Saturday, April 27
Book Review: King Leary
Author: Paul Quarrington
Summary: Percival Leary was once the King of the Ice, one of hockey's greatest heroes. Now, in the South Grouse Nursing Home, where he shares a room with Edmund "Blue" Hermann, the antagonistic and alcoholic reporter who once chronicled his career, Leary looks back on his tumultuous life and times: his days at the boys' reformatory when he burned down a house; the four mad monks who first taught him to play hockey; and the time he executed the perfect "St. Louis Whirlygig" to score the winning goal in the 1919 Stanley Cup final.
Now all but forgotten, Leary is only a legend in his own mind until a high-powered advertising agency decides to feature him in a series of ginger ale commercials. With his male nurse, his son, and the irrepressible Blue, Leary sets off for Toronto on one last adventure as he revisits the scenes of his glorious life as King of the Ice.
My Rating: 4/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: Another book, that didn't work out well for me. While it wasn't a bad book by any stretch, this one failed to grab my attention, keeping my attention and nor did it make me want to read more or read anything else by the author.
I just couldn't get into the book. I didn't find the main plot to be one I wanted to read about, and felt that it didn't exactly come together well. While it worked at showing an old man rambling on about his glory days, I felt that it just didn't get executed well enough to make it a good read. I also failed to see the humour in this book. There was the odd part, but mostly I found it to be a very dry read.
The main protagonist, Leary, wasn't enjoyable to read about, he was a character that lacked a lot of likeable qualities and didn't stand out from other characters in similar books. None of the character really came out, they were rather one-sided and dull, making the character driven novel, rather difficult to get through.
In the end, this book didn't work out for me.
Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure I would. It's different than what I normally read, and others seem to enjoy it, but it's not a book I'd tell others to read.
What to read next: The Best Laid Plans (for the "humour" element), And the four other nominees for the 2008 Canada Reads: Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson, From the Fifteenth District by Mavis Gallant, Icefields by Thomas Wharton Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI