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Finnie Walsh

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  224 ratings  ·  35 reviews
"Finnie Walsh will forever remain in my daily thoughts, not only because of the shocking circumstances of his absurd demise, but because he managed to misunderstand what was truly important even though he was right about almost everything else." So begins Steven Galloway’s critically acclaimed first novel. The story is told by Paul Woodward, Finnie's best friend and the on ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 6th 2006 by Raincoast Books (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  224 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Crystal Allen
Jun 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone young and old alike
My friend recommended this book to me. I thought she was crazy. It's about little boys who like hockey. I'm not a hockey fan and I didn't think I would be able to relate to these hockey obsessed little boys. Was I ever wrong. This may be my favorite coming of age story ever. The relationship between Paul and Finnie is so great that anyone will be able to see themself and their best friend in these characters. I've recommended this book to countless people who have come back and said how much the ...more
Richard Murphy
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd book I have read by Steven Galloway and I really hope it will not be the last. Whilst not quite as good as the Cellist of Sarajevo (although not many books are) this is still a cracking little book.

It basically tells the story of Paul Woodward who lives in a quiet town in Canada and befriends the local rich kid Finnie Walsh who then grow up together, become Hockey players together and continues to tell the story of both of their families and all the things that revolve them.

The k
...more
Alysa
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost wish I cared more about hockey because there were tons of metaphors and foreshadowing that did nothing for me.
A neat debut though, and I can trace the lovely writing style to Galloway’s newer works.
Hanne Armstrong
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read the Cellist of Sarajevo, loved it, and took Finnie Walsh from the library as soon as I could. It's Galloway's first novel.
And I was mesmerised, right from the get-go.
The extra-ordinary, the extra-sensory, are effortlessly woven in with the mundane and the normal, making a word-fabric that's compelling and credible.
This is about so much more than kids growing up, but Galloway never belabours his ideas, never makes them clunky or intrusive.
The only negative thing I might say, and it's not n
...more
Sally
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canlit
This book was fairly good until about halfway through; then it just totally fell apart for me. The writing became rushed, boring, and amateurish and (as a result) lost its believably. The sub-plot of the missing arms was awful and strained. I felt like I was wasting my time in finishing it.
S
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read especially with the hockey....interesting how it consumes people's lives. Loved the dad character who read every national geographic and the fellow who kept having his prosthetic limb stolen. Good characters. ...more
Jessica
Good quick read
Joan Barton
It was almost really good . If you enjoy hockey references you will enjoy this book especially if you are Canadian!
Melanie Hepburn
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5. A delightful read to start. Didn’t particularly think the ending suited the first 100 pages.
Jessica H
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school-books
May I just say- I did not expect to like this book this much.

I mean, of course I had high-ish hopes. But I mean, come on, any book you have to read for Grade 10 English can't be that great can it? Well apparently it can.

This book gets 4.9 stars for me. Or maybe 4.99 stars...
What I mean to say is that I didn't read it in one day, it was not as genius as Divergent nor is it the new Hunger Games (although I doubt anything will be). With that being said, I really thoroughly enjoyed this book and the
...more
Clement Shum
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel “Finnie Walsh” by Steven Galloway had many pleasure and interest elements. These elements were mainly about Finnie and why he did what he did. Finnie was definitely an enjoyable character to read about in the book. He would do any mischievous things that people would not know about. Like when Finnie was the one that stole his friend’s fake arm, to teach him that he is better off without it, since it was doing more harm to him than it was doing good. He was also a very protective, unde ...more
Connie D
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming novel about two boys and their families in a mill town in Canada, following Paul, the narrator, and his best friend Finnie Walsh through their friendship, starting at age seven. The boys bond over hockey, but this book is about friendship, family, tragedy, guilt, repercussions, eccentricities, love, and loyalty. It also has magical elements: foreseeing the future and making choices based on what is foreseen. It's also about dealing with Ahabs and other dangers, including crazy ...more
Taylor O’Shea
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
There is something about this book. It felt so friendly, so affably inviting, welcoming. Something about the genuineness of the characters and their relationships with one another. Something about the progression of the plot through out the childhood and teenage years of two boys. Something about watching them grow and prosper. Something about this book lead me to read it in a matter of two days. Maybe it was my undying love for hockey. Or maybe it was Finnie Walsh telling her to persist. Whatev ...more
Lucile Barker
1. Finnie Walsh by Steven Galloway
Paul Woodward, the narrator of the story, is a working-class boy, while Finnie’s father owns half the town, including the mill where Paul’s father works. Both boys are hockey mad and work with each other to improve their skills. After a freak accident in the mill (Mr. Woodward loses an arm), the Woodwards are struggling financially, and Paul has a new little sister, Sarah, whose presence is felt throughout the book. Paul’s older sister, Louise, and his father’s
...more
Crystal Allen
Jun 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone young and old alike
My friend recommended this book to me. I thought she was crazy. It's about little boys who like hockey. I'm not a hockey fan and I didn't think I would be able to relate to these hockey obsessed little boys. Was I ever wrong. This may be my favorite coming of age story ever. The relationship between Paul and Finnie is so great that anyone will be able to see themself and their best friend in these characters. I've recommended this book to countless people who have come back and said how much the ...more
Debbie
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love Steven Galloway! This book is so unlike the Cellist of Sarajavo (which is probably one of my top 20 books). It is the story of small town Canada in the 80's. A coming of age story of two boys, one the son of a rich widower and the other the poor son from a loving family, and their love of hockey. This book was a little A Prayer for Owen Meany and a little A Christmas Story, without being a rip-off of either. It had the same black humor mixed with bizarre episodes in the narrative. The end ...more
Mel
Jul 28, 2011 added it
I loved this book not only because it kept me awake reading long after I should have gone to bed, but also because it is about the purity of sport and the way that children can be insightful. Always a fan of a novel that gives a respectful voice to child characters. This is just such a pure story and articulates complex emotions really well.
Ellen
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a nice story - well told. Not an "amazing" book, for me at least, but I believe this was one of Galloway's first books, so you can tell from this that the man can write. I think, though, if I had read this one first, I might not have pushed ahead to read his other books, which really would have been a shame. ...more
Jen
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming of Age stories are always appealing to me, and this was a good one... though it revolved around hockey and young boys. Two things I know little about. It was also a little too Young Adult in its execution, but still a good solid story. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving was an obvious influence for it.
Lotte
Jan 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This read-aloud was enjoyed by Dave, Davy, as well as me. The little we knew about hockey was greatly increased, but that's not really what this book is about. We found the characters likable and their freindships endearing. ...more
Mike
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-15
He must have read John Knowles' "A Separate Peace" before writing this. Creative, unique, rivetting. You need to have hockey blood in your veins before the true depth of this piece really hits home. But for the rest of the world, it's still a darn good read. ...more
April*procrastinator and proud*
This book was good, I did enjoy it. Well, up until the end. The ending really sucked.

*spoiler*
I mean couldn't Finnie have died with some dignity. Did he really have to become obese, and a drunk. Was that really necessary for him to die for hockey.
...more
Maren Gabaldon
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this for English.. and well I was kinda surprised I like it :D OMG there were some times when I was like HAHAHHA I KNEW IT ALL ALONG. I thought it was pretty good, but FINNIE THOUGH AT THE END UGGGHHHHH
Monique
Aug 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
100% fantastic read. There are characters here for everyone to be intrigued by and there's hockey. I really like this book. ...more
Shannon
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story. I love it every time I read it.
Carol
Jun 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Felt like I was reading a John Irving book - all that was missing was the bear!
Chose it because I loved his "Cellist of Sarajevo"
But a sweet, easy read - nothing too deep.
...more
Donna
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Kept me up late reading. Coming of age story with great character development and a hockey theme, but not just for boys.
Mary
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful characters. This is a short, fast read packed with wisdom. It makes me want to read Moby Dick again!
Bailey Gamache
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books
it was a very good book I didn't get board of reading it. I don't like hockey but I thought this book was amazing. very different but good. ...more
Angela
wow, liked this A LOT more than I expected. One of the best books read for school.
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The friendship between Finnie and Paul have some change? 1 8 Nov 19, 2012 08:36PM  

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Galloway was born in Vancouver, and raised in Kamloops, British Columbia. He attended the University College of the Cariboo and the University of British Columbia. His debut novel, Finnie Walsh, was nominated for the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award. His second novel, Ascension, was nominated for the BC Book Prizes' Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, and has been translated into numerous langu ...more

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