A Matter of Inches: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond Info

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No job in the world of sports is as intimidating,
exhilarating, and stress-ridden as that of a hockey goaltender. Clint
Malarchuk did that job while suffering high anxiety, depression, and
obsessive compulsive disorder and had his career nearly literally cut
short by a skate across his neck, to date the most gruesome injury
hockey has ever seen. This autobiography takes readers deep into the
troubled mind of Malarchuk, the former NHL goaltender for the Quebec
Nordiques, the Washington Capitals, and the Buffalo Sabres. When his
carotid artery was slashed during a collision in the crease, Malarchuk
nearly died on the ice. Forever changed, he struggled deeply with
depression and a dependence on alcohol, which nearly cost him his life
and left a bullet in his head. In A Matter of Inches, Malarchuk
reflects on his past as he looks forward to the future, every day
grateful to have cheated death—twice.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for A Matter of Inches: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond:

4

Feb 09, 2019

The Crazy Game is the story of Clint Malarchuk, a retired NHL hockey goaltender, as told by Malarchuk with the assistance of journalist Dan Robson.

Marlarchuk tells his story of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, atttempted suicide and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manifested in regular outbursts of anger, physical violence, verbal and emotional abuse and more. Alcohol was another of Malarchuk’s methods to quiet his demons, internal voices and disparaging feelings of no-self The Crazy Game is the story of Clint Malarchuk, a retired NHL hockey goaltender, as told by Malarchuk with the assistance of journalist Dan Robson.

Marlarchuk tells his story of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, atttempted suicide and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manifested in regular outbursts of anger, physical violence, verbal and emotional abuse and more. Alcohol was another of Malarchuk’s methods to quiet his demons, internal voices and disparaging feelings of no-self worth inside. In this memoir, Malarchuk puts it all on the table - no holds barred.

The writing is chronological, quiet and understandable. However, it is not “the style” or “how the words are used” that make the book - it is the true story and Malarchuk’s honest sharing that make the book successful. The writing reminds of newspaper writing (not meant in a disparaging way.) The story is usually delivered in a very straight-forward way, in simple language and without emotions or frills. That is how Malarchuk tells his story.

Moreover, as brutal story it is, he shares pretty much all of it. Malarchuk provides relief from the emotional intensity with his hockey stories and other stories about the people in his life. Many of the stories and antics are quite fun and made me smile or chuckle. I especially enjoyed reading about the many strong family members, friends and allies of who stood by him and helped him on his path to recovery.

Malarchuk is quite a character. He loves to have fun, to play jokes, to laugh and seems to be a real ‘people’ person. That comes through strongly in the book. He seems to be a man with a big heart by nature. It is his unsupported mental health issues and coping mechanisms that contributed to his acting out in quite the opposite manner.

The book ranged from 3 to 3 1/2 stars throughout the book but the ending blew me away. I had been unaware of how much tension Malarchuk had been building tension throughout his story until the ending chapters, which I found to be incredibly moving and powerful - 5 star worthy. Once Malarchuk stops focussing on himself and what he’s gone through (although he needs to do this so that people can understand the impact of untreated mental illness can be about and how it might manifest), he begins to focus on others. He writes about mentoring, speaking out and breaking down the mental illness stigma. This outreach and focus on activism takes the book to an even higher level and becomes very inspirational.

Most of the book is a memoir - a difficult but important memoir because of the mental illness issues and outputs it discusses. The ending is moving and motivational and brought tears to my eyes. The acknowledgements are also well worth reading and demonstrate how seemingly small instances of assistance and reaching out can have enormous positive impact. I was happy that Malarchuk seems to have beat the odds and have a new start but also sad when imagining all the people before him and coming after him, who also suffer from mental illness who were not or may not ever be diagnosed or supported. I was very surprised to read that only 4% of people completing rehab do not fall back into old patterns after stayed the line after returning to society. Clearly as a society we need to do more to provide support for people who suffer such a damaging illness.

There is dialogue now that is a lot more public about the stigma of mental illness. Such discussion is helping educate many of us and slowly reducing the stigma. Many people who suffer are speaking out publically and/or writing books about their first-hand experiences. The stigma isn’t yet eradicated but it’s waning with the contribution of those who suffer from this debilitating disease if left undiagnosed and untreated. Many thanks for Clint Malarchuk’s contribution of The Crazy Game. 3 1/2 stars rounded up to 4 stars for writing this book of outreach with such bravery and honesty. ...more
5

Sep 16, 2014

This book was first described to me as "the best hockey story you've never heard". I hadn't really heard any hockey stories--I'm a casual watcher at best, a playoffs-only fan. Boxing's my sport. If someone had told me Clint Malarchuk is sort of the George Chuvalo of hockey, I would have got it. But honestly it wouldn't matter if I wasn't into sports at all. The Crazy Game had me right away with the prologue--Malarchuk opens with a description of the day he shot himself.

It's not a spoiler to tell This book was first described to me as "the best hockey story you've never heard". I hadn't really heard any hockey stories--I'm a casual watcher at best, a playoffs-only fan. Boxing's my sport. If someone had told me Clint Malarchuk is sort of the George Chuvalo of hockey, I would have got it. But honestly it wouldn't matter if I wasn't into sports at all. The Crazy Game had me right away with the prologue--Malarchuk opens with a description of the day he shot himself.

It's not a spoiler to tell you he lived to write the book. In fact, he's lived through more than many of us ever will. If you know anything about Malarchuk's career, you've probably heard about his claim to fame: the day a teammate's skate opened his throat and he nearly bled out on the ice. He was back in the crease just ten days later. Ten days! This is a guy who just will not quit, right? His fans and teammates applauded his toughness--but no one, least of all Malarchuk himself, thought about what that toughness was costing him.

From a hardscrabble childhood in an abusive home, through several failed marriages and a couple of trips to rehab, through a rocky career of hard training, hard drinking, and fights on and off the ice, to a diagnosis of OCD and PTSD, Malarchuk's life is a series of battles, with himself as the enemy more often than not. He's incredibly open, describing himself with honesty and humility, and it's a gift to see just how far he's come along the road to peace.

Read this for an intense view into a deeply troubled mind; read it for a portrait of devotion to hockey. Read it for an account of Malarchuk's amazing wife Joanie, who comes through for him even when she has every reason to run. Read it and cheer for a man who's still alive against overwhelming odds, and pray for him to keep on making the save. ...more
4

Dec 12, 2014

I don't even know what to say. There are so many things about this book I liked. First the courage that Clint has displayed throughout his life is amazing. The honesty about his depression and anxiety is really encouraging.
It seems like the majority of the books about depression are written by and for women.

Here is a tough guy, an NHL goalie opening up about his struggles with depression, anxiety and OCD. He is honest about the parts of it that may have propelled him to the next level but he I don't even know what to say. There are so many things about this book I liked. First the courage that Clint has displayed throughout his life is amazing. The honesty about his depression and anxiety is really encouraging.
It seems like the majority of the books about depression are written by and for women.

Here is a tough guy, an NHL goalie opening up about his struggles with depression, anxiety and OCD. He is honest about the parts of it that may have propelled him to the next level but he also questions how his life would be different without it.

My hope is that this book offers a man, young man, athlete a perspective on depression and the others anxiety, OCD, PTSD a freedom in knowing he is not alone and he can survive. The bullet in his brain did not kill him for a reason and I hope his story saves one person from that incredible desperation. ...more
2

Nov 22, 2017

While I sympathize with Malarchuk's anxiety problems, and his PTSD, in reading the book, I find out that really, he is not a very nice person. He constantly belittles people, he is condescending, and he thinks everybody is in awe of professional athletes. I found his arrogance to be very disappointing. Just remember Clint, very few of us are so-called "jock sniffers"; when it comes to professional athletes, nobody really cares about how famous you used to be. In some ways, it's a decent read, While I sympathize with Malarchuk's anxiety problems, and his PTSD, in reading the book, I find out that really, he is not a very nice person. He constantly belittles people, he is condescending, and he thinks everybody is in awe of professional athletes. I found his arrogance to be very disappointing. Just remember Clint, very few of us are so-called "jock sniffers"; when it comes to professional athletes, nobody really cares about how famous you used to be. In some ways, it's a decent read, but evidence of his meanness is ultimately a turn-off. ...more
0

Mar 27, 2019

On the surface of it, CM is obviously not my type: machismo, sports, competition, winning: not my thing at all. So I might have passed this one by, if not for its position on the Canada Reads long list.
And one other thing: CM lived with PTSD and a few other mental health issues that he had no idea were classic, and treatable.

When you're messed up like that, you can't tell if you're feeling good or not. How do you know what normal feels like? p109
You keep hoping and thinking you're doing better On the surface of it, CM is obviously not my type: machismo, sports, competition, winning: not my thing at all. So I might have passed this one by, if not for its position on the Canada Reads long list.
And one other thing: CM lived with PTSD and a few other mental health issues that he had no idea were classic, and treatable.

When you're messed up like that, you can't tell if you're feeling good or not. How do you know what normal feels like? p109
You keep hoping and thinking you're doing better and believing maybe you are. But you don't know because you've been screwed up in the head for so long. You've got nothing to measure you're state of mind against. p115

Eventually, he has an important insight that will turn his life around.

I realized I couldn't afford to screw things up by drinking myself to death, just to deal with being lonely. p123

This is an account of one mans discovery that fame and fortune are insignificant to a happy life. ...more
4

Dec 20, 2014

I've talked to a few people who have already read this book and enjoyed it.........but. That left me with a bit of a preset mind when starting this read.

What I can say quite confidently is that I enjoyed this book. It's a very raw story with numerous head-shaking moments. I've always equated Clint Malarchuk with the on-ice incident that nearly took his life. I don't see him as that anymore. He's a person who has good intentions and a good heart...but struggles with his demons - every single I've talked to a few people who have already read this book and enjoyed it.........but. That left me with a bit of a preset mind when starting this read.

What I can say quite confidently is that I enjoyed this book. It's a very raw story with numerous head-shaking moments. I've always equated Clint Malarchuk with the on-ice incident that nearly took his life. I don't see him as that anymore. He's a person who has good intentions and a good heart...but struggles with his demons - every single day.

The writing was good, but felt bouncy at times going from one topic to the next. And I thought some aspects of his life and career would have garnered more page time while others got the spotlight a lot longer than I anticipated.

The book has a very "stream of consciousness" feel to it. It's almost as if he's just letting it pour out of him. As a complete book it worked, but in small doses it can get a little frustrating to read.

An incredible story and Clint is very brave to have opened up his life to see it put to page. I have no doubt that it will open many people's eyes as well as help those who might be in a similar situation as Clint's. ...more
5

Dec 05, 2014

"A Matter Of Inches" is an absolutely gut-wrenching and brutally honest memoir about so much more than hockey: mental illness, addiction, suicide attempts, and the elusiveness of personal control and redemption. Clint Malarchuk has suffered more than any man should have to and he has emerged on the other side, more or less intact, with a harrowing story that I couldn't put down.

Writing in a brisk, conversational, and frequently vulgar style, Malarchuk doesn't pull any punches, whether he's "A Matter Of Inches" is an absolutely gut-wrenching and brutally honest memoir about so much more than hockey: mental illness, addiction, suicide attempts, and the elusiveness of personal control and redemption. Clint Malarchuk has suffered more than any man should have to and he has emerged on the other side, more or less intact, with a harrowing story that I couldn't put down.

Writing in a brisk, conversational, and frequently vulgar style, Malarchuk doesn't pull any punches, whether he's describing his troubled childhood, his time in the NHL, the injury that defined his career, or the demons that moment unleashed that led to decades of unbelievable pain. This is by far the best and most relatable book I've ever read about mental illness; I saw myself, albeit not as destructive, on every page. Malarchuk's honesty is going to help a lot of people.

Whether you love hockey (like I do... Go, Sabres!), suffer from mental illness (which I also do), or know someone who does, this is a must read. It's a tremendous book and I hope it helps the author as much as it does the reader. ...more
5

Jan 01, 2015

I am a huge hockey fan, and have been my entire life. I remember when Clint had his on-ice accident back in 1989. It was amazing that he survived that ordeal, and that he came back to hockey so quickly after that near death experience. Many others probably would not have been able to do that.

But after reading this book, I realize that his struggles were well before and after that fateful day in Buffalo so many years ago. Reading about his struggles with OCD, PTSD, Alcoholism, and everything else I am a huge hockey fan, and have been my entire life. I remember when Clint had his on-ice accident back in 1989. It was amazing that he survived that ordeal, and that he came back to hockey so quickly after that near death experience. Many others probably would not have been able to do that.

But after reading this book, I realize that his struggles were well before and after that fateful day in Buffalo so many years ago. Reading about his struggles with OCD, PTSD, Alcoholism, and everything else he dealt with in his life gave me a much greater respect for him.

I know that there is probably a few people that read this book and nodded their heads as they were able to relate to exactly what Clint was writing about. I know that I sure did.

This is so much more than a "hockey player's book", and I would encourage anyone that is struggling with mental illness, or knows somebody who is dealing with mental illness of any kind, to read this book. ...more
3

Jan 16, 2018

He's lived a crazy life, definitely has some stories to tell. Nevertheless despite his struggles, which I am sympathetic to, I didn't enjoy getting to know him. He's very macho and believes masculinity is defined by violence and stoic resignation to hardship.
4

Nov 23, 2014

It's odd to see yourself referenced in a book of any type, even if it's anonymously. I pop up in that manner in Clint Malarchuk's book, "A Matter of Inches." That demands an explanation.

I was working in the Buffalo Sabres public relations department when Malarchuk had his throat slashed during a 1989 game in Memorial Auditorium. It was as terrible a moment as you'd expect. I even took a frantic call in the press box from Malarchuk's brother, who had been watching on TV a couple of thousand miles It's odd to see yourself referenced in a book of any type, even if it's anonymously. I pop up in that manner in Clint Malarchuk's book, "A Matter of Inches." That demands an explanation.

I was working in the Buffalo Sabres public relations department when Malarchuk had his throat slashed during a 1989 game in Memorial Auditorium. It was as terrible a moment as you'd expect. I even took a frantic call in the press box from Malarchuk's brother, who had been watching on TV a couple of thousand miles away.

Two days later, the Sabres were again home for a game, and Malarchuk - who had gone through surgery and was released from the hospital - stopped by the Aud to pick up a few things. I suggested that it would be nice during a break to have him wave to the crowd during a break in the action, since the fans were part of that traumatic experience. My boss convinced Malarchuk to do so, although it wasn't easy.

I was one of the public address announcers at games, so I turned on the microphone and (as is mentioned in the book) said, "It's been a tough couple of days in the Sabre organization, but we thought you'd like to see someone. So at the Zamboni entrance, please welcome back Clint Malarchuk." The standing ovation, which included everyone on the ice from both teams, lasted three or four minutes. The doors were eventually opened so that Malarchuk could walk out on the ice and allow everyone to get a better look. It was an emotional moment.

Malarchuk's name has come up in the sports media in various ways over the years, sometimes associated with the accident. Now we can read his entire story in his book, which is a very unusual one by sports publication standards - mental illness is rarely discussed in the world of alleged fun and games - and it's not the least bit pretty. Interesting, yes; pretty, no.

It turned out that the accident was only one of Malarchuk's issues, albeit one of the biggest. He had an alcoholic father who exited the family during Malarchuk's childhood, and you can guess how that will mess up everything it touches. Clint also suffered from anxiety attacks, refusing to go to school at times. Throw in an undiagnosed case of OCD, and it's the recipe for disaster.

Hockey was his refuge, though, and Malarchuk was very good at goaltending. He worked very hard at it too, and moved up to the ladder to the point where he was drafted by the pros. There after an apprenticeship in the minors, Malarchuk landed in the NHL. He played for the Quebec Nordiques and Washington Capitals - not at the top of the class at his position, but certainly a worthy NHL goalie.

Malarchuk hadn't figured out all of the demons yet during that time, and the accident added another large group of them. Within a year, Malarchuk was filled with anxiety, nightmares and ulcers, to the point where he drank a bottle of whiskey at a sitting in something close to a suicide attempt. His time as an NHL player ended shortly after that, and the transition to ex-player is a difficult one for even the most well-adjusted of people.

Malarchuk goes through the ups and downs of his life from there in almost painful detail. He'd seem to be headed on the right path, and then have a relapse almost have to start over. Malarchuk has been married four times in his life. After reading this, it's not amazing that the first three left him; it's amazing that the fourth one stayed.

The story's climax comes when a depressed Malarchuk actually shoots himself in the mouth in 2008. As could be guessed, he somehow survived it. But that doesn't mean the story of the medical recovery and the time in rehab isn't harrowing, because it certainly is. This is tough reading.

There is one aspect of the book that doesn't exactly ring true. Malarchuk's own descriptions of himself aren't particularly pleasant. It's part of his disease certainly, but he's not a likable or mature person as presented here.

Yet, those who knew him from his playing days will tell you that he was one of the good guys. I had a Washington writer tell me when Malarchuk was traded to Buffalo that "not only is Clint one of my favorite hockey players, he's one of my favorite people period." His sense of humor was a little quirky, but we passed off that and some of his actions to the fact that he was a goaltender. In the hockey business, goaltenders often are a different breed, perhaps because their job carries so much pressure with it.

By the end, "A Matter of Inches" hints that while Malarchuk has beaten back some of those demons for now, it always will be a battle to keep them at bay. But maybe getting it out of his system in this way will help him, and maybe he'll find comfort to know that many of the people he encountered on this journey are rooting him to register the biggest of victories. In the meantime, let's hope that this book offers a helping hand to others in a similar situation who will realize after reading this that they need some help, and don't have to face it alone. ...more
5

Nov 22, 2014

What a book. It is amazing that someone can go through so much and still live to tell the tale. It has taught me a lot in 243 pages and I suggest that everyone read this to see how sports can be so good for someone, but so bad.
4

Feb 24, 2015

I find first-person books by athletes tricky. I want to hear them in their own voice but so often the work lacks depth. Not the case here. It's haunting the way Clint Malarachuk is self reflexive about the two dominant themes in his life -- hockey and mental illness. Sure there are times where I wish the writing was smoother and the Kindle version left much to be desired in formatting at the beginning of chapters, but his willingness to share his story with such detail and heart stays with you. I find first-person books by athletes tricky. I want to hear them in their own voice but so often the work lacks depth. Not the case here. It's haunting the way Clint Malarachuk is self reflexive about the two dominant themes in his life -- hockey and mental illness. Sure there are times where I wish the writing was smoother and the Kindle version left much to be desired in formatting at the beginning of chapters, but his willingness to share his story with such detail and heart stays with you. "Held inside, the truth is destructive." Powerful stuff. He wonders if his whole life his purpose was to battle mental illness so he could share his story. Perhaps. There is healing power in telling your story and the opportunity to create a new chapter. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. All the more reason to be grateful Malarchuk had the courage to share his and shed a light on the parts of life we think no one else understands. ...more
5

Jan 31, 2019

Clint is a survivor in every possible way. Very inspirational read.
4

Jan 22, 2019

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am bumping my rating from 3 to 4 for the insight provided during Clint's difficult rehab experience. I've gained a whole new perspective on the difficulties of overcoming addiction. Powerful story.
5

Mar 31, 2018

This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read! I remember watching Clint Malarchuk play and I watched the accident happen live on tv, it was terrifying. The strength and courage it must have taken to write this book is unimaginable and nothing short of admirable.
5

Jul 10, 2019

I was always amazed by Clint's recovery from his injury. He went into a lot of detail around his PTSD, OCD and how it affected his day to day life and relationships. A really great read about his struggles with holding down jobs in the NHL and in other areas of his life. I would highly recommend his book, it's a quick, engaging read that you'll struggle to put down.
5

Apr 08, 2019

I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact Clint Malarchuk is one of the toughest guys on the planet. After he almost bled out on the ice, he jokes put a bandaid on it.. let me get back out there. The fact that he was on the ice playing ten days later is crazy. He plays through back pain where it’s discovered he had a broken vertebrae and with one wrong movement could have paralyzed himself. Survives the shooting incident for the most part physically unscathed.

I love the title of this book. In I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact Clint Malarchuk is one of the toughest guys on the planet. After he almost bled out on the ice, he jokes put a bandaid on it.. let me get back out there. The fact that he was on the ice playing ten days later is crazy. He plays through back pain where it’s discovered he had a broken vertebrae and with one wrong movement could have paralyzed himself. Survives the shooting incident for the most part physically unscathed.

I love the title of this book. In my opinion, it fits in so many ways. I grew up watching and playing hockey and the sport is very important to me. I found parts of this book incredibly relatable. The way he described being a goalie and dealing with mental health was spot on. ‘You have to be crazy to be a goalie’.

When he describes the aftermath of the shooting incident; he still doesn’t think he needs help. Screaming at his wife to get off the phone. They don’t need the cops/ ems all the while he is about to bleed out again. ‘It was just a mistake and I could fix it without the world knowing and seeing what I’d done. I think I was scared, like a wounded animal trying to escape a hunter. But I was the triggerman.’

‘It’s like slamming on the gas and the brake pedals in your car at the same time. All that energy has to go somewhere. Humans aren’t very efficient at getting rid of it. It comes out in the form of anxiety, depression, and dysfunctional behaviour. When we can’t get rid of these problems we fixate on them.’

With everything that was going on, the times he tried to get help but couldn’t. If friends and family were able to convince him to get help, there was nothing available or were huge wait times. He knows he’s being irrational and spinning out of control but no one will help. The doctors push a cocktail of drugs with their numerous side effects that make everything worse and more amplified.

The most interesting part of this book was how successful he managed to be. I only knew of Clint Malarchuk for the jugular vein injury. I did not know he played for nearly eight more seasons after the injury. (It really surprised me that the Sabres/ Blues finished that game). I didn’t know he coached different teams for another eleven years after that. I didn’t know he became a dentist for horses.

‘A blade was millimeters from ending my life. A handful of pills stopped my heart. A bullet is lodged in my forehead next to my brain. There is a narrow margin between life and death. Call it God, call it fate or call it blind luck. I call it purpose.’ ...more
2

Jan 25, 2019

In this book, Malarchuk is very honest about his struggles. He does not hold back. During the last portion of this book - post his famous accident, when things really spiral - the writing becomes very frank with a clear message that mental health is something for which you can and should ask for help.
But to get to this point you have to make it through the first part of the book. Malarchuk is dismissive and insulting towards anyone who doesn't share his sense of humour for what comes across as In this book, Malarchuk is very honest about his struggles. He does not hold back. During the last portion of this book - post his famous accident, when things really spiral - the writing becomes very frank with a clear message that mental health is something for which you can and should ask for help.
But to get to this point you have to make it through the first part of the book. Malarchuk is dismissive and insulting towards anyone who doesn't share his sense of humour for what comes across as immature, and often cruel, pranks. He is insulting and belittling to anyone who stood up to him, even if he picked the fight. In the final sections when the breakthroughs are happening, his attitude towards others with mental illness is still dismissive and exclusionary to those who are presenting as more severe than he.
I'm probably not the target audience for this book. Will men who grew up in an environment of toxic masculinity where they were told to "suck it up" and "boys don't cry" connect with the material? Maybe. It is probably helpful to see someone from their world experience what nobody else will talk about. Will hockey fans enjoy it? Maybe - there were a lot of anecdotes about people I've never heard of that didn't seem that individually interesting, but might have been with more familiarity to the subjects. Overall, I found a lot of this book very uncomfortable. And let me make it clear it wasn't in the author's recounting of how he spoke to/treated people in his past life; it was how he referred to them in the narration that bothered me. I hope that the people who need it can connect with Malarchuk's story and seek out and accept help. Where the author may be a role model for that purpose, I hope that's where the modeling stops because - community involvement and charitable good works aside - he otherwise comes off as a bully. ...more
3

Mar 23, 2019

"I've spent my life battling mental illness without knowing it." That one sentence is the biggest shame; former NHL goalie Malarchuk has dealt with many demons from OCD, depression/ anxiety and more triggered by post-traumatic stress from a life threatening skate laceration to his jugular. He's come a long way with diagnosis and treatment and is raising awareness of an important cause.

However, as a reader, I still found the story full of blame, resentment and macho violence. Even after Clint "I've spent my life battling mental illness without knowing it." That one sentence is the biggest shame; former NHL goalie Malarchuk has dealt with many demons from OCD, depression/ anxiety and more triggered by post-traumatic stress from a life threatening skate laceration to his jugular. He's come a long way with diagnosis and treatment and is raising awareness of an important cause.

However, as a reader, I still found the story full of blame, resentment and macho violence. Even after Clint (mostly) realizes his violent tendencies are not acceptable, he continues to humble-brag about his toughness and ability to beat anything / anyone. As much as I'd like to refer a younger audience to read this to improve their awareness of mental illness, the masculine, old-school violent (hockey) culture is a huge part of this book & not something I want to encourage in my young athletes. Perhaps the attitude is generational, maybe due to hockey, maybe it's just Clint - but his aggressive and overtly competitive perspective distracted from the core message about mental health.

I read this since it was on the CBC Canada Reads long list, an unusual choice but I hope it does give the theme of the book greater attention and helps athletes (& everyone) more help with mental health struggles. 2.5/5. ...more
3

Jan 24, 2019

In an intriguing insight to the macho, tough-guy mindset that proliferates professional (and non-professional) sports. I would be interested to know if the parts of the book are based on how he remembers that time, especially in rehab, or if it is reflection of how he still feels about the situations today. If it is the former, it is great insight on how poisonous thoughts can affect our emotions and actions. If it is the latter, then I think the author still needs continued counselling and In an intriguing insight to the macho, tough-guy mindset that proliferates professional (and non-professional) sports. I would be interested to know if the parts of the book are based on how he remembers that time, especially in rehab, or if it is reflection of how he still feels about the situations today. If it is the former, it is great insight on how poisonous thoughts can affect our emotions and actions. If it is the latter, then I think the author still needs continued counselling and emotional work. The anger (throughout the book), egotistical, lack of empathy (especially bad towards fellow rehabbers), victimhood, abusive behaviours are mind-boggling.

Truthfully, when someone constantly repeats they are a “nice guy” and everyone says just how great of guy he is, it raises a red flag for me. The undercurrent of emotions and thoughts throughout the book make it clear that the author either worked really hard to overcome all these issues, or still has a road ahead of him.

It is a worthwhile read to see how untreated situations can develop into PTSD, and how terrible coping skills make the PTSD worse.
...more
4

Jul 21, 2018

This is a great study in mental illness as well as a great sports biography. Bobby Orr might have been one of the greatest of all time but his book was a snooze.

Malarchuk recounts his upbringing in Alberta up through his playing career and beyond. The thread that runs through the entire story is a struggle with OCD, anxiety, and depression. This is amplified with Malarchuk’s notorious injury which led him to deal with PTSD for a long time without realizing it.

This is the my favorite kind of This is a great study in mental illness as well as a great sports biography. Bobby Orr might have been one of the greatest of all time but his book was a snooze.

Malarchuk recounts his upbringing in Alberta up through his playing career and beyond. The thread that runs through the entire story is a struggle with OCD, anxiety, and depression. This is amplified with Malarchuk’s notorious injury which led him to deal with PTSD for a long time without realizing it.

This is the my favorite kind of hockey book. There are stories of “boys being boys” and lore of a different era. Also an opportunity to get a new perspective on players and coaches from Pascal Leclaire to Mike Keenan.

If you are a stat nerd or are looking for tips on playing butterfly this is the wrong book. This is an earnest account of a player who has and continues to go trough it. ...more
4

Mar 31, 2019

Clint Malarchuk, an NHL goalie and coach, has suffered from OCD, anxiety, PTSD, and alcoholism. In this tell-all story, he bravely recounts all the details of his past and present afflictions without resorting to sensationalism or appeals for sympathy.

To many people, Malarchuk is best known for having survived an horrific neck injury in 1989 during a live broadcast of a game. What a way to be known! In his book, he presents himself as a man so much more than his injuries and illnesses.

His Clint Malarchuk, an NHL goalie and coach, has suffered from OCD, anxiety, PTSD, and alcoholism. In this tell-all story, he bravely recounts all the details of his past and present afflictions without resorting to sensationalism or appeals for sympathy.

To many people, Malarchuk is best known for having survived an horrific neck injury in 1989 during a live broadcast of a game. What a way to be known! In his book, he presents himself as a man so much more than his injuries and illnesses.

His discussion of the stigma of mental illness in the sports community and in the sometimes goon culture of hockey is particularly compelling. I was very pleased to see the support that he has received from the NHLPA in recent years. This is a welcome change in attitude and this kind of book helps to turn around people’s perceptions. ...more
4

Nov 16, 2019

Wow, I had not idea about this guy's story - beyond his on ice accident when I was child. Addiction, poor money management, inability to be in a loving relationship, OCD, alcoholism, just a complete maniac. He legitimately rolled into a random gym and started a fight with the two biggest guys that he could find - a must read for hockey fans. I grew up playing goalie and always wondered why people thought goalie's were crazy. I disagree that most goalie's are even close to crazy, as modern Wow, I had not idea about this guy's story - beyond his on ice accident when I was child. Addiction, poor money management, inability to be in a loving relationship, OCD, alcoholism, just a complete maniac. He legitimately rolled into a random gym and started a fight with the two biggest guys that he could find - a must read for hockey fans. I grew up playing goalie and always wondered why people thought goalie's were crazy. I disagree that most goalie's are even close to crazy, as modern equipment has rendered it the safest position in the sport. However, I think that if the shoe fits, we should call the crazy goalie's "Malarchuk". I feel bad for this guy, just a complete lunatic and another casualty of the game - like most of the ex-fighters, he probably has some serious CTE. ...more
4

Apr 18, 2019

This insanely intense, true story about one man’s struggles with mental health will grab you and never let go even after you have put this book down. For those of us who remember the good ole’ hockey era from the eighties/nineties to those who struggle with any sort of mental health issue and for everyone else in between, Clint’s story needs to be read and heard.

Trust me, Malarchuk did a really good job with this. Raw and Real. Any pro-athlete, past or present who can make use of their This insanely intense, true story about one man’s struggles with mental health will grab you and never let go even after you have put this book down. For those of us who remember the good ole’ hockey era from the eighties/nineties to those who struggle with any sort of mental health issue and for everyone else in between, Clint’s story needs to be read and heard.

Trust me, Malarchuk did a really good job with this. Raw and Real. Any pro-athlete, past or present who can make use of their popularity and have such a noticeable platform to speak from to get through to today's younger generations is alright in my books. ...more
5

May 28, 2017

An incredibly raw look at his life and struggles with OCD, PTSD, alcoholism, and depression and all that happened. Hockey fans will enjoy this book especially any who've suffered with or had family and friends with mental illness. The support of friends and family helped him immensely. This book was a very easy read and constructed in such a way to really let Malarchuk open up about so much of his life.

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