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Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  731 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Documenting hisnotorious career with the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks, Bob Probert details in this autobiographyhow he racked up points, penalty minutes, and bar bills, establishing himself as one of the most feared enforcers in the history of the NHL. As Probert played as hard off the ice as on, he went through rehab 10 times, was suspended twice, was jail ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Triumph Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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The Game by Ken DrydenNavigating Youth Hockey by Ronald G. Levi, Jr.Orr by Bobby OrrTough Guy by Bob ProbertThe Rebel League by Ed Willes
Hockey books
4th out of 98 books — 39 voters
Detroit by Charlie LeDuffMiddlesex by Jeffrey EugenidesDetroit Noir by E.J. OlsenDetroit City Is the Place to Be by Mark BinelliConey Detroit by Katherine Yung
75th out of 112 books — 28 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,179)
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Mar 22, 2011 Teena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, 2011
I love Probie. He is still one of my favorite all time hockey players. It was no secret that he had a lot of legal & personal demon issues. In this book, he was very forthcoming about everything. He will always be remembered as the Greatest Enforcer in the NHL & will be forever missed.
Nov 08, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book very much. The beginning of the book was emotional as well as the very end. If he was able to finish writing the book before his death it would have been even more amazing. Definitely a book for a hockey fan to read.
Dec 05, 2010 Shirvan rated it liked it
So excited to get this in the mail today! Rest in peace Bob. The NHL could use some more stand-up guys like you these days.
Walt Murray
Apr 30, 2012 Walt Murray rated it it was ok
This is a very sad book. Bob Probert was one of the NHL's true tough guys for many years, but constantly made one bad choice after another. His involvement with drugs, his alcoholism, and his poor choices in friends led to his career ending short of the 1,000 game mark.

The thing that disappointed me most about this book is that Probert just gave us a running account of his movements from one party to another, one rehab stint to another (where he admits to breaking the rules at every rehab stop,
Jun 19, 2013 Rolloff rated it liked it
I found Bob Probert's book(completed after his death) to be an honest,no holds barred account of his life long struggle with booze and drugs and secondarily, his career as(arguably)the pre-eminent power forward of his era.Although he had a co -author help write this account,it is definitely told in his own words and style. I could well imagine Bob telling me this story in person, maybe over a (non-alcohol)beer at the local pub.He does come across as a manipulative,self indulgent man-child, but h ...more
Cj Meyers
Jan 11, 2013 Cj Meyers rated it it was amazing
This book is over a man named bob probert. Who is old hockey player that used to be in the nhl. Bob was not always a good guy out of hockey he got into some bad stuff. This book talks about his life. He explains some of the stuff he did that he shouldnt have done.
This book is not just one big story it is more like a lot of different stories but the stories go in order threw his life. He talks about how he gets in trouble with drugs. He is a guy he started young with drugs and alcohol so thats
Nov 04, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Campbell
Jan 08, 2013 James Campbell rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
I was curious to read about Bob Probert, as he is also born and grew up, and lived out his shortened life here in Windsor, and played most of his troubled career across the river in Detroit for the Red Wings. Being a Maple Leafs fan, he was always one of those players you "hated".

Unfortunately, he captured just as many headlines for his off ice antics, as he did for his play on the ice.

This was a very interesting read into his life, and career, as well as his struggles with his personal demons.
Cody Lasko
Jul 14, 2013 Cody Lasko rated it really liked it
There's an honesty and a genuine modesty to this memoir. It's something I've found lacking in some other autobiographical accounts, ones where the author consciously or unconsciously displays too many moments of egotistical fervor. It's refreshing and not at all surprising to see considering Bob always wanted to put the team first.

His recollection of all his drug fueled party binges show a similar trend. He doesn't get caught up in the proverbial dick waving contest other figures seem bent on t
Tim Hickey
Jun 22, 2011 Tim Hickey rated it it was ok
After reading this book I can't blame anyone in the Red Wing organization for how Probert was treated...In almost every chapter he talks about excess, and regret about the excess but goes out and does the same thing again in the very same chapter.
Probert's wife sticks with him through basically this whole ordeal and it makes you wonder why. A person who loved Bob Probert would have left him until he got a hold of his demons. But it's basically she didn't want to know about it even when he admits
Jim Herendeen
Feb 04, 2014 Jim Herendeen rated it it was amazing
This book was one of my favorite books I have ever read. It is a true story about the ups, and downs of Bob Probert. The story wasn't very relatable to me since I am not addicted to drugs, but I could really understand what he was going through. He dropped out of school at a young age to become hockey player and stared to live a life without much parental guidance during adolescence, when you would think that is the most prime time for a parental figure. Instead he was thrown into a life that wa ...more
Ruairi O'Neill
Apr 29, 2015 Ruairi O'Neill rated it it was amazing
I was interested in Bob Probert because of his big rivalry with one of my personal favorites, Tie Domi. I'm a Ranger fan. I saw this book out of the blue and said to myself, hey why not? May Bob Probert Rest In Peace. I respect him more after reading this book. Sure people in life have their issues. Everybody has skeletons in the closet. I respect Bob for being so forthcoming with his issues. It didn't help that the media loved to put it out there anyway. This is what the media does. This book r ...more
Kim Ehrenhaft
Jun 13, 2012 Kim Ehrenhaft rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a Christmas gift from my nieces. I am a HUGE hockey fan, as well as a huge Probert fan. I was so excited to receive the book and dug in right away.

The intro had me in tears; his sudden death was so sad. I was totally enthralled in Probie's tales of his road to becoming one of the most feared enforcers in the sport.

At times it was a little difficult to follow, as it was written in a stream-of-consciousness format rather than chronologically, but it kept me interested the w
Hugh Egener
Feb 18, 2012 Hugh Egener rated it liked it
Disturbing, well written book about a hockey player who I thought I admired, but after reading this book I think he was a very disturbed and pathetic addict who seemed to have little regard for his family and others (Sheldon Kennedy). He could certainly fight, take a punch, and wait it out until the opponent got tired and then hammer him. Was he another victim of too many concussions, indiscriminate use of drugs and alcohol. Surprisingly, if he had concentrated on playing solid hockey he could h ...more
Bill Krieger
This is a tough book to review. The good: it's a very honest self-portrayal of an addict and somebody who's really not such a great guy, to say the least. But on the other hand, it's a raw and rambling text that's hard to read. The stories are mostly dumb and repetitive and incredibly negative. Obviously, Probie got help writing this, but they kept it as close to his true voice as possible.

Here's one of the more creative stories, and it's representative of the mayhem in Probie's life.


They p
Scott Holstad
Sep 24, 2015 Scott Holstad rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
This book was a HUGE disappointment! I had been thinking about getting it for a couple of years and I had been looking forward to reading it for some time because I have fond memories of seeing Bob Probert on the ice pummeling the hell out of other players. He was the greatest hockey enforcer of all time. But, God, was he a scum of a human being! This book is a disaster. I didn't even finish it. I got through the first eight chapters and gave up. He died an early death in 2010 and had been worki ...more
Feb 25, 2014 Connor rated it it was amazing
The book Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge was a very interesting book. I enjoyed reading about Bob Probert and his struggles and obstacles in life that he had to overcome. I really enjoyed reading this book because it showed how hard the path to the NHL is. The genre of this book was an autobiography because Bob Probert wrote it himself. I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in hockey or someone who enjoys reading autobiographies.
Damon Lively
Apr 15, 2014 Damon Lively rated it liked it
Being a hockey and Red Wings fan – and growing up with Probert – this was a fun read. The book is easy to breeze through and more of a side for lighter reading purposes. It is a simple autobiography that gives the truth about his often wreckless lifestyle. It is truly sad in the sense that Probert seemed to have gotten beyond much of that (post hockey) and I don’t believe anyone walks away thinking he was some “terrible” person – but unfortunately it caught up with him in the end. There is littl ...more
Matt Fernando
Mar 27, 2014 Matt Fernando rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, and very sad. Probert was the best enforcer to ever play the game, and it was fascinating to get an inside look at his career. As with most enforcers he ran into his troubles outside the game, and knowing that it wasn't going to end well made his story bittersweet.
H Wesselius
Could've been much better -- the co-author should have been more active. There's very little insight into the enforcer role, drugs and alcohol in the NHL, or actually anything. Essentially Probert comes across as a stoned/drunk Don Cherry.
Nov 10, 2011 Kristin rated it it was ok
While his story was semi interesting, the book itself jumped all around and seemed at times out of sequence. I could have written the same book in 5 pages, in and out of rehab, fights, drives fast cars, the end.
Sep 14, 2015 Carrie rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Had some idea of the addictions he faced but no idea it was this prevalent. Really interesting to read all of his struggles within the league and how his alcoholism affected it.
Jan 12, 2011 margaret rated it liked it
Wow, what a colored life!! So much talent.....such a sad ending (or beginning)
May 03, 2014 Grace rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hockey fans only
Bob Probert was a man.

He wouldn't have you think him otherwise and he damn well wouldn't want you remembering him as anything more than a regular human being, one with their own foibles, demons and dark sides, but also love, loyalty and grit.

And yet, most remembers him as the man that put real fear into the hearts of his opponents, both in his play and in his fists.

This book was largely narrated, if not penned, by Probert and the style in which is story's voice is found is indicative of his la
Bookworm Smith
Aug 26, 2014 Bookworm Smith rated it really liked it
I know Bob Probert, not in the literary sense, but in the hockey world. He was big when I was a pre-teen and followed hockey religiously, even the fighting side. Bob Probert was the ultimate enforcer of the time. Which is why I was a bit surprised to see his name on this book, as the author. Then I saw the fine print, with help from Kristie McLelland Day. Then I though, what kind of story would Bob have to tell. A few fisticuffs tales? Then I remembered, the off ice antics; the suspensions for d ...more
Jamie Matheson
Oct 01, 2013 Jamie Matheson rated it it was ok
Bob Probert was the “ultimate” NHL tough guy in an era when the National Hockey League gained tremendously popularity and fighting being allowed within the sport was a controversial topic. This autobiography includes many anecdotal stories about Probert’s fights with many of his “arch” enemies on the ice but also focuses upon Probert’s battles with his addictions to alcohol and drugs. In my opinion, the novel gave too much attention to the “gory details’ surrounding his addictions and party-life ...more
Jan 07, 2012 Ad rated it liked it
a brawly fist a' cuff haymaker drinkin womanizing kind've guy however somehow through it all i think he came full circle and dealt with some of his inner demons in the end before his death at age 45. He was lucky to have had a major league career with all his legal problems little lone not to have killed anyone with his antics. He was fortunate to have such a suppotive wife for thirteen years. Overall I liked the guy. It is also neat to see behind the curtain of people living in a world of a hig ...more
Jun 23, 2015 Paige rated it really liked it
This book was very well written. It wasn't boring like most stories about athletes are. It showed how Bob faced issues of his own and how human he really was. This story demonstrated how vulnerable we all really are. Rest in peace Bob, I hope you're scoring up there on the ice rink in the sky.
Shannon White
Nov 15, 2014 Shannon White rated it liked it
Tough guy is an honest account of Probie's life. Unfortunately it seems that Bob never really did clue in to the consequences of his actions. The book, as expected, is not very well written however since I grew up in Windsor during his peak hockey years, I was entertained -- probably more than others would be.
Dec 28, 2015 Dave rated it it was ok
was a decent read....but i lost a lot of respect for him. his attitude was just "meh...whatever". he had it all...talked about how much he loved his wove and kids...but did nothing to show it. pissed away his life....and seemingly without remorse. ?
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