Book Review- Down a Man

Down a Man by Bill Gillard (2021) is an intriguing, engaging book. The main character Luke is a young man that failed out of his first semester of college and reluctantly returns to his small hometown where his brother is the local hockey hero. He takes on covering the sport he holds resentment for – hockey. Here is where I admit that I don’t love hockey. However, this book provides a peek into the life of hockey fans and players and shows why they get passionate about it.

You do not need to like hockey to like this book. Gillard takes on the challenge of entering the mind of a freshly minted guy. Luke is the very definition of his own worst enemy. His behaviors are not pretty but that is why this book rings so true. Luke often has obnoxious thoughts but with the self-awareness that something is wrong with his thoughts. This story shows the truth that as people struggle with life they also struggle with their thoughts. And unfortunately, they both feed off each other.

This is shown in Luke’s relationships. Unable to stop himself he alienates Shirley who seems to care for him. Yet I as a reader still rooted for him. Gillard really shows how young men are at the mercy of jealousy and self-doubt.

He also shows how books do not need to be thrillers to keep the reader turning the page. I was invested in Luke because of the way the events unfolded in a realistic but worst-case scenario way.

I purchased this book from the author at a book fair. It’s important to support local authors. I had high expectations for this book and Gillard did not disappoint. I recommend this book if you enjoy a delightful story and especially recommend this book if you have ever had a point in your life when you kept getting in your own way. And of course, you have.


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