Garden State meets King Leary in this slapshot debut from Tyler Hellard ● Adam Macallister’s sportswriting career is about to end before it begins, but he’s got one last shot—a Sports Illustrated profile about hockey’s most notorious goon, the reclusive Terry Punchout—who also happens to be Adam’s estranged father. Adam returns to Pennington, Nova Scotia, where Terry now lives in the local rink and drives the Zamboni. Going home means drinking with old friends, revisiting neglected relationships, and dealing with lingering feelings about his father and dead mother—and discovering that his friends and family are kinder and more complicated than he ever gave them credit for. Searching for Terry Punchout is a charming and funny tale of hockey, small-town Maritime life, and how, despite our best efforts, nothing can save us from becoming our parents.
"Funny, quirky, sad and sweet. Searching for Terry Punchout is a story of friendship and family, of hockey heroes and small-town hangovers, of Zamboni lessons and thrift store beauty queens. Highly recommended!"
-Will Ferguson, author of The Shoe on the Roof
"Tyler Hellard has created a thoughtful, warm-hearted, and deeply human sports tale, one that will resonate with any reader who has wondered if you can ever really go home again. Searching For Terry Punchout is a vivid portrait of small town hockey life, of fathers and sons, of feeling left behind and leaving things behind, of clinging to glory and grasping for meaning. With this strong debut, Hellard makes sense of what home really means, and in doing so reveals how close we actually are to the people and places that can often feel so far away."
-Stacey May Fowles, author of Baseball Life Advice
"Searching for Terry Punchout does just what its title promises – packs a punch. Readers will be knocked out by Hellard’s dry and bittersweet humour as protagonist Adam attempts to navigate a return to the “charming” small-town and father he bid adios to years ago. Hilarious and heartbreaking – an excellent debut novel."
-Theanna Bischoff, author of Left
"We got lost in this friendly, intimate tale of small-town Nova Scotia and the religion of hockey. Aspiring sports journalist Adam Macallister begrudgingly returns home for the sake of a story about a legendary hockey enforcer—who happens to be his estranged dad. As he faces family and old friends for the first time in a decade, Adam realizes that sometimes a man's got to stand tall and fight for what he believes in. Smart, funny, and warmhearted, Tyler Hellard's debut novel definitely deserves a few stick taps."