Sunday, June 01, 2008

He got it...

"Rayzor's Edge" did not send America's book critics sprinting for their word processors to write lengthy commentaries on the hidden meanings and themes. A couple of bloggers seemed to like it, although one did think it was a little short (well, I can send you the original 80,000-word version instead of the 55,000-word version that actually got printed).

One writer, though, did write such a piece. I'm not surprised that Rob's hometown paper had a good review. I am a little surprised that it was extremely perceptive.

Here's the review from The Shield newspapers in Ontario.

Richard Turtle figured out the appeal in the story, at least to me. Rob Ray was never one of those guys who had a ton of talent in hockey and could afford to take anything for granted. He had to make a conscious decision to do what it took to make the next level. If it included getting punched in the face, so be it. If it meant helping his teammates on and off the ice, fine. If it meant sitting on the bench for all but 30 seconds a night, well, OK.

I particularly liked the line about the way the book reads like the man is sitting across the table from you, "telling it exactly the way he sees it." When I was covering the Sabres, I could count on Rob to give an honest, sometimes emotional reaction to events. That's why I didn't go to him constantly -- wanted to save him for the important moments.

Thanks for paying attention, Richard.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad I stumbled across this because I nearly forgot about this book (no offense!). I've been working on a list of Buffalo sports books I should have in my personal library.

For the Sabres I figured I'd pick up a copy of Punch Imlach's "Heaven and Hell in the NHL" for a look into their early years.

Anything you'd care to recommend? And what made you drop some 30k words from the final print?

Budd Bailey said...

Let's see -- what books cover Buffalo sports history? Sal of the Rochester D&C has written a couple of massive Bills' history books that cover the basics well. He also did a book on the '73 Sabres that was very solid.

The Sabres put out a book when they were moving out of the Aud that got chopped up because of space; John Muckler was dropped completely, even though he was GM. I did a book in Dec. '89 on the first 20 years of the history of the team. Ross Brewitt, who worked on the '96 book, did "Spin of the Wheel" on the early years of the franchise. Imlach's book is useful. Paul Wieland, former PR and TV executive, is coming out with a book in the fall on the early days.

For the Bills, people such as Steve Tasker and Joe D. have done short books on their days here. Chuck Knox's autobiography had some very interesting information on his time here. Jim Baker wrote a book on O.J. Simpson's first NFL year. Hard to find, I'll bet. Larry Felser has a book coming out in the fall on the AFL-NFL merger. Vic Carucci's book on Conrad Dobler was entertaining; I never read Jim Kelly's book.

As for Rayzor's Edge, the publisher asked that the book go from 80,000 words to 55,000 or so. It kept the price of the hardcover version down to $20.

Hope this helps.