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Tropic of Hockey: My Search for the Game in Unlikely Places
Synopses & Reviews
On a hot summers day in 1998, when Dave Bidini found himself watching Martha Stewart rather than the Stanley Cup playoffs, he knew that something was seriously amiss: The game he loved had crossed the line. It was now an entertainment, not a sport. A passionate hockey fan and rec player, Bidini immediately resolved to follow Canadas best export to the rest of the world, to find out whether the true game still existed elsewhere.
His quest took him to a rink on the eighth floor of a shopping mall in Hong Konga rink encircled by a fierce dragon-headed roller coasterto the gritty city of Harbin in Northern China, where a game much like hockey has been played for six hundred years; to Dubai, in the desert of the United Arab Emirates, where hockey is brand-new, and incredulous Bedouin drop by the Al Ain rink to wonder at the ice; and to Transylvania, where the game was introduced in the 1920s by a ten-second newsreel of Canadians chasing after a puck, and where it is now played as a vicarious war between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians.
In Tropic of Hockey, Bidini weaves hilarious stories of encounters with odd-sized rinks and players of wildly different talents and experiences with tales of his travels and spot-on observations about the game and players in North America. And he discovers that the tropic of hockey connects players and fans around the world in a celebration of the gamenot to mention the profanity, the exhilaration, and the moments of grace that enrich it.
From Toronto to China, Dubai to Transylvania and back, a hilarious, moving account of one man's quest for "pure hockey."
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About the Author
DAVE BIDINI'S first book was 1998's critically acclaimed On a Cold Road. When he is not writing, traveling, or playing hockey, Bidini plays rhythm guitar for the much-loved Canadian rock band, the Rheostatics.
Table of Contents
(Prologue) The Night of the Goaltender (Part I) CHINA (1) Kris King Looks Terrible (2) Ahmed Yelled at Mohammed (3) Taffy Had a Sweet Tooth (4) Wendel and the Bells (5) The Fall of Darwish (6) Northrop Frye in Tacks (7) The Eyes of Sam Wong (8) The Foxes of Pea Pack (9) Bobby Clarke's Teeth (10)Tripped, Slashed, Speared (11) A Certain Mr. Liu (12) Eight Ball for the World (Part II) THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (13) Merlin Snows the Desert (14) Journey to the Temple of the Dog (15) The Sudanese Cyclone (16) The United Colours of Losing (17) A Busload of Espo (18) Chicken Night in Dubai (19) Kueaiti Kick-Ass Breakdown (20) The Motherland of Hockey (Part III) Transylvania (21) Where Spearing Comes From (22) The Epipany of Vakar Lajos (23) The Last Canadian Game (24) Steaua Wears a Black Hat (25) The Return of Espo (26) The Tropic of Hockey (Acknowledgements)
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