Keon and Me: My Search for the Lost Soul of the Leafs

Dave Bidini. Penguin Canada/Viking (Canadian dist. Penguin), $30 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-06647-6
Rock band Rheostatics co-founder Bidini's first published piece on hockey was a poem published when the author was 11 years old. He has now written 12 books on his dual passions of music and sports. In this, his third hockey book, Bidini confronts the grim truth that Toronto's teams are, as a group, laughably dismal, and the most wretched of all are the once-great Maple Leafs. Two generations of Canadians have been born since the Leafs last won a Stanley Cup; this sad truth unites Leafs fans of all classes. Although the question "Why are there Leaf fans at all?" seems a worthy one, Bidini chooses instead to focus the long, painful fall of the team as seen through the lens of the legendary Dave Keon, the Leafs' magnificent center whose long years of masterful leadership were rewarded by hostility and cruel persecution by the malevolent Leafs owner Howard Ballard, that great villain of Canadian hockey. Artfully intertwined with Bidini's persecution by a cruel bully in school—any hope of official intervention as hopeless as the Leaf's ambitions of winning the Cup—Bidini's work of creative non-fiction is a must read. Agent: Samantha Haywood, Transatlantic Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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