Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: The Year of the Los Angeles Kings (2012)

By Andrew Podnieks

Somebody must have gone without sleep recently.

"The Year of the Los Angeles Kings" plopped at my door a little more than a week after the end of the Stanley Cup Finals. I'm not sure the city of Los Angeles had cleaned up from the parade yet when this book hit the streets.

Even in an age when "instant books" are produced quite quickly, this is impressive. Publishers know it's important to capitalize on the emotions of a championship season when it comes to selling to the fan base, and the National Hockey League -- which produced this book -- certainly came through there.

Andrew Podnieks gets the credit as the writer here of this 160-page volume. It covers the bases exactly the way you'd expect. After a short introduction, the book jumps into a statistical and tabular review of the 2011-12 regular season. That includes the game-by-game results, individual scoring, overall playoff results for the NHL, etc.

Then comes the main section on the Kings' magical ride to the Cup.Each game receives a few pages, complete with quotes from the participants. It's written from the Kings' perspective, naturally, and it comes the bases of what happened in each game. There are plenty of color pictures along the way, and they are very nicely done. When combined with a good-looking layout, this becomes a top-notch package. Yes, the section concludes with pictures of the Kings with the Stanley Cup, events that seemed to happen about a blink of an eye ago.

That's followed by a small section on team history, with a couple of articles and a few lists taken from media guides. Then each player gets a two-page biography, with one page a color picture.

This doesn't take long to read, as you could imagine. I haven't seen the instant book put out by the Los Angeles Times, but my guess would be that it is a little more text-heavy.

Still, "The Year of the Los Angeles Kings" does what it sets out to do artfully. It will only appeal to the Kings' fans, of course, so it's not necessary to rate it. Backers of the team will enjoy the pictures and descriptions of the games as they relive an unlikely ride to a title.

Learn more about this book.

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