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99: Stories of the Game

Written by: Wayne Gretzky
Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (73 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the greatest sports figures of all time salutes his heroes and takes us inside the game as few others can.

From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed "The Great One", he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has - but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw.

For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid and the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the dressing rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; and shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history.

Warm, direct, and revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.

©2016 Wayne Gretzky (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gretz is Great

I wish Wayne did the narrating on this one but it was great to hear all the stories of the game from all the different errors and some of the behind-the-scenes

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Mix of Old and NEW Hockey Stories

I loved how Wayne mixed the old and the new hockey stories in this book. I think if Wayne was narrating the book himself there would have been more life put into a few of the stories close to him but it still was an amazing book. Well done.

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Good Ol Hockey stories

The stories are great but not read by the Great One. Pronunciation of surnames is cringe worthy.

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Great book. Poor reader

Lots of great stories. It’s unfortunate that Mr Chamberlain mispronounced many of the names and several quintessential Canadian words e.g. toque.

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Pretty Good Biography!

I am generally not very interested in hockey sports, but I am partial to Canadian legend Mr. Wayne Gretzky, and curious to learn more about his life story. Mike Chamberlain was a very entertaining, neat, and even unexpected and cool selection of a narrator for this autobiography, although I really wish I could have heard it read by Mr. Gretzky himself. Most of the historical hockey events mentioned in the audio recording were new to me, so this was a neat learning experience, too!

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About par for the course

Their were lots of back stories to the game when Wayne played but I was disappointed there wasn’t more personal stories at times. Some of the book was filled with stats and fillers that didn’t give it as much of a persona feel to the book.

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Fine book

My only criticism is with the narrator. Please take the time to learn the correct pronunciation of the players names. Very frustrating to a real fan to hear superstars names mis-pronounced.

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Loved this...

Loved this! Great stories, well read and super interesting! Thank you very much! Would certainly recommend.

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Lots of historical content

Wayne has helped diarize much historical content in this book - but I was hoping for more stories from behind the scenes, associated with the players of Wayne's era (the players of my youth).

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Wonderful book on a wonderful game

Loved all the stories of the history of this great game. This is a great book for people that think they know about hockey

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-03-28

A great book

This book is amazing ! I love hockey and I play it even though I'm a girl because girls can play hockey too and I hope you agree with me. Your book is incredible thank you.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 2017-03-11

Great hockey history

Gretzky has a great knowledge of the game and hockey history and shares many great stories of past and present. However, the book lacks much of Gretzky's own experiences and stories as many of the stories he tells are about other people. The reader is not Gretzky which was disappointing and his performance lacks energy and becomes a little monotone. Overall, if you're a hockey fan you'll enjoy the book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Erik
  • 2016-11-14

more Wayne stories

The history lesson was good and it's obvious that Wayne is a professor in hockey history but I just wish there were more Wayne stories. Maybe his next book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • alauper
  • 2018-11-30

Really Old Stories

I was excited to learn more about Wayne Gretzky - he played from 1979-1999. This majority of stories talked about in this book are from the 40's and 50's. They're kind of boring because I don't relate to them - I don't know who he's talking about. I want to know the ins and outs of his game - what Wayne did, who were Wayne's opponents, etc. Good narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S&JVan
  • 2018-08-24

KILLLER BOOK

Wow,

I grew up playing and thought I knew a lot of the game. This book was some really cool insight and some even better stories of past!!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • matthew delano
  • 2018-08-07

knowledge for a true hockey fan

this book is more about hockey than gretzky , it takes you on path from the start of hockey and its teams, to the players before gretzky and after him. it is both interesting and educational for all hockey fans. it's really not a total wayne gretzky book rather a hockey book with stories sprinkled in about him.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr&MrsPerrysplus
  • 2017-10-20

Great book

This is a really good book. Whether you are a casual hockey fan or a serious hockey fan or maybe even a brand new fan there is a little bit of everything in the book for everyone.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • will33
  • 2017-01-04

Off-putting that it isn't read by Gretzky

What made the experience of listening to 99: Stories of the Game the most enjoyable?

Wayne Gretzky's personal stories of conversations on the ice, friendships and rivalries, and the process of being an NHL great, were the best part of the book.

What didn’t you like about Mike Chamberlain’s performance?

He isn't Wayne Gretzky. The book is written in first person so when he says "I did this" or "I was friends with him" it doesn't work. He is a narrator, he is not Wayne Gretzky, so it either needed to be read by Wayne Gretzky or it needed to be written in the third person. I heard Wayne in an interview promoting the book, and he has such a distinctive and familiar voice, that hearing anyone else pretend to be him just doesn't work.

Any additional comments?

It is obvious which parts of this book were contributed by Mr. Gretzky and which were the research done by the co-author. Some bits of it are incredibly dry. The history of the creation of the NHL is in depth, and some of the stories of the original players were obviously historical anecdotes. There may be 99 stories but 45 of them are not Wayne's reflections or have anything to do with him at all and were written like a history lesson.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-10-30

Love it.

This is so nostalgic, I love it! The narrator is a perfect fit. The story follows a very wide scope while keeping things interesting and on topic throughout the truly enthralling tales of The Great One's life. A+++++

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • A. B.
  • 2020-01-21

Love letter to pro hockey with very little Gretzky

I purchased this book because I thought it would contain some golden wisdom and first-person perspectives from Wayne Gretzky. Instead, the book is predominantly Wayne' recollecting the (practically entire) history of professional hockey in North America. This is a jarring realization, and I suspect many will not get over it.

That said, once you put that away, and as a true hockey fan, you'll start to gain a sense for the awe Gretzky has for the people that came before him, and the history and majesty of this game through his eyes. One other piece of advice- about 25% of the book is unnecessarily detailed recounting of all the players and their backgrounds that participated in a given game, some of it very repetitive from chapter to chapter.

All in all, I'm glad I listened, but I will admit that I'm still left wanting on the Gretzky side.