Selected as the CBC Canada Reads Winner! “A dazzling display of fictional footwork The author has not written just another hockey novel;. Paul Quarrington’s novel, Galveston, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; King Leary won the CBC’s Canada Reads competition and the. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Quarrington is the Canadian author of the King Leary – Kindle edition by Paul Quarrington. Download it once and.

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Preview — King Leary by Paul Quarrington. King Leary by Paul Quarrington. Now, in the South Grouse Nursing Home, where he shares a room with Edmund “Blue” Hermann, the antagonistic and alcoholic reporter who once chronicled his career, Leary looks back on his tumultuous life and times: Louis Whirlygig” to score the winning goal in the Stanley Cup final.

Now all but forgotten, Leary is only a legend in his own mind until a high-powered advertising agency decides to feature him in a series of ginger ale commercials. With his male nurse, his son, and the irrepressible Blue, Leary sets off for Toronto on one last adventure as he revisits the scenes of his glorious life as King of the Ice. Paperbackpages. Published November 28th by Anchor Canada first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

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Lists with This Book. Whenever I can’t sleep I often play a game. I go through the alphabet thinking of novelists I have read. Men first, then women and then, if it is a really bad night, children’s authors. Most letters i have no problem with but ‘Q’, now that is always a struggle.

So I hit upon a cunning plan. Going to the Cinema bookshop, an enormous, cavernous place with endless bookcases and shelves stretching over two floors I decided to find a couple of Q’s. Paul Quarrington, of whom I had never heard, was one and this was the book i bought. But the mechanism for changing and challenging seems so pail that i can’t be arsed.

Now you know why I picked up the book you may be interested as to what it was like. That is what it is.

King Leary – Wikipedia

It is funny and poignant and pauk and bizarre and unsettling and, most apul, Quarrington respects his readers. By that i mean he does not spoon feed his story all the time, he demands that we listen and concentrate and think.

He doesn’t signal every joke with huge unsubtle kint but will sometimes leave one ticking away in the narrative and it is only two or three pages later that the pay-off will explode in the paragraph and the cleverness of development becomes clear. The story is related by an old man living in residential care.

He was a top ice hockey player and he tells, through klng and encounters in his mind with long dead friends, his adventures and misadventures.

We see everything through his eyes and as the story develops he becomes, quite clearly, an unreliable narrator. Not so much because he is untruthful but because he is blind to aspects of life which did not fit in with his plan or understanding. Gradually, more and more of the hinterland of the story is explored or, ,ing you will, the pencil sketches he has drawn of others’ lives are gradually given shade and depth and perspective and this comes through encounters with his ‘fallen comrades’ arriving like Banquo’s ghost to chaallenge the equilibrium of his old age.


Quarrington has a lovely ability to describe the natural world Sometimes the canal would be whitecapped and rough, and I wouldn’t think the wind was up and blowing over a storm, I’d think the water was angry. In England, if something is excellent, someone might say ‘That is the dog’s bollocks’, Quarrington has his hero saying Its the puppy’s butt For some reason this, as they say, really tickled my fancy.

Anyway the book is a moving exploration of friendship and how this can blind us to truth, of ambition and how this can allow us to betray friendship and of how destructive our words can be. Quarrington their knock on effect can resound a long while after they have stopped being shouted or spoken or even whispered.

Quarrington does all this without letting up on the humour. Gallows humour I suppose it could be called but it creates an atmosphere in the narrative which unnerves. At the heart of the novel is the relationship of Leary, our narrator, and his two best friends, both now leayr dead. Gradually, piece by piece and detail by detail the true history of events unfolds.

From early pahl in the novel Quarrington unsettles his reader. You know there is something lurking in the back story and as it dawns on you, you realize you knew it deep down all the time.

His talent is that he makes us, his readers, discover this inevitable truth at the same time as Leary faces up to it. Its as if we are walking the journey with him.

His unreliability as a narrator thus becomes the great strength of the novel. Leary is not a liar but quuarrington coward. He has fought against facing life because in facing it there would be, and indeed kin, too many kinv crying out for answers. The ghosts which rock his security are not wraiths from beyond the grave but his long buried conscience.

This book is, to coin a phrase, ‘the puppy’s butt’. View all 4 comments. Oct 23, Bonnie rated it liked it Shelves: I am revising my review slightly, because when I last wrote, I was lary “under the weather”.

Although I grew up playing hockey, on frozen ponds, mainly, with the neighbourhood boysI have never really enjoyed watching, or reading, leaty the sport. This book is, of course, not necessarily for a Hockey fan. To quote a friend: So, in the end, I’d say, give it a “shot”! View all 5 comments.

This book won Canada Reads inbut surprisingly it does not seem to be qquarrington read. Alcoholism is also a recurring theme. Mar 10, Pooker rated it it was amazing Shelves: Read in for Canada Reads, my review from January, Oh gosh, I am so glad I read this book.

Notwithstanding that I haven’t yet read the other Canada Reads candidates, I’m quite prepared to say King Leary should be “la premier etoile”! Percival “King” Leary is an old man read “one foot poised to kick it” and former hockey legend.

As I was reading I did wonder for a while whether he really was a legend “in the books” or whether the highlight reels existed only in his laery mind because Quarribgton in for Canada Reads, my review from January, As I was reading I did wonder for a while whether he really was a legend “in the books” quarringron whether the highlight reels existed only in his own mind because I suspect that almost every Canadian male is or coulda been a hockey legend.


But it appears he really was “King of the Ice”. We find out that he has been trotted out and honoured at the Gardens more than once and he is in the Hall of Fame.

Now, however, quarrnigton is confined to a nursing home reliving his glory days in kjng own mind and by spouting off to whomever will listen. One day though he is contacted by an ad agency who wants to feature King Leary in a ginger ale commercial and so we are off to Toronto with the King and his wacky entourage his nurse, his ancient reporter roommate, his “loser” son and a couple of ghosts from the past to relive those glory days.

King Leary’s adventure pxul both incredibly funny and incredibly sad. Lewd and bawdy, thoughtful and heartwarming. The King had his moments of glory, scoring winning goals, perfecting his signature move, moments in the sun. But of course there were costs and insults. As Canadians we know the history of our national sport, the drinking, carousing, corruption, the evolution of the game itself, the road trips, the trades, loyalties and loneliness, shame and glory.

So all of Leary’s memories ring very true. It is a hockey story but it is much more than that. It is also a story of redemption. Reserved for the Canada Day release challenge unless I can’t help myself from foisting it on someone else as a “must read”.

King Leary by Paul Quarrington | : Books

Quarrrington think it makes for a great Canada Reads book. I found myself reading into it all sorts of things that I have no idea whether the author intended Clay Bors Clinton as our neighbour to the south for example. Right or wrong, thought provoking. Mar 28, Cort rated it really liked it. This book was chosen as the “Canada Reads” selection. Each year, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation invites four or five noteworthy figures quarrungton Canadian arts and letters to nominate a favorite book, the only rule being that the volume must reflect Canadian culture and values.

The merits of each book are debated, often quite vigorously, quarrinfton a quarington of radio programs, until one is selected that year’s Canada Reads winner. The goal is to have every citizen of the nation read the book, in h This book was chosen as the “Canada Reads” selection. The goal is to have every citizen of the nation read the book, in hopes that it will generate discussion and debate, increasing the sense of community in the nation. Can you imagine, millions of people earnestly talking about a book?

I know, we already have this. But I ain’t interested in reading what Oprah tells me to read. And sure, sure, the selection process might sound like The Final Four for nerds, but it beats “American Idol”. And yes, what I am saying is that things are better in Canada, and that Americans are a bunch of lazy, intellectually atrophied cementheads. I give you “The Family Guy”. It’s a remarkable suarrington, in turns hilarious and heartbreaking.