Gratoony the Loony: The Wild, Unpredictable Life of Gilles Gratton

Gilles Gratton and Greg Oliver. ECW (Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar, Canadian dist.), $16.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-77041-337-5
This quirky memoir by Gratton, one of the most offbeat goaltenders to play in the NHL (assisted here by Oliver, a sports author and PW reviewer), transports readers back to the 1970s. Gratton was known for his quickness in the crease and for wearing one of the first painted face masks in hockey. Astrology and meditation were touchstones in his life, and he occasionally told coaches it wasn’t in his stars to play a game. Ideas about conditioning and nutrition were a long way off, so Gratton recalls players consuming a lot of bad food, alcohol, and drugs; he thought nothing of playing a game for the New York Rangers after three Big Macs, fries, and 10 Cokes. Gratton’s stories of life in the NHL are the best part of the book, and he doesn’t hide the negative stories in his glove, unabashedly naming names. The narrative bogs down when he leaves the NHL and devotes himself to transcendental meditation and yoga. The book as a whole is honest, open, and fun, and it’s perfect for hockey fans, especially those who remember the ’70s. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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