Fury: Inside the Life of Theoren Fleury

Fury: Inside the Life of Theoren Fleury

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On one level, this is the personal story of Theoren Fleury, the diminutive captain of the NHL’s Calgary Flames. On another level, this book examines how a pro athlete comes to be famous, and what it means. It is a story about commercialism fed by adulation, about power and riches and the presumed and real virtues of the star players who acquire them. On yet another level it is about what Ken Dryden called simply “The Game.”

Theoren Fleury received global recognition during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey by single-handedly winning two games for Canada and then by playing in his first All-Star Game in the following winter. Physically, Fleury is the smallest player in the NHL, yet, so intense is he, so quick, so skilled at faking and scoring, and so undaunted by the over 400 pounds of onrushing defencemen that routinely bar his way, that his coach and teammates have chosen him to be team captain. He is now a millionaire. He is also an intriguing combination of country boy, quick-witted city kid, ruthless pro athlete, father and family man, and reluctant, soft-spoken but sharp-tongued media hero.

In Fury, Andrew Malcolm follows Fleury through an entire hockey season. Yet this is more than a fan’s inside look at a major hockey star: it is also an intriguing, revealing, funny, and exciting look at Canada’s game by a gifted reporter and award-winning writer.

Veteran reporter Andrew H. Malcolm profiles the dualistic nature of hockey--its beauty and brutality--as embodied by the NHL's smallest player, blank-toothed Theoren Fleury. Fury is a thorough, moving account of the Calgary Flames's lovable and feisty all-star that puts the reader on the ice and in the locker room of a sport that usually chews up players of Fleury's size. The former New York Times Canadian bureau chief knows his setting intimately--whether it's the roar of the crowd during a professional game or the deep silence of an abandoned ice rink somewhere out on the Ottawa plains. And with a mixture of curiosity and empathy, he investigates the driving force that allows a 5-foot, 6-inch, 160-pound man to compete in a rink full of larger, hard-charging adversaries. Besides chronicling a season with little Fleury and the Flames, however, Malcolm also portrays the enduring culture and tradition that is North American hockey. The result is a thoughtful understanding of--and appreciation for--the scrappy Theo Fleury and the deeply woven Canadian hockey obsession.

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