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PRESS FOR UNDERSTANDING KEN

Short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Award for Canadian Humour
1998

Ottawa Citizen’s Top Ten Books of The Year
1998

"...McCormack has captured not only the spirit of a magical time in our nation's game, but the magic and innocence of childhood itself."
—The Toronto Star

"...Destined to become a classic."
—Bill Richardson, CBC

“This is a marvelous book. McCormack captures perfectly the language and skewed outlook of a confused 10-year-old, caught between two antagonistic and self-centered parents. The boy's relationship with his bullying and single-minded father—none of the book's characters are ever named—is especially convincing. Hints of child abuse—the boy's frequent and implausible injuries, the father's explosive temper and ready resort to violence—are dropped, but McCormack sensibly leaves these for the reader to interpret for him/herself. Despite these dark themes, Understanding Ken is a truly funny book about a time when hockey could more completely capture a young boy's imagination. More than that, Pete McCormack has produced simply the best novel about childhood to appear this year.”
—David Bright, The Fast Forward, Calgary's Weekly Entertainment Guide

"...very energetic and extremely funny."
—The Ottawa Citizen

"...a tiny tour de force."
—The Georgia Strait

 “Understanding Ken is a definite first star selection…Reading the 242-page soft cover I couldn't help but wonder why there hasn't been more Canadian literature written with hockey as a backdrop. You could fill a locker room with books published south of the border which have the Great American past time as their setting (Why, even a Canadian author, W.P. Kinsella, has used baseball as a metaphor for life.) Understanding Ken makes up for that oversight.”
—Robert Galster, North Shore News

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copyright 2006 Pete McCormack