Thursday, March 05, 2020

Reader's Diary #2141- Ryan Strain: Out of His League

Despite not really being a hockey fan, I've enjoyed enough books on the subject now that I was actually looking forward to reading Ryan Strain's Out of His League. Of course, it also helped that Strain is a local boy and a large part of the novel is set in Yellowknife. It did not help that it was a self-published book and I've had less than favourable experiences with those.

And too be sure, like a lot of self-published books, it has its fair share of typos. But it was not the worst that I've seen, even including some put out by actual publishers (Charlotte Gray's Gold Diggers comes to mind). In fact, rather than coming across as a self-published book, it instead just felt like a first time novelist's book (which is was). The dialogue was a little stilted, but it also had some real strengths. I like some of the idiosyncrasies that gave the main character, Cal, a bit more depth: his Young and the Restless fandom, for instance. I also enjoyed the hints of a controversial story in his past that Strain wisely chose to hold back for most of the book.

However, it's very hockey jargon-y for non-fans like myself and I found some of the play by play stuff tedious. It also seems to glamorize the misogyny and homophobia barely disguised as jokes prevalent in locker rooms.

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