Saturday, December 08, 2012

Tal Pinchevsky, "Breakway"

I'm a big fan of escape literature -- not escapist literature, but literature about clever escapes from prison camps and totalitarian regimes. So I approached Tal Pinchevsky's new book, Breakway, with some anticipation. It's the story of hockey greats from behind the Iron Curtain who gave up their homelands to play in the NHL: people like the Stastny brothers, Petr Klima, and Sergei Fedorov.

Of course, these players didn't have to endure anything like the conditions of World War II POW's, and the contracts they got when they arrived gave them unprecedented riches, which they sometimes squandered on alcohol. So I don't really have much sympathy for them to begin with.

Nevertheless, some of the stories are interesting and, not being a hockey fan, I hadn't heard any of them before. Unfortunately, the writing is not very good and the editor didn't bother to fix the problems: misspellings, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences can be found throughout.

Bottom line: 2.5 stars out of 5, suitable mostly for hockey fans.


Eohippus said...

I think Papillon was one of my favourite reads ever. Thanks for reminding me, maybe I'll try another breakway book.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

To whoever suggested The Forgotten 500, thanks for the tip! I approved your comment and then it magically vanished - sorry!

KeithB said...

That was me.

Another good one is the story of the "Great Locomotive Chase" during the Civil war - A failed union effort to cut the supply lines of the South in half. I recommend "Stealing the General":