The Lonely End of the Rink

The Lonely End of the Rink

Confessions of A Reluctant Goalie

Book - 2013
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Winner of the Bill Duthie's Booksellers Award!

In addition to being a CBC host, an eminent indie-rock alumnus, and the award-winning author of the bestselling book Adventures in Solitude , Grant Lawrence has another claim to fame: as a toddler, he spent the majority of a plane ride from Toronto to Winnipeg on Bobby Orr's lap. Grant, his parents, Bobby Orr and the rest of the Canadian hockey team were ontheir way to Game Three of the famous Summit Series -- seven games played between Russia and Canada in 1972, during the height of the Cold War. It was at this point -- at the age of one -- that Grant's life-long entanglement with hockey began.

In this deeply personal, yet incredibly witty memoir about Grant's relationship with hockey, the narrative passes back and forth between tales of Grant's life and a fascinating history of hockey, complete with lively anecdotes about the many colourful characters of the NHL. Through Grant's early life, he struggled with the idea of hockey. He was an undersized child who wore thick glasses and knee-braces, and he understood, first-hand, what it was like to be in the attack zone of the hockey-obsessed jocks at his school. For Grant, bullying and the violent game of hockey seemed to go hand-in-hand. Yet he was also enamoured with the sport, and eventually learned that playing goalie on a hockey team isn't all that different from playing in a band and that artistically-minded wimps find just as much joy in the game as their meathead counterparts.

In The Lonely End of the Rink , Grant Lawrence brings the allure of hockey into a zone where it can impress upon the nerds and geeks as well as the jocks. Grant is a highly original writer, and with this book, he tells a quintessentially Canadian story about the nation's favourite sport.

Publisher: Madeira Park, British Columbia :, Douglas & McIntyre,, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781771000772
Branch Call Number: ANF 384.54092 LAW
Characteristics: xiv, 255 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm


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patcumming Jun 07, 2016

Part memoir, part history of the Vancouver Canucks, this will appeal to hockey afficiandos.

Hawkstar76 Oct 26, 2015

Highly recommended book, Grant is funny and honest and writes with spontaneity and fluidity.. Plus he mentions Nardwuar the Human Serviette, so it has to be good.

ksoles Mar 07, 2014

Canadians have no shortage of feel-good, hockey-themed memoirs from which to choose; tales of simple, warm-hearted folks who find solace on frozen ponds and eventually climb to NHL stardom fill bookstore shelves in an attempt to remind us that hockey is, in Don Cherry's words, "a sport made only for the most upstanding of people."

Grant Lawrence never came close to playing in the NHL but his story certainly fits into the tired "hockey changed my life" genre. His new book, "The Lonely End Of The Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie," varies slightly from the standard plot as Lawrence found the goalkeeper position because he didn’t want to partake in a pick-up scrimmage. But, predictably, Lawrence gives an unflinching account of how tending goal allowed a taciturn, skinny nerd to break out of his shell and realize his true capabilities.

Best known for his day job on CBC Radio and as the lead singer of The Smugglers, Lawrence does deftly blend these two aspects of his life: the young artist desperately seeking his voice and the pseudo-athlete trying to evade scrutiny from the jocks. His strength in writing here lies in his self-reflection as he balances two distinct social statuses. However, at times he delves too far into mundane details of his growing up, ones that readers will not find unique or interesting. More ruthless editing could have prevented many of his chapters from slowing down to a near crawl.

An ultimately charming but hackneyed account of how hockey, in all its glory, can seduce even the most unlikely of people.

Jan 05, 2014

Really enjoyed this one. Well written, and an interesting perspective on the game. As I'm also west coast raised in the 70s and 80s, lots of the cultural references were very relevant to me as well.

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