difference a few pages makes! Thank God for the monks. :)

Journal Entry 4 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Oh gosh, I am so glad I read this book. Notwithstanding that I haven't yet read the other 2008 Canada Reads candidates, I'm quite prepared to say King Leary should be "la premier etoile"!

Percival "King" Leary is an old man (read "one foot poised to kick it") and former hockey legend. As I was reading I did wonder for a while whether he really was a legend "in the books" or whether the highlight reels existed only in his own mind because I suspect that almost every Canadian male is (or coulda been) a hockey legend. But it appears he really was "King of the Ice". We find out that he has been trotted out and honoured at the Gardens more than once and he is in the Hall of Fame.

Now, however, he is confined to a nursing home reliving his glory days in his own mind and by spouting off to whomever will listen. One day though he is contacted by an ad agency who wants to feature King Leary in a ginger ale commercial and so we are off to Toronto with the King and his wacky entourage (his nurse, his ancient reporter roommate, his "loser" son and a couple of ghosts from the past) to relive those glory days.

King Leary's adventure is both incredibly funny and incredibly sad. Lewd and bawdy, thoughtful and heartwarming. The King had his moments of glory, scoring winning goals, perfecting his signature move, moments in the sun. But of course there were costs and insults.

As Canadians we know the history of our national sport, the drinking, carousing, corruption, the evolution of the game itself, the road trips, the trades, loyalties and loneliness, shame and glory. So all of Leary's memories ring very true.

It is a hockey story but it is much more than that. It is also a story of redemption.

Reserved for the Canada Day release challenge unless I can't help myself from foisting it on someone else as a "must read".

I think it makes for a great Canada Reads book. I found myself reading into it all sorts of things that I have no idea whether the author intended (Clay Bors Clinton as our neighbour to the south for example). Right or wrong, thought provoking.

Journal Entry 5 by wingPooker3wing at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Thursday, May 08, 2008

Released 12 yrs ago (5/8/2008 UTC) at Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada



In the post today to Ibis3.

Journal Entry 6 by Ibis3 from Newcastle, Ontario Canada on Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thanks so much Pooker3!! I really enjoyed this book and now have a copy of this Canada Reads winner to share with my CanLit Challenge participants. As you say, much much more than a book about hockey. But that scene with the monks playing on the pond has got to be one of the best hockey passages ever.

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