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Publisher's Summary

“The Great One” weaves memories of his legendary career with an inside look at the sport of professional hockey and the heroes and stories that inspired him.

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, 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 listeners say about 99: Stories of the Game

Average Customer Ratings
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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

2 people found this helpful

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Toque??

Great book of short stories. Amazing to hear Gretzky’s take on the game. The only downfall is the performance by the narrator. Overall it’s good but he mispronounces several player names. He also has a big issue with the knit cap called toque! Canadians will roll their eyes when they hear his pronunciation.

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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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  • 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.

5 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Christopher Fixler
  • 2020-11-07

Great hockey history

When I purchased this book, I thought it was an autobiography of the great one’s life. I was disappointed at first that it was so heavy on hockey history and not on Gretzky’s own life. As I continued to listen, I couldn’t stop. Wayne’s passion for the history of the game is so addicting that I think it could turn someone who isn’t a fan of hockey into one. His humble approach to his own life is refreshing and he puts a lot of great players above himself. Gretzky’s account of history shows him as not only the best hockey player to ever live, but as one of the biggest fans of the game.