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TMR book corner: Darren McCarty about to embark on book-signing tour; a review of Mark Howe’s memoir

Former Red Wings enforcer Darren McCarty's about to get particularly busy promoting the My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star, the book he and Kevin Allen co-wrote (the book comes out on December 1st, and Allen's working on a Chelios memoir as well), as noted by the Detroit News's Susan Whitall...

Darren McCarty, the feisty former Detroit Red Wings enforcer, will be appearing at a slew of Detroit-area bookstores over the next few weeks to sign copies of his autobiography, “My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star.

McCarty will be at Barnes & Noble, 3120 Fairlane Drive, in Allen Park at 7 p.m. Dec. 3; Barnes & Noble, 3235 Washtenaw, in Ann Arbor at 7 p.m. Dec. 4; Costco, 27118 Gratiot, Roseville at 11 a.m. Dec. 7; Barnes & Noble, 14165 Hall Road, Shelby Township at 1 p.m. Dec. 8; and Barnes & Noble, 396 John R in Troy at 1 p.m. Dec. 14.

And the Utica Observer-Distpach's Don Laible had promised to review Mark Howe's memoir (co-written with Jay Greenberg), titled, Gordie Howe's Son: A Hall of Fame Life in the Shadow of Mr. Hockey, and RedWingsFeed found Laible's review.

Howe and Greenberg masterfully present just enough details in what could be considered the most personal issues, and reserve respect for those not at liberty to offer a counter.  Case in point - Mark's divorce.  Mark and Ginger were married for 28 years, before their split.  As Mark explains, Jay decides that this part of  his 'open book' life needs to be included.  Only a couple lines, deep into Gordie Howe's Son does this come to light.  There are no details offered, unlike Hollywood and other public figures. "It wouldn't be fair to my ex-wife.  We maintain a relationship.  There are two sides to every story, and it wouldn't be fair to Ginger if she didn't have her say."

Greenberg gets an A-plus in selecting interesting subjects in the fascinating life of  Mark Howe, the individual, and from the eyes of  being the son of  two very prominent parents.  There were one friendship and one incident offered in Mark's tellings that are powerful and , in my case, made me go, hmmm.  To those who have ever lost a best friend, you will appreciate and feel for Mark Howe as he takes you through his association with the late Brad McCrimmon. As teammates, Howe and McCrimmon, or as we learn, better known as the Beast, and why, grew into unofficial brothers.  Different in many ways, Howe offers particulars to their time as rommates on the road when with the Philadelphia Flyers.  McCrimmon's desire for total darkness in hotel rooms is often comical and always interesting.

McCrimmon, who played more than 1,200 NHL games, was killed in a plane crash on September 7,2011 in Yroslavl, Russia.  Coaching in the Russian based Kontinental Hockey League, McCrimmon's Lokomotiv team charter went down shortly after take off.  44 people lost their lives.  " The book has a lot of my thoughts based on life experiences, mainly around hockey rinks", Howe said.  "I miss Brad McCrimmon dearly and how we would talk about the fun times we had together."  Howe demonstrates, through Greenberg's wonderful wordsmithing, how much he personally became involved with McCrimmon's family, right after the tragic event.

With a lifetime of daily memories in being around the greats of  his father's hockey era to his own experiences playing in Houston, with brother Marty Howe for the upstart WHA, just how did Mark organize his thoughts for Greenberg to properly prepare?  Be it on an airplane or a couple hours drive to scout a team or player, Mark recalls jotting down thoughts on pieces of  paper, then he would pass them on to Greenberg. "Jay would write a chapter, I would review it, throw in some ad-lib, then we would get a side chapter.  It's tough to get every story you want, when going back  a few years," Howe confesses.

From the tragic, in losing a best friend, to the you can't make this up, godly-like event of  Howe running out of  gas late one night in  central Detroit, Mark has been there, survived it all.  After leaving Joe Louis Arena late in the evening, knowing he need gasoline but like so many of  us thinking they can stretch the last drop to a fill up time and place of our choice, the worst happened.  Mark's car ran out of fuel .  On the road, alone in a rough neighborhood, with few vehicles in sight for sometime, even the toughest of  hockey players would be nervous.  Fortunate for Howe, and totally unexpected, he was rescued by those who knew his hockey lineage and took him to church.  A gathering of the local Neighborhood Watch met him, and along with assisting him in getting the gasoline that should have been purchased earlier in the daylight, Mark joined in prayer, before driving away.  Where books are concerned, who says things don't happen for a reason?

In reading Gordie Howe's Son, plan on staying up later than expected, or lengthening breaks at work.  There are so many wonderful, heartfelt stories of  Mark's youth alone, that will keep you from stopping at a chapter or two at a time.  The relationship with brother Marty truly developes into one all parents hope for.  Mike Keenan, Mark's coach with the Flyers - an entire second book could be written on the survival guide stories presented.  This is a happy book about a family that truly loved each other.  Because of  hockey, we all get to have a new level of  kinship to shoot for.  Because of  Mark and Jay, we fans are the lucky ones.  When thinking of Christmas stocking stuffers, Gordie Howe's Son should be  the book at the top of  your hockey fan's list.

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McCartys book is already available online for quite some time now. Not sure why the Dec 1st date was mentioned. It’s a good read so far.

Posted by rjman48 from Royal Oak on 11/23/13 at 06:15 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.