King Leary

King Leary

Book - 1987
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Percival Leary was once the King of the Ice, one of hockey's greatest heroes. In the South Grouse Nursing Home, where he shares a room with Edmund Blue Hermann, the antagonistic and alcoholic newspaper reporter who once chronicled his career, learly looks back on his tumultuous life and times: his days at the boys' reformatory when he burned down a house; the four mad monks who first taught him how to play hockey; and the time he executed the perfect St. Louis Whirlygig to score the winning goal in the 1919 Stanley Cup finals.
Now all but forgotten, Leary is only a legend in his own mind until a high-powered advertising agency decides to feature him in a series of ginger ale commercials. With his male nurse, his son, and the irrepressible Blue, Leary sets off for Toronto on one last madcap adventure as he revisits scenes of his glorious life as the King of the Ice. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: Toronto, Ont. : Doubleday Canada, 1987.
ISBN: 9780385251389
Characteristics: 232 p. ;,23 cm.


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Aug 12, 2015

Who knew Canada Dry ginger ale could make you drunk? This I learned from reading this book. Percival 'King' Leary , the hockey phenomenon from the early days, is going to do a commercial, visit the new Hockey Hall of Fame and pass on his King crown to the latest superstar, all on the Canada Dry dime. Happy day, except now he is in a care home, old, decrepit and needing a nurse. Flashbacks to his childhood and his days as an NHLer mix with the present on the trip to Toronto. The game of hockey and the hockey franchise world are raw and vicious where men play hard, drink hard and live like the kings of the world the fans have made them. King survived but now he finds his old life and friends are getting mixed up with the present. Remembering the past is becoming too much for him and he needs to rest.

MissAnnie Apr 09, 2014

Hilarious hockey story - even for a girl. Properly belongs in the cannon of Canlit.

Apr 21, 2013

A few good giggles in a novel approach but too often repetitive. Not quite a waste of time.

brianreynolds Jan 02, 2013

"Better than I expected," is a nod to the writing more than the subject matter of this sometimes-amusing, sometimes-annoying, sometimes-poignant saga of a sports has-been.

Dec 28, 2011

A quintessentially Canadian novel. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of old-time hockey culture against the hectic pace of the modern world as the protagonist, an aged athletic 'King' long forgotten by the world, goes on one last adventure as he heads to Toronto (towing his alcoholic nurse and decrepit roommate with him) to film a ginger ale commercial with the NHL's newest superstar.

BrendenE Nov 25, 2011

This is such an amazing book! I read it in grade 8 for a book report and I had forgotten about it for a while, but once I stumbled upon it I couldnt put it down. Some parts had me laughing out loud, while others were very emotional. The characters are very intriguing and engaging.

Jun 17, 2011

Couldn't finish it. I tried!!!

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