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Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,192 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Documenting his notorious career with the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks, Bob Probert details in this autobiography how 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 ja ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Triumph Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,192 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Nov 28, 2010 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.
Tim Hickey
Jun 21, 2011 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
Oct 24, 2010 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.
Nov 23, 2010 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.
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Holstad
Sep 23, 2015 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
Walt Murray
Apr 30, 2012 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 07, 2013 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
Nov 27, 2012 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
Cody Lasko
Jul 12, 2013 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
James Campbell
Jan 08, 2013 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 wi
Jim Herendeen
Sep 16, 2013 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 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 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
John Devlin
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Taken from audio accounts after Probert's death, the book speaks in a no nonsense style that captures the man like he's sitting across from you. The hockey insights into the role of fighting are spot on, but the rest of the memoir is as reflective as a vampire staring into a mirror. Probert likes guys who give him breaks -- those who let him get out of his many run ins w/the law over drugs, drinking, and the car crashes that follow. Bad guy are those who want to stick it to him over that same be ...more
Hugh Egener
Feb 05, 2012 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
Feb 07, 2014 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.
Jun 30, 2011 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.
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.
Matt Fernando
Mar 27, 2014 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.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Wow, what a colored life!! So much talent.....such a sad ending (or beginning)
Sep 14, 2015 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.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wow, Probert was before my time as a hockey fan. I was expecting to like him. I was really disappointed with this book; he's SUCH a 'bro'. I.e. A douchebag who takes no responsibility for his actions. He was such a dick in his personal life. That scene where a judge let him off EXTREMELY easily with one night in jail and he still smarted off? Get. Fucked. Hard. Entitled white Boy shithead. Seriously! He whines about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Ex. Talking about a reporter "we never got along because he ...more
Joe Michalak
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Guess I've been having trouble sleeping this week because this is the third hockey bio that I've knocked out this week.

Probie's time on the Wings was a bit before my time with the wings - it is obvious, though, the impression that he's had on many of the players that I watched growing up, like Joe Kocur, and Darren McCarty. Reading the suite of books (even including Cheli's) has been a case of don't meet your heroes in a way. But on the other hand, you gain a new appreciation for the humanity o
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
RIP Bob Probert. I know from playing in the minor leagues that someone that fights this much is a different kind of person. This is a sad tale about a tough guy with many demons that was unable to control his temptations. I am curious what his brain looked like, not sure if they took a look, but sure there was some damage - likely increased his depression, anxiety, etc. Retiring after any high level sport is difficult, as in many ways, your life has already peaked. I feel for his wife and childr ...more
Patricia K Radford
A very honest look into the life of a talented hockey great.

This book highlights his life and love of hockey while showing just how hard the demons that he battled were for him. I love that he got to open up about his journey in his words. He was a talented hockey player and I believe his story needed to be told it was told by him with an honest prospective. Detroit's hockey fans know the public persona this book shows the private person is many ways.
Thank you for sharing.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
My brother brother recommended this to me, saying "It's about how he didn't really want to be the enforcer, but they kept making him do that". That might have been mentioned, but this is more about how amazing some human bodies are that they can endure the kind of abuse he put his body through, and still play in the NHL. I enjoyed reading about the various teams in the OHL, and Red Wings players I hadn't thought about since high school.
Jeffrey Shrigley
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the best books I can recommend anyone that wants to read about hockey. And I can’t for Detroit this book will captivate you and won’t let you put it down. This is the true story of one of the Hockey’s Greats. You will not be able to put this book down as it tells the word is fights in hockey as well in life.
Michael Beck
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a real page turner. If you are/were a Red Wings fan, especially during the 1980s, this book is a must read. Bob Probert's reputation as a tough guy and his problems with drugs were well known but you've never heard the story told the way only Bob Probert himself can tell it. Be forewarned, there is a lot of profanity in this book. If that doesn't bother you, read this book.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Robert Alan Probert was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward. Probert played for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. While a successful player by some measures, including being voted to the 1987–88 Campbell Conference all-star team, Probert was best known for his activities as a fighter and enforcer, as well as being one half of the "Bruise Brothers" with t ...more