One of the greatest sports figures of all time salutes his heroes and takes us inside the game as few others can.
From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed "The Great One", he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has - but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw.
For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid and the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the dressing rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; and shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history.
Warm, direct, and revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.
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Off-putting that it isn't read by Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky's personal stories of conversations on the ice, friendships and rivalries, and the process of being an NHL great, were the best part of the book.
He isn't Wayne Gretzky. The book is written in first person so when he says "I did this" or "I was friends with him" it doesn't work. He is a narrator, he is not Wayne Gretzky, so it either needed to be read by Wayne Gretzky or it needed to be written in the third person. I heard Wayne in an interview promoting the book, and he has such a distinctive and familiar voice, that hearing anyone else pretend to be him just doesn't work.
It is obvious which parts of this book were contributed by Mr. Gretzky and which were the research done by the co-author. Some bits of it are incredibly dry. The history of the creation of the NHL is in depth, and some of the stories of the original players were obviously historical anecdotes. There may be 99 stories but 45 of them are not Wayne's reflections or have anything to do with him at all and were written like a history lesson.
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