Hockey Saint: 06/24/15
The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro is the second of the Forever Friends series. It's about a college aged hockey player who is befriended by a BIG FAMOUS hockey player. The hockey player celebrity is a squeaky clean saint with an alcohol problem. Meanwhile, the EVIL competition wants to sully his reputation by digging up some dirt.
This book from start to finish gives me the heeby-jeebies. Tom Leonard, the college protagonist is drawn so that he looks very young and very effeminate. He looks vulnerable and completely taken in by whatever crap the hockey pro feeds him.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah Johnson, is supposedly twenty-one but I think he's lying to lure teenage boys into trouble. He says and does everything so perfectly that he's clearly as well trained player. He's using the sort of language on Tom that predators use on their victims. It doesn't help either that he has long hair and scruffy facial hair, enough so that he bears a striking resemblance to Jesus. That just leads to thoughts of molestation of boys by various men of the cloth.
Throughout all of this, though, we're expected to feel sorry for Tom and Jeremiah. If only the authority figures (the media, the team owners, the private eyes, pesky grandmothers, wives, etc) would let them have their "pure" friendship.
What this book reminded me of more than anything is the manga series, Gravitation. There it's a famous musician preying on the new, up and coming guy with a rocking demo reel. That one, though, is at least explicit in its sexual content, rather than just hinting heavily while all the while pretending it's not there.