Canada Reads·Canadian

The Game

Ken Dryden's memoir was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award when it was first published in 1983.

Ken Dryden

This 1983 insider's look at Canada's favourite sport is still widely regarded as the best book about hockey ever written, and one of the best sports books of all time. Legendary Montreal Canadiens goaltender Ken Dryden, who led the team to six Stanley Cup championships, chronicles his 1979 season with the team in this Canadian classic. Along the way, he offers vivid portraits of hockey greats such as Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe and Scotty Bowman, and offers an insightful account of the life of a hockey player both on and off the ice.

The Game was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award when it was first published in 1983. It was a contender in Canada Reads 2012, when it was championed by Alan Thicke.

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From the book

I also thought about me: a little wearied, a little worn, tormented by doubts and feelings and lifelong illusions I can no longer reconcile, yet still able to find joy in the game. It is a different game from the one I played on a driveway twenty-five years ago, grown cluttered and complicated by the life around it, but guileless at its core and still recoverable from time to time. I felt good about that as I did about a lot of things, and as the night went on, I leaned back further and further in my chair and closed my eyes, deeply content. About 5:30 a.m., as the outside turned from black to gray, the feeling got tired, and I knew it was time to go to bed.

From The Game by Ken Dryden ©1983. Published by John Wiley & Sons.

Author interviews

Ken Dryden discusses The Game

40 years ago
Duration 9:18
In his acclaimed 1983 book, the former Montreal Canadiens goalie paints a picture of the NHL from the inside.
Shelagh's full-length conversation with Ken Dryden, author of 'The Game.'

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