Don Reddick

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Canadian Book Review Annual


by Matt Hartman, 1994

Reddick's fanciful blend of fact and fiction makes this an entertaining hockey novel. In the winter of 1904, young George Mason, son of a Confederate soldier, works his way from his home in Boston to Dawson City to seek the mother lode. Arriving broke (having been cheated out of his savings), hungry, and exhausted, Mason trades on his one remaining commodity - his ability to skate like the wind. He is recruited to play with the Dawson City Seven by the legendary Joe Boyle, and, in December of 1904, the team makes the grueling journey to Ottawa to challenge the two-time defending champion, the Ottawa Silver Seven, for the Stanley Cup.

Mason's story is told in one lengthy flashback that tells of a life filled with adventure and danger. The heady blend of historical fact and invention keeps the story moving at a steady clip. The author has a gift for dialogue, especially for the rhythms of Canadian speech. Though Mason would hardly have defined it as such, male bonding is very much at the heart of his experience.

Reddick has produced a memorable book, one that includes a valuable chunk of Canadian hockey history.