From Giller-nominated author Bill Gaston, proof not only that hockey players can read, but that some of them can even write.
Midnight Hockey tells the story of Gaston’s final season, as he contemplates hanging up his skates, and looks back on the sport that has meant so much to him.
Sometimes lewd and hilarious, sometimes (though not as often) reflective, Midnight Hockey is a portrait of Canada’s fastest-growing athletic phenomenon: beer-league and oldtimers’ hockey. Gaston spills the beans about the rules of the game (written and unwritten), weird beer, team names, and road-trip sex, illustrated with stories of Gaston’s life in the game, from the outdoor rinks of Winnipeg, through junior hockey, varsity, the professional leagues of Europe, to the late-night games and road-trip shenanigans of beer-league.
For all those thousands of guys who drive to the rink late on a snowy night, who know the euphoria of a beer after the game, who think of how good they used to be, who grow nostalgic over a whiff from an unwashed hockey bag – and for anyone who has had to live with such a person – Midnight Hockey is laugh-out-loud funny, true-to-life, and ultimately thoughtful.
Bill Gaston is the author of five novels and five collections of short fiction. He teaches at the University of Victoria and is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2003 inaugural Timothy Findley Lifetime Achievement Award and the CBC/Canadian Literary Award. Mount Appetite, one of his collections of short stories, was shortlisted for the 2002 Giller Prize, and another, Gargoyles, was shortlisted for the 2006 Governor General’s Award for Fiction.
“Midnight Hockey is a lovely book, which is to say bawdy, beautifully written, fresh, coarse, hilarious, smart, vulgar, joyful and as rank with the realities of putrid hockey bags, diminishing motor skills and impending death as . . . well, let’s just say it’s a lot like the hockey most of us play, those of us who are willing and able past the age of 35. Sidney Crosby wouldn’t get most of it, but I think his dad would.” —The Globe and Mail
“A wonderful homage to beer-leaguers and old-timers . . . who keep lacing them up long after youth has faded. Gaston . . . brings his artist’s eye to this tender, ribald and very funny memoir about grown men chasing pucks with beers at midnight. . . . Seasoned with reflections on beer, road trip sex, hockey in France and China, old guys dropping gloves, the sublimes tolerance of his wife and team names, both good . . . and bad. . . . This is a glorious book, a superlative valentine to the game for anyone who ever played, plays or wanted to play–and for those who love them.” —Vancouver Sun
"Bill Gaston's book stinks like hockey, as all great hockey books should."
—Dave Bidini, author of Best Game You Can Name, and Tropic of Hockey
“Midnight Hockey is a portrait of a game, an aromatic reminder of why the sport is an icon in Canadian life.” — The Sun Times (Owen Sound)
“The definitive ode to the ‘beer leagues.’ . . . A hilarious autobiographical romp through sweaty dressing rooms and drunken tournament weekends. . . . It’s page-turning, read-aloud-to-anyone-within-earshot material.” —TheTyee.ca