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Searching for Bobby Orr

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  296 ratings  ·  25 reviews

The book that hockey fans have been waiting for: the definitive, unauthorized account of the man many say was the greatest player the game has ever seen.

The legend of Bobby Orr is one of the most enduring in sport. Even those who have never played the game of hockey know that the myth surrounding Canada’s great pastime originates in places like Bobby Orr’s Parry Sound. In

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Triumph Books
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Not great. Distractingly overwritten, Stephen Brunt tries to put hockey great Bobby Orr's career in social, cultural and economic contexts, but he never quite pulls it all together. He doesn't even come close, unless you count his odd, obsessive tracking of Orr's hair-length.
Instead of looking at how a great athlete played a small part in some kind of cultural change (which is debatable in Orr's case, anyway), Brunt just kind of talks about how cool Orr was, refusing to do more than passingly m...more
To many, Bobby Orr the greatest hockey player ever to lace up the skates. To most, he's in the top five. To me, he went up the list after reading this book.

In what would definitely be considered an agonizing career, shortened by knee injuries, Bobby had a talent that far exceeded his peers of the time. He is one of very few to have truly changed the game. Evolving it and revolutionizing it. He had talent that was noticed at such an early age and his path to stardom in the NHL was all but guarant...more
The first chapter of this book includes the most evocative passage I have ever read about ice hockey. The rest is a very thorough and well-researched account of the persona behind the man many consider the greatest hockey player ever. In reality, it tackles the story as it should be--that of a tragic hero whose career was cut short due to injury and whose naïvete almost caused more harm in a hockey world just getting used to players' rights. It contains many stories of Bobby growing up as a prod...more
This isn't the first time I've felt this way about a hockey book, that it failed to deliver what I was looking for, but I can't say it's wasn't an enjoyable read. 'Searching for Bobby Orr' is, in the author's words, not an 'authorized biography,' nor a 'traditional sports biography,' and I couldn't disagree at all. There aren't any interviews with Orr himself, his family, or his friends. But it tells a good tale. Starting when Bobby Orr was a boy in Parry Sound, the book follows him through his...more
My best friend knows nothing about hockey. She does know who Bobby Orr is though.

The author comes right out and say it, “Bobby Orr did not give his blessing on this book.” But he is of the opinion that Bobby might have if he hadn’t been writing his own book about his life. The author honored Bobby’s request to not talk to his family. The information in this book is taken from published accounts and people who know Bobby. Some of Bobby’s friends refused to talk, others talked on condition of anon...more
Nick N.

In the biography Searching for Bobby Orr by Stephen Brunt, the story behind one of the greatest players to ever play the sport of hockey is revealed. Bobby Orr’s story begins in a small town in Canada called Parry Sound. Here is where he starts his tremendous work ethic and meets Wilfred “Bucko” McDonald, the coach that allows him to change the way the sport is played. He created an offensive defensemen. Bucko saw a "scrawny, skilled, a natural skater, a stickhandler, a scorer... he still saw a...more
Marc Leroux
I grew up near Montreal, so saying anything positive about someone from Boston is hard to do, but from my perspective Bobby Orr was the greatest player the game has seen. Every generation has at least one, and I've seen Wayne, Mario and Sidney play, but no one could control a game like Orr. I was really looking forward to this book.
And I was disappointed.
As many others have commented, the prose is overwritten. The focus occasionally shows brilliance, particularly when talking about games he pla...more
Chris Cowie
A hockey book about the greatest player of all time written by someone who really understands the game a it's place in the Canadian psyche. A great book!
Lewis M
Steven Brunt has written most of a great story. By his own admission, since it is unauthorized and since Bobby Orr has a close knit circle, some of the story remains untold. What we have in this biography is a well told partial picture.

More interesting in this story is who came forward to fill on the puzzle pieces, and it paints a great picture if his time in Junior hockey when as Don Cherry likes to point out he was without equal.

James Cooper
I'm on the fence on this one. The "unblessed" biography of Bobby Orr seemed to have too much information that at times went on and on. If the author had any clue of whom Orr was, this biography would have much shorter and too the point without adding a lot of fluff. Before reading the book, I was split in my like or dislike for Orr. Knowing what Orr does now, before the book, I was a little surprised to what extent. Understandably, that Orr does not conduct business like The Eagle did, I am a li...more
brian dean
I really can't comment on the book as I have too much invested in the subject. My mother is from Parry Sound and I, as a four-year-old, met the man. He gave me a tiny hockey stick with his autograph on it.

I was too young to see him play much so I learned a great deal from the book. I will now look for his plays on youtube, I guess.

It seems really sad that Orr's two sons never learned how to skate. I suppose it is good that Orr never forced them to follow in his footsteps but to so effectively ke...more
Anthony Taylor
Have to agree with a number of other reviews about this book - it is really overwritten in places making what should be a really interesting story drag in places. I still enjoyed the majority of the book but was disappointed that it read more like a sports biography from the 1980's when the sports biography was just airport lounge fodder. Stephen Brunt is a first class journalist and I expect better from him, he was lucky in that he chose a story of an elusive hockey great that preventing from p...more
Dale Stonehouse
Nice biography of the skater who was Gretzky before Gretzky. The manner in which Orr outmaneuvered every other NHL player of his era is well-detailed here, as are some of the effects of his background in rural Ontario. The several chapters that veered off into Canadian or NHL history seemed to detract from the overall effect, or do you have to be Canadian to appreciate them? There are a few mentions of my favorite city, Winnipeg, which helped this book avoid a 2-star rating.
Best sports biography I've read! Stephen Brunt is one of the best contemporary Canadian sports journalists. He gives a generation, including myself, who were never able to see the greatest defenceman play the game a descriptive account of his sublimity, and the interesting stories behind his legacy.
A good book. Some interesting parts, but ultimately missing the point of view of the most important person to the book. Bobby Orr. Looking forward to reading Orr 's version of his career.
Russ Skinner
Reading this columns and stories from "Sportsnet Magazine" reminded me of how much I enjoyed Brunt's column in The Globe and Mail. Too much boxing for my taste, but still interesting there.
Tim Wendel
Brunt had to work hard here because Orr gave him little to no cooperation. But he does the legwork and comes up with an eloquent portrait of one of hockey's most exciting players.
Sam Lively
Bobby Orr was, to say the least a very fascinating man. This book summed him up accurately and entertainingly
Keith Powell
I like Stephen Brunt's write style and brings a fresh approach to the Bobby Orr story. Makes this hockey hero human.
Jim Noyes
excellent story of probably greatest of all time. stayed out, pretty much, of off ice stuff, very well written
Jason Hatcher
An interesting biography of one of the greatest hockey players. Very interesting.
Fantastic book on the man who singlehandedly revolutionized the game.
Fantastic depiction of a fantastic athlete!
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