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"Shows us, in tender detail, a life consumed by our unholy appetites." -- Steve Almond, New York Times Book Review The tragic death of hockey star Derek Boogaard at twenty-eight was front-page news across the country in 2011 and helped shatter the silence about violence and concussions in professional sports. Now, in a gripping work of narrative nonfiction, acclaimed reporter John Branch tells the shocking story of Boogaard's life and heartbreaking death. Boy on Ice is the richly told story of a mountain of a man who made it to the absolute pinnacle of his sport. Widely regarded as the toughest man in the NHL, Boogaard was a gentle man off the ice but a merciless fighter on it. With great narrative drive, Branch recounts Boogaard's unlikely journey from lumbering kid playing pond-hockey on the prairies of Saskatchewan, so big his skates would routinely break beneath his feet; to his teenaged junior hockey days, when one brutal outburst of violence brought Boogaard to the attention of professional scouts; to his days and nights as a star enforcer with the Minnesota Wild and the storied New York Rangers, capable of delivering career-ending punches and intimidating entire teams.



About the Author

John Branch

I am a San Francisco-based sports reporter for The New York Times and the author of "The Last Cowboys" (W.W. Norton, 2018) , about a rodeo and ranching family struggling to build a future using old ways in the New West. A reporter without a beat, I write about a little bit of everything, from the Olympics (many times) to dog-grooming contests (once) . Most recently, I wrote a story titled "Deliverance From 27,000 Feet," about the year-long quest to bring two bodies from the high slopes of Mount Everest to be cremated in India. My goal is to write stories that surprise readers, usually nibbling in the shadows of the sports world. I received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for "Snow Fall," a story about a deadly avalanche in Washington, and was a finalist for the prize the year before for a series about hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard, the subject of my first book, "Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard" (W.W. Norton, 2014) , which became a New York Times bestseller and the winner of the ESPN/Pen Award for Literary Sports Writing. Raised in Golden, Colo., a one-time manager for Costco, I received a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1996. I worked for The Gazette in Colorado Springs for several years, then became the sports columnist at the Fresno Bee before being hired by The New York Times in 2005.



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