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Searching for Bobby Orr

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  651 ratings  ·  47 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, 304 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Knopf Canada (first published September 1st 2006)
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The Game by Ken DrydenOrr by Bobby OrrNavigating Youth Hockey by Ronald G. Levi Jr.The Rebel League by Ed WillesSearching for Bobby Orr by Stephen Brunt
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  651 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Mikey B.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Does the author find what he is searching for? Only partially.

Bobby was the hockey superstar of the mid-1960’s until his knees gave out in the mid-70’s. He was quite possibly the most elegant skater of the game and had remarkable speed. He would dominate and control the pace of a game. As Jean Beliveau said “Bobby was a meteor on ice”.

And very enigmatic off the ice – he didn’t like the limelight. Not much is said in this book on his current life – Bobby is approaching 70 now. He never returned,
Aug 04, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nick N.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was ok

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
Mar 27, 2012 rated it liked it
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
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Ted Haussman
Dec 07, 2014 rated it liked it

Better than 3 stars but not quite 4. Written well and it's a good overview of Orr's life from his rise to arguably one of the greatest hockey players to ever play the game to his fall due to injuries and financial mismanagement. Although I wished the book had been more about his play than the forces around his business life, I still learned a lot.

Growing up a Bruins fanatic, especially in the 1980s, my teenage years, that Bruins management (the miserly Harry Sinden and Jacobs) were to blame for
Lady ♥ Belleza
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
My best friend knows nothing about hockey. She does know who Bobby Orr is though.

The author comes right out and say it, 1CBobby Orr did not give his blessing on this book. 1D But he is of the opinion that Bobby might have if he hadn 19t been writing his own book about his life. The author honored Bobby 19s 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 19s friends refused to talk, others talked on conditio
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
really boring and overwritten. every time it mentions some random 3rd line teammate of orr's it gives a whole paragraph of background info on where that guy grew up and how he got into and out of pro hockey. like... the whole book is screaming out "if you don't like this you're not a true hardcore hockey fan because true hardcore hockey fans want to know the bare biographical information on Teddy Schultz from Lethbridge Alberta who played 3 games for California in the 70s and if you don't care a ...more
brian dean
Jul 30, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Anthony Taylor
Oct 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
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
Dale Stonehouse
Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Lewis M
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, sports, hockey
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.

Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Collin Insley
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating warts and all biography of the man many believe to be the greatest hockey player to ever live (certainly one of the most influential and revolutionary), "Searching for Bobby Orr," is by turns a time capsule that opens a door to times gone by, as well as a perfect guide to the events that forever changed both the business and game of professional hockey. Read it!
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although the depth of research kind of trailed off (disappeared?) post-1973, I still thought it was well worth the time for hockey/Bruins/#4 fans. The author does a very good job transporting you back to those years.
Ernest Martin
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found the writing style a bit odd but I found the book extremely interesting with the stories of what really happened as compared to what was released at the time of the events happening. Also, being from Oshawa, it was extra interesting for me reading of places, people and times that I knew.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Some good parts, but largely overwritten. Lots of trivial noise; learning what was meant by a "Bobby Orr" in the stripper trade was, well--eww. I guess if your subject won't give his blessing to your book, the author has to find his research sources somewhere else. . .
Jason Hatcher
Jul 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
An interesting biography of one of the greatest hockey players. Very interesting.
Tim Wendel
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book on the man who singlehandedly revolutionized the game.
Keith Powell
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I like Stephen Brunt's write style and brings a fresh approach to the Bobby Orr story. Makes this hockey hero human.
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic depiction of a fantastic athlete!
Jim Noyes
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
excellent story of probably greatest of all time. stayed out, pretty much, of off ice stuff, very well written
Russ Skinner
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
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.
Sydney Stype
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A pretty in-depth book considering that it was not an authorized biography. I wish there was more about Al Eagleson and what exactly happened, but there are other books about that.
Sam Lively
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Bobby Orr was, to say the least a very fascinating man. This book summed him up accurately and entertainingly
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