October 29, 2008

The Ultimate Book Of Hockey Lists

The Hockey News has two new books on store shelves for 2008. One is Habs Heroes: The Definitive List of the 100 Greatest Canadiens Ever. The other is the focus of today's review, The Ultimate Book of Hockey Lists

Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

Over at my main website, GreatestHockeyLegends.com, the most popular regularly weekly feature is Top Ten Tuesdays, by far. So I can totally understand The Hockey News' thinking here with 260 some pages full of top tens.

The best of this. The most of that. The worst. The craziest. The most memorable. And lots and lots of wacky stories. The Hockey News had a top ten sneak peak from the book a few weeks back on their website.

A lot of the subjects are common and tired, you know, the best goalie, the top players by country, the biggest rivalries and the best NHL cities. Pretty pedestrian stuff.

But there are some real fun arguments too. I especially enjoyed Jaw Dropping Moments, Worst Injuries, Most Bizarre Owners, Most Celebrated Goals and of course the Top Ten Hockey Books, even though neither of mine were included!

They also included the Top Ten Playoff Beards, but someone should have told them how popular the Top Ten Mustaches feature would have been.

Senior Editor Sam McCaig and Editor In Chief Jason Kay have produced a fun book that will no doubt stir more than a few arguments and memories as hockey fans remember all the great history in this book. It is far from a classic, but a good solid production. They could have allowed more space to defend their selections, though.

My general complaint about books by The Hockey News remains, however. And, as I always say, I'm probably guilty of being too nit-picky with my beef. THN puts out wonderfully produced and laid-out magazines every week, in brilliant colour. That expectation is not always met in their books, and I think this is fair comment with this title as well.

Instead of brilliant colour, the book is strikingly dark. There's lots of photos, all in black and white. There is also a lot of use of shading and bolding, contributing to the uninviting feel that is far from expected from The Hockey News.

If we didn't already know the answer (profit margins) we would wonder why they did not just release this as a special interest magazine like they did with the Greatest Masks Of All Time.

That complaint aside, this book offers a lot of fun, a few arguments and a nice stocking stuffer idea for the hockey lover on your list.


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