April 29, 2013

Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life In The Shadow Of Mr. Hockey by Mark Howe and Jay Greenberg

Growing up in the shadows of a famous father can't be easy. But when you are an aspiring hockey player and your father is the greatest player the game has ever known, it must be a dark, dark shadow.

Mark Howe, with the help of Jay Greenberg, tells us all about that shadow, his dad Gordie Howe, and his own Hall of Fame life in hockey in his autobiography: Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life In The Shadow of Mr. Hockey.

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

Perhaps best known as the son of “Mr. Hockey,” Mark Howe managed to emerge from the shadow cast by his father to achieve greatness in his own right and in this book he vividly describes his unparalleled life in hockey.

A U.S. Olympian at age 16 and a four-time NHL All-Star, Howe was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011. A year later, Mark Howe’s number was retired by the Philadelphia Flyers, where he starred for 10 seasons in the 1980s.

After earning his 1972 silver medal for the U.S. Olympic team, Mark joined his father—who had just come out of retirement—and brother Marty with the Houston Aeros of the upstart World Hockey Association; Mark shares memories of playing alongside his father and brother for seven seasons.

Gordie Howe’s Son follows the rest of Mark’s career, through the injuries, trades to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, and experiences at the Stanley Cup Finals. A one-of-a-kind story, this autobiography shares never-before-told stories about hockey’s most beloved family.

Mark Howe may be one of the most underrated and most under-appreciated hockey talents of our time, thanks largely to Gordie's shadow. I was really excited to see Mark come out with his own book, hoping that he would get some more deserved recognition. But Howe spends a lot of time in the book in his father's shadow. Obviously Gordie is a significant part of Mark's life, and Mark had perhaps the most unique vantage point of arguably hockey's most famous man. It is great to see those stories, but I was really hoping Mark would come out with his own voice a lot more. It is almost as if, after all these years, Mark is comfortable in the shadow.

Personally I really enjoyed parts of the book that did not include Gordie so much. That means much of the first half of the book is about Gordie as much as anyone - Mark's youth, his rise in hockey and his time in the WHA and introduction to the NHL, all with Gordie by his side.

The first taste of Mark sharing a hockey experience without Gordie comes in the 1972 Olympics. Later in the book Mark talks more about his own life, especially the scary impaling injury and his time with the Philadelphia Flyers, as Gordie was no longer on the ice. Mark of course joined the Detroit Red Wings of all teams late in his career, reintroducing Gordie as a main character again.

Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life In The Shadow of Mr. Hockey is a solid read, though it is a fairly pedestrian jock bio. I spent a lot of the book wishing Mark would find more of his own voice rather than sticking to the family's tightly protected image of Gordie. There is certainly no controversies to be found in this text, not that I'm looking for any. But I had to hoped Mark would be a little more introspective about his reality.

We all know Mark Howe (and the rest of his family, for that matter) have long had to deal with the shadows of his famous father. It is a shadow that Mark can't even escape in his own autobiography.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP