Book Details

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Breaking Away

A Harrowing True Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

About the Book

In the tradition of Playing with Fire and The Crazy Game comes a new memoir about a troubled hockey life.

Patrick O'Sullivan was a kid with skills, with natural gifts that catapulted him into the spotlight and made NHL scouts rave. O’Sullivan seemed destined to become one of the next great hockey players in the world. But then it all went horribly wrong.

In Breaking Away, Patrick O’Sullivan gives readers a disturbing account of ten years of ever escalating physical abuse and emotional cruelty at the hands of his father. When Patrick proved more skilled than other eight-year-olds, John O’Sullivan decided to dedicate his life to turning his son into the player he had always dreamed of becoming. Shouting at the top of his lungs, John O’Sullivan was the over-involved parent. Many of Patrick’s teammates and their parents and coaches thought it ended there. Few had an idea of the dysfunction and violence at the O’Sullivans' home.

Breaking Away is a story about abuse, but it is also a story about triumph, as O'Sullivan revisits the ghosts of his past.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Patrick O’Sullivan’s story is the ultimate cautionary tale in all of sports. . . . . That Patrick O’Sullivan survived his childhood to play in the NHL is a testament to his talent. That he tells it all in Breaking Away is a testament to his courage.” —Bob McKenzie, TSN, and author of Hockey Confidential

“A tragic and at times disturbing account of abuse. . . . I hope that writing this brave and honest book and raising awareness of this troubling issue allows Patrick to find peace of mind.” —Elliotte Friedman, Hockey Night in Canada

“An inspirational story and a cautionary tale. You find yourself rooting for a kid who lived through a nightmare just to play hockey and pursue his dream. . . . No one should have to go through the awful stuff that Patrick endured growing up.” —Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators

“Patrick O’Sullivan had the will to survive in awful circumstances that would break almost anybody else. That he survived and played professional hockey prove his strength of character. Breaking Away is not just about the damage done but also moving on and at long last finding happiness.” —Todd Marinovich, former NFL and CFL quarterback

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443444668
  • ISBN 10: 1443444669
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 10/20/2015
  • Pages: 320
  • List Price: 32.99 CAD

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