Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream

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9780060974060: Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream

In the state of Texas American football is a religion. And nowhere is more fanatical about its football than the small town of Odessa. There, every Friday night from September to November, a bunch of seventeen-year-old kids play their hearts out for the honour of their high school. In front of 20,000 people.

In 1988 H.G. Bissinger spent a season in Odessa discovering just what makes a town pin its hopes on eleven boys on a football field. He lived with the students, coaches and townspeople who dedicate their lives to their team, sharing their joys and triumphs, their pains, injuries and bitter disappointments. He returned with a compassionate but hard-eyed story of a town riven by money, race and class, where a high school can spend more on medical supplies for its athletic program than on its English department.

Friday Night Lights is one of the best books about sport ever written. It is the story of how dreams and reality collide, at once glorious and immensely sad. Because for the 30-odd boys of the Permian Panthers, these days will have been the best of their lives.

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Product Description:

Coming this spring, the long-awaited screen version of the book that has sold over half a million copies Friday Night Lights is the best-selling story of life in the football-driven town of Odessa, Texas, and how the town's passion for the team inspires - and sometimes shatters - the young men who wear the Panthers uniform. Socially and racially divided, Odessa's fragile economy follows the treacherous boom-bust path of the oil business. In bad times, the unemployment rate barrels out of control; in good times, its murder rate skyrockets. But every Friday night from September to December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, this West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true. With frankness and compassion, Bissinger chronicles one of the Panthers' dramatic seasons and shows how single-minded devotion to the team shapes the community and the teenagers who are part of it. Now a major film from Universal Pictures, directed by Peter Berg and starring Billy Bob Thornton. This special tie-in edition features a bound-in Reader's Guide.

Review:

Daytona Beach News-Journal, 12/19/08
“The book is far better and more believable than the awful movie.”

Dallas Morning News, 6/28/09
“While Bissinger does present the unfortunate issues facing a West Texas town, it is a true example of the pride Texans have in their community.”

Men's Fitness, August 2009
“The movie and TV show are good, but the book that inspired them is even better…[A] compelling look at how the high school dynasty shapes the pigskin-crazed small-town community of Odessa, Texas.”

Townsend Times, 11/20/09
“Shines a revealing light on a Texas city's unhealthy football obsession…A powerful book, the title of which has become synonymous for high school football.”

Mobile Sunday Press-Register's “Gift Books for Men” holiday roundup, 12/6/09
“An unsettling portrait…of Middle America through the lens of high school football. Bissinger nailed it.”

Teen Ink, January 2010
“This story is both thrilling and astoundingly passionate as it shows the lives that the teens of Odessa so crave. I love how the author describes the hard work the players and coaches put in every season…I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a great sports drama about how far people will go to make their dreams come true.”



Arlington Heights Daily Herald, 1/15/2010
“[It] captured the good, bad and sometimes ridiculous of high school sports.”

Gainesville Sun, 2/6/11 “Essential pig-skin reading.”   Birmingham News, 7/10/11 “outstanding”
  Manchester Enterprise, 8/4/11
“With characters so rich and larger-than-life, sometimes it's easy to forget that the book is based on real people.”   Dow Jones Newswires, 9/22/11 “Shows how much a sport can bleed into every part of a community's life…As much a sociological study of a depressed town as it is a sports story.”
The Chieftain , 12/15/11 “Gritty, inspiring, heartbreaking, bittersweet—all those adjectives apply. This book will show you just how big Texas high school football is and make you wonder if that's a good thing or a bad thing.”

New York Times, 5/14/12
“A classic of American sports writing.”

Lufkin News, 6/29/12 “A well-researched and compelling story."
FHM, August 2012

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