On one level, this is the personal story of Theoren Fleury, the diminutive captain of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. On another level, this book examines how a pro athlete comes to be famous, and what it means. It is a story about commercialism fed by adulation, about power and riches and the presumed and real virtues of the star players who acquire them. On yet another level it is about what Ken Dryden called simply “The Game.”
Theoren Fleury received global recognition during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey by single-handedly winning two games for Canada and then by playing in his first All-Star Game in the following winter. Physically, Fleury is the smallest player in the NHL, yet, so intense is he, so quick, so skilled at faking and scoring, and so undaunted by the over 400 pounds of onrushing defencemen that routinely bar his way, that his coach and teammates have chosen him to be team captain. He is now a millionaire. He is also an intriguing combination of country boy, quick-witted city kid, ruthless pro athlete, father and family man, and reluctant, soft-spoken but sharp-tongued media hero.
In Fury, Andrew Malcolm follows Fleury through an entire hockey season. Yet this is more than a fan’s inside look at a major hockey star: it is also an intriguing, revealing, funny, and exciting look at Canada’s game by a gifted reporter and award-winning writer.Amazon.com Review
Veteran reporter Andrew H. Malcolm profiles the dualistic nature of hockey--its beauty and brutality--as embodied by the NHL's smallest player, blank-toothed Theoren Fleury. Fury is a thorough, moving account of the Calgary Flames's lovable and feisty all-star that puts the reader on the ice and in the locker room of a sport that usually chews up players of Fleury's size. The former New York Times Canadian bureau chief knows his setting intimately--whether it's the roar of the crowd during a professional game or the deep silence of an abandoned ice rink somewhere out on the Ottawa plains. And with a mixture of curiosity and empathy, he investigates the driving force that allows a 5-foot, 6-inch, 160-pound man to compete in a rink full of larger, hard-charging adversaries. Besides chronicling a season with little Fleury and the Flames, however, Malcolm also portrays the enduring culture and tradition that is North American hockey. The result is a thoughtful understanding of--and appreciation for--the scrappy Theo Fleury and the deeply woven Canadian hockey obsession. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (9)
The parts pertaining to Fleury were interesting and held my attention but the book was filled with lots of unnecessary information such as the background on the team mascot and a woman who runs the concessions at the Saddledome. I was not interested in such things but the book seemed to be filled with them which made some chapters a slow read.
It's too bad the author didn't wait a few more years to write this, because he missed all kinds of drama that Fleury encountered after its publication, including his suspension from the NHL for drug problems, another divorce and brawls playing hockey in Ireland.
The author could have dug a little harder, too, into Fleury's messed up family and the speculation widely throughout the NHL that he might have been victimized in several ways by authority figures in his junior career.
Fury: Fleury and the Calgary Flames
Parts of this biography focus on Theo's childhood development and his opening years with the Calgary Flames. I say 'parts' because it also spends a great deal of time discussing how various parts of the Flames organzation runs, with chapters devoted to the people behind the scenes. While the book doesn't concentrate completely on Fleury, I still felt it was informative in bringing me the whole picture regarding the things that affect his daily life (travel, practices, autograph hounds, injuries, and such). In a few years, I'd like to see this author revisit Fleury and write about his days with the Avalanche, the Rangers, and the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The Theo-specific info in this book would make a very nice in-depth magazine article.The book is poorly written, very disjointed.The author introduces a Theo story, and in the next paragraph is telling the history of the food services manager.In one place, I counted 6 pages that included only 1 paragraph of 2 lines about Theo.Theo has an incredible spirit.His story is one of triumph over truly overwhelming odds.He deserved a better effort for what is titled as HIS biography. If you want to know about the GM, coaches (at all levels), security guards, bus drivers, entertainment managers, food service, mascots and ticket sales this is the book for you. If you want to really get to know an NHL player, read Brett Hull: His Own Story.
You'll love Theo, after you read this book!(if you're human)
I bought this for my husband, for Christmas. I read it out of curiosity. Theo's story will not just warm your heart. It will make you love him, and respect him. So many who have his difficult background use it as an excuse to walk around with a chip on their shoulder. Theo doesn't, he only has a chip on his shoulder on the ice, where it belongs. The author included a lot of other stuff, that sometimes made the book a difficult read, but I'd just turn the pages until he picked up Theo's story again. I liked him to begin with, now I root hard for him, this little dynamo paid his dues, and earned his success. If you only read one book this year, you have to read this one.
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