cover image Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph

Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph

Travis Roy. Warner Books, $20 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-446-52188-8

This story of a young athlete whose career was ended by an accident on the hockey rink is an instance of a premature rush into print. Roy, at 20, the son of a hockey coach and playing his first game as a freshman at Boston University in 1995, was paralyzed from the neck down by a crash into the boards. After months in a hospital, rehabilitation at a center in Atlanta and adjustment to life in a wheelchair, he resumed his college studies. But therein lies the problem: writing with Swift (coauthor of My Sergei), the former athlete claims he's adjusted to his changed circumstances, but his behavior, as presented here, belies that assertion for he spends time in the locker room before and after BU home games, goes to a team Christmas party where the players exchange in-joke gifts (most not meaningful to him) and tries hanging out in the team's favorite sports bar, where his presence seems to be barely accepted. Though his is a nationally known story of personal courage, it would have been better to wait a few additional years to tell it for a more rounded take. (Jan.)