Now that his hockey career is ending, what will become of his life?
Felix Batterinski grew up tough in Northern Ontario where hockey was the only way out of a life of grinding poverty. He got out and enjoyed fame as a hockey "enforcer" for the Philadelphia Flyers. But fame is fleeting.
Now in his thirties and at the end of his playing career, Felix tries to make a go of it as a player-coach for a Finnish club. As the lone Canadian on the team, he is an outsider with a reputation that takes on a life of its own. When a controversial play brings his comeback bid to a screeching halt, Felix is faced with his own obsolescence and begins a tragic descent into disillusion and despair.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Roy MacGregor’s novel sold fewer than 1,000 copies upon its original publication in 1983, but its re-release 29 years later speaks to the critical acclaim it ultimately garnered and so richly deserves. Much more than simply a “hockey novel,” it weaves a rich tale of the son of Polish émigrés struggling to find acceptance in a small town in Eastern Ontario. In hockey, he comes close to finding it—and fleeting success—in his role as an enforcer. Fans will delight in the legends of the game who skate through this decades-long story and the legendary clashes that serve as its turning points. MacGregor’s masterful and nuanced storytelling, which uses of hockey as a metaphor for life, places this novel squarely in the league of all-time literary achievements.