Searching for Terry Punchout

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

I live in a hockey family and in a hockey part of the world, so as soon as I saw this title I couldn't request it fast enough... What fun - bittersweet and painful, just like hockey! It was like Beautiful Girls meets Slapshot - in the best possible way. As someone from a small town who also fled at the first opportunity - and also found herself back decades later - I could relate to this in ways that made me smile and tear up and laugh myself silly as I joined Adam on his journey home. Mine was a lot more sweet than bitter, but I could still totally relate to the clueless fascination he faced with those who had never left. The tale was well played and the characters were totally relatable and believable, even at their most ridiculous-seeming. This was a fun read with some life lessons snuck in (some subtly, some with the force of Punchout himself) for good measure...
Was this review helpful?
This was a delightful novel.  Granted, I do not know a lot about hockey but I really  enjoyed this. The characters were well defined and I really felt a connection with Adam.  Thanks to Invisible Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
When a story contains hockey, one last chance for redemption, a trip back home and some touching family moments, it is a story that is worth reading.  All of these and more are contained in Tyler Hellard’s excellent debut novel. 

Adam Macallister returns from Calgary to his small home town in Nova Scotia to write a story for Sports Illustrated about the player who holds the NHL record for most penalty minutes in a career, nicknamed Terry Punchout.  His real name is Terry Macallister – Adam’s father. Between the time his career ended and the unplanned reunion with his estranged son, Terry has returned to his hometown and lived at the local rink where he works driving the Zamboni and on general maintenance of the rink. 

On the trip back, Adam not only interviews his father and has many memories dredged up, both good and bad.  The reader will easily connect with Adam, not only for family matters but also when he reunites with his high school friends, a girl for whom he pined and now has a son, and his brief attempt at playing hockey again.  Terry is also a complex character and the reader will get into the mind of a hockey player who used to be considered an enforcer, even if fictional.

The story moves along nicely without going to fast or dragging along, making the reading very easy. Adam shares some interesting philosophical tidbits of life as well as comic lines.  One example of the funny side of the book is when Adam describes the phrase “out west”: “Out west is the very specific term people on the east coast apply to everything between Toronto and Japan.”  For an example of his philosophical views, try this one: “…I had to work out my own world view. What I came up with was this: everything in life is pass or fail.”

The story has a very interesting conclusion as well that will leave the reader satisfied and yet with questions at the same time.  It is a story that is recommended for readers who enjoy hockey fiction, stories of family and of memories.  It was certainly one of the best hockey fiction books I have read. 

I wish to thank Invisible Publishing for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
They say you can’t go home again but Searching for Terry Punchout proves otherwise. This deceptively simple story of a washed up former hockey star, a writing career on the brink, and what it means to be family is a knock out!
Was this review helpful?