Review of Ken Dryden’s “The Game”

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When ordering this classic memoir by the greatest goalie Montreal has ever had from another town’s library, I found myself practicing anticipation in the same manner as a netminder. I made predictions and adapted to sudden changes to get the desired outcome. I expected an enjoyable reading experience, but not in a mindblowing manner as I found the works of Dumas and Stevenson as a 12-year-old. My outset prediction in time proved to be correct in the most literal sense.

But on a deeper philosophical level, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Dryden’s lack of formal writing training and refusal to use a ghostwriter helps him capture the raw and gritty side of the life of a quiet but well liked sports star. Even without the poetic delineating of the most fine details of sport, The Game is the statement of a personal philosophy and identifying that idea is a quick and easy process.

The main message of Dryden’s book is this: The interest in a sporting career comes from the aura of competiveness, the sharing of a universal language, and a connection amongst players; as well as the relationship between players and the sport itself. This is what the phenomenon of the game really is, and it’s no wonder why this book is so highly appreciated by participants in the sport at all levels: Because we all know what he means. The game’s appeal never diminishes even when the sport has lost its flavor. Just one of many reasons why Dryden is triumphant in his writing.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Thoreau’s Walden

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