November 3, 2009

Tough Guys by Eric Zweig

Last week I looked at Eric Zweig's new book Fever Season. In a very timely release, Zweig offered a novel based loosely upon actual events of 1919, specifically a deadly flu epidemic that cancelled the Stanley Cup finals and claimed the life of Bad Joe Hall.

Well it turns out Zweig has a second young adult release based upon that flu season. Through Lorimer Publishers Zweig has also released Tough Guys: Hockey Rivals in Times of War and Disaster.

Buy The Book - - Chapters -

Unlike Fever Season, Tough Guys is not a fictional piece. It is the actual story of Bad Joe Hall and Newsy Lalonde, two of the game's earliest superstars. The two had a fierce rivalry, drawing fans to their epic matches. World War I would force the bitter enemies to become teammates. Yet just when the fighting overseas comes to an end, the world is devastated by the Spanish Flu. The virus even effects the Stanley Cup and ultimately claims Hall's life.

It is a compelling story, but told with a young audience in mind.

"I can barely remember a time when I wasn't intrigued by this hardly known fact," says the author. "It was about 1973 when I first learned that the 1919 Stanley Cup final had been cancelled. I decided to write about the story behind the cancellation because I know my ten-year-old self would have loved this book."

Zweig adds "We like to think of our sports heroes as invincible, but Lalonde and Hall could not escape the suffering caused by Spanish Influenza which actually killed more people than the war. The book shows how strong the human spirit is and how rivalries, and even the cancellation of the Stanley Cup playoffs, become trivial in the face of human suffering.

Zweig is an experienced youth writer. He now has 10 kids or young adult titles published.


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