Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review of "The Boys of Winter"

Many people will agree with me that when the United States hockey team defeated the USSR in the 1980 Winter Olympics, that was the greatest sporting event that will ever take place.  This book that was published in 2005 recently became available on audio, so I wanted to take a listen to relive that game.  It was certainly all that I hoped it would be. Here is my review of "The Boys of Winter."

Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team” by Wayne Coffey, narrated by Kirby Heyborne
Ice Hockey, Winter Olympics, History, audio book
Publish date:
February 28, 2017 (audio. Print originally published 2005)

288 pages

5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
Any American sports fan will know where he or she was on February 22, 1980.  It was on that date that 20 young men from the United States defeated the hockey team from the Soviet Union in the Winter Olympics. It is considered by many, including this reviewer, as the greatest sports event that has occurred and will not be repeated.  The stories behind this game and the players and Coach Herb Brooks are told in this book by Wayne Coffey.

The book starts and ends with scenes from Brooks’ funeral after he was killed in an auto accident in 2003.  There are short biographies of Brooks and each of the 20 players scattered throughout the description of the action on the ice during that game. The format makes for great reading for the print version and while also excellent for the audio version, the listener will have to pay close attention so that when the narration changes from player story back to the game, there is no disconnect.

The game replay is excellent with not only goals and saves described but each check, each penalty and each steal of the puck by either team relived in great detail. On occasion I will watch a video of the game and get chills, even after all these years.  I had the same reaction when Heyborne was describing key events of the game, such as Mark Johnson’s goal with one second remaining in the first period, spectacular saves by goaltender Jim Craig and certainly the winning goal by Mike Eruzione. 

Any reader who either wants to relive that special game or wants to learn why this team and event is still revered more than 35 years later will want to pick up this book. Even though it was originally published in 2005, the stories and events are just as thrilling to relive now as they were then.

Book Format Read:
Audio book

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