The Way It Looks from Here
In the first ever anthology of its kind, Canada's premier sportswriter -- Globe and Mail columnist and author of the internationally acclaimed bestseller Facing Ali -- brings together the best writing on sport in this country, with a strong contemporary flavour.
It's all here: classic reports on Canada's great sporting triumphs, from Joe Carter's World Series-winning home run for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 to the excitement of the back-to-back men's and women's hockey gold medals in Salt Lake City. Stephen Brunt gives an entire section to writers who, unlike those covering other beats, must work tightly by the clock, submitting their stories just as soon as the action for the day is over. But he has also chosen our best writers' more thoughtful pieces on our national obsessions -- such as Ed Willes on the WHA's seven tumultuous years and Wayne Johnston on the Original Six -- and a good sampling of the great sportswriters such as Trent Frayne, Peter Gzowski and Milt Dunnell. The net effect is an examination of the deep role sport plays in our lives and imaginations, in our sense of self and nationhood.
Stephen Brunt has cast his net widely. He includes superb stories of lower profile Canadian sports such as wrestling and horse racing, even Monster Truck battles, and allows space for his own unequalled and unforgettable profiles of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson, as well as his post-mortem on Ben Johnson's fall from grace.
Full of triumph and heartbreak, great writing and great passions -- and a few wonderful surprises -- this book will be essential reading for every serious sports fan.
"[A] brilliant compilation." -- Vancouver Courier
"What drives a Bobby Orr to push along on wrecked knees? How was Wayne Gretzky able to see patterns opening up on a rush before they did? Why did Tim Raines risk all his potential on cocaine? Not all of the answers are to be found in this eclectic and intentionally quirky collection of exceptional Canadian sports reportage, but the questions are posed frankly and with no ulterior motive beyond sincere curiosity." -- Ottawa Citizen, Feb 6, 2005
"The Way It Looks from Here is pretty darn good. With Mordecai Richler writing on former world snooker champion Cliff Thorburn of Victoria, Peter Gzowski on Gretzky, Ken Dryden on saving hockey and Stephen Brunt on the still unforgiven Ben Johnson, how can it not be?... These varied and mostly well-chosen pieces reflect [the Canadian] understated yet sometimes surprisingly feisty national sporting character." -- The Times-Colonist (Victoria)
"[Brunt] has assembled an eclectic and intentionally quirky collection of exceptional Canadian sports reportage...As a whole, [the selections] explore what it is about sports that captivates so many of us...Questions are posed frankly and with no ulterior motive beyond sincere curiosity." -- The Gazette (Montreal)
"Skillfully selected...sure to take readers back to a more innocent time -- when Wayne Gretzky was the world's greatest hockey player, not a Hockey Canada executive, Ben Johnson was the world's fastest human, not a drug cheat, and the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays were at the top of the baseball world and had more than a few thousand fans in the stands per game to witness it." -- Winnipeg Free Press
"Brunt's good choices...sew past to present to future with magical stitches." -- Georgia Straight