Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard
The much-anticipated debut from the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter, Boy on Ice is a moving human story and behind-the-scenes account of a life lived in the glare of sporting fame.
The tragic death of hockey star Derek Boogaard at twenty-eight was front-page news across the country in 2011 and helped shatter the silence about violence and concussions in ...more
I didn't know very much about hockey before I read this but fortunately John Branch discusses the history of the hockey for readers like me. He also examines the reasons why violence began and then persisted in the sport.
Branch explains the unofficial position called 'enforcer' on the hockey team that, essentially, intimidates or pummels the opponents into submission.
I knew that ...more
Amazingly, it presents a history of fights in hockey (not fighting, but individual fights with details); the treatments with overuse of prescription pain killers and sleeping aids; the ignoring of pain, damage or concussion; the psychological and social costs to "enforcers" of knowing that each game could bring a fight that ends their careers, health or lives; the alcoholism and drug addictions; the refusal of hockey officials and their ...more
Because of his size and strength, Derek was encouraged by his coaches to become his team’s “enforcer” which meant that he would be involved in fights with ...more
This poignant book ...more
Derek Boogaard's tale is not one of great skill and ready-made success. Instead, his is the story of the shy giant, the oversized boy who sought acceptance, who took on the role of enforcer because coaches ...more
To say this is a heart-wrenching story, well, it just doesn’t say it enough. My heart ached for this man who was still so much a boy. He struggled ...more
Generally, on the plus side, the writing is very good and never gets in the way of the story; the book is a quick and easy read; Boogaard is a completely sympathetic figure; and the book gets better as it goes along. More specifically it did a very good job of putting the spotlight on the appalling over-prescribing of prescription drugs to professional hockey players and the league's indifference to the enforcement of its drug abuse ...more
Boy on Ice is also the story of a boy in a man's body. Boogaard had incredible insecurities that teams might find a younger player to replace him at any moment. He battled drug and alcohol addiction, and in the end lost. This ...more
The life of a professional hockey enforcer is a roller-coaster ride of physical and mental pain and John Branch takes readers on this wild ride as seen through the lens of Derek Boogaard's incredible, and all to short, life.
Highly recommended for hockey/sports fans and anyone who ...more
But the 20+ pills he took a day was unrelated?
The author and Boogaard family are obviously against fighting in hockey. I follow hockey and grew up playing but I only knew of the ‘Boogeyman’. I didn’t have an opinion really but thought good things about him. This book kinda made me change my opinion. He was an ...more
On the surface, Derek Boogaard's life is a tragic story of a young man from a small town who found fame in the NHL but then died from an addiction. In the hands of journalist John Branch, Boogaard's rise and fall reveals much more: a young man with a traumatic brain injury and a sports industry with no interest in the welfare of its players.
The gentle young Boogaard lacked grace and speed, and he was even more awkward on ice skates. But his towering ...more
It's a powerful read but a few things about the author's approach bothered me... He explains that he wants to avoid ...more
Derek Boogard wasn't a household name like other players but if you ever watched a game he was in, you would not miss him. He was a man among men on the ice as he was listed as being 6'7" and over ...more
I did think it was interesting that the ...more
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