One hot afternoon in 1998, Dave Bidini – who loves hockey, watches it, plays it, and breathes it – found the Stanley Cup final so tedious to watch that at one point he clicked channels to Martha Stewart – and never switched back. This made him wonder where in the world the game might exist free of the complications of professional sport. He set out to find the tropic of hockey.
His quest took him to a rink on the seventh storey of a mall in Hong Kong – a rink encircled by a dragon-headed roller coaster – and to the gritty city of Harbin in northern China, where a version of hockey has been played for 600 years; to Dubai in the desert of the United Emirates, where hockey is brand new and incredulous Bedouin drop by the Al Ain rink to touch the ice; and to Transylvania, where the game is a war between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians, who were introduced to hockey by a 1929 newsreel of Canadians chasing the puck.
Bidini’s encounters with odd-sized rinks and players of wildly different talents and experiences have inspired him to interweave his stories of hockey in unlikely places with funny and eyebrow-raising stories about places and players back in Canada. As a bonus, readers are also treated to some striking observations about the game, its fans, and the testosterone, the profanity, and the moments of grace that enrich it.
About the author
Dave Bidini's first book, published in 1998, was the popular and critically acclaimed On a Cold Road, about what it's like to tour Canada in a rock 'n' roll band. He has since written four more books, Tropic Of Hockey (2001), Baseballissimo (2004), For Those About to Rock (2004) and The Best Game You Can Name (2005). When he is not writing or traveling the world, Bidini is rhythm guitarist for the Rheostatics. He also starred in the Gemini Award-winning film The Hockey Nomad. Dave Bidini lives with his wife and two children in Toronto.
“One of the best books on the game this country has seen since Ken Dryden’s The Game…conversational, compelling, funny and raw. Not to mention literate and studied.”
“This year’s best hockey book”
–Globe and Mail
“By travelling the world…Bidini renews his faith in this Canadian game. And with it, ours.”
“…stands above the bookshelf in terms of page-turning imagination.”
Other titles by Dave Bidini
A Wild Stab For It
This Is Game Eight from Russia
A Personal Journey to the North
Keon and Me
My Search For The Lost Soul Of The Leafs
The Hockey Sweater and Other Stories
A Team, a Fan, and His City
Writing Gordon Lightfoot
The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972
A Road Trip with Jeff Thomas
Hockey Hall of Fame Treasures
Tell Me a Story
Gordon Lightfoot and the Essence of Canada