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Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream [Kindle Edition]

H G Bissinger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

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.

Product Description


"Superb and disturbing - More than a sports book, it's a search for the America of ordinary people." (Newsday)

"A remarkable book, fascinating from start to finish, full of surprises." (David Halberstam)

"Friday Night Lights offers a biting indictment of the sports craziness that grips ... most of American society, while at the same time providing a moving evocation of its powerful allure." (New York Times Book Review)

"Just about everything you could ask for in a sports book" (New York Times)


"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 jus

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1773 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (31 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224076744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224076746
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,560 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST BOOK SINCE THE BIBLE! 22 April 1999
By A Customer
This book is without a doubt one of the greatest books I have ever read. With being a three-year varsity letterman in football at my high school, I can relate to some of the pressures and hardships that the players at Permian high had. No one can really understand the excitement of playing under the lights on Friday night until you are out on the field lined up against someone as exited as much as you are. Some of the problems the players face are not just faced when you are out on the field, whether you are on the field or not you face problems everyday of your life, like whether to go to the party on Saturday night or go out with your friends and stay out of trouble. When Boobie got hurt they just kind of left him out of everything, and that was not very cool he was probably one of the best players on the team. When I got hurt my coaches helped me get back to my full potential as soon as I could and that is how it should be in every program. I would highly recommend this book to anyone I think this book should be a required book to read in class.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 minutes to play, a lifetime to remember! 10 July 1999
By A Customer
I was a three year starting quarterback for a smaller west texas high school. This book brought back all of those glorious memories for me! For those of you who have not played, this is an ideal book. --I dropped the book off at one of my ex-teammates house one day after he had came in from working in the oilfield. I asked him to read it and give me his opinion. 2 weeks later he called me around 1:30 in the morning while I was at college. He was crying, softly he said that he could not finish reading it. --For those of us who have played, it will touch a nerve!! --5 years later I am still trying to get him to finish the book...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply brilliant 13 Mar. 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book, like many on the back of seeing the film and then subsequently a few episodes of the TV show and i have to say i was blown away from the first chapter.

I wouldnt say it was completely different to the film or the show but alot more in depth, as you would expect from a book but watchin the film you cant help but feel that there is alot of things that they could have focused more on to make it a better adaptation, which is why this book has to be read aswell if you are a fan of either the tv show or the film because you can get a better feel for the characters and the town and why they are the way they are when it comes to high school football.

brilliantly written, poignantly set in a time where not alot is going for the town apart from those Friday Night Lights - (cheesy ending i know but what the hell)

simply brilliant
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating True Life Story Which Teaches Much! 20 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
I read Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger approximately three years ago. I have just re-read it after having finished "Our Guys" by Bernanrd Lefkowitz, the tragic tale of a town where the star football team members rape a retarded woman and how it's dealt with (or perhaps more accurately -- all but denied) by the town.Lights is a compelling read that makes it easy to hang on to even if one isn't the greatest fan of football. In reading a number of other reviews on this book, I view many of those as defensive reactions from people of the town or from some who know people of the town. This is sad because Lights isn't an indictment of Odessa, Texas. It is EVERYTOWN, USA. There is a great deal of U.S. universality to the story. Yes, one town was spotlighted. Often this is how we learn our greatest lessons in life... by observing human behavior in one setting and considering how it applies to ourselves and the places we live -- to our little world.Bissinger didn't betray the citizens of Odessa. He was not an "undercover" agent spying on them. The people of the town knew he was a reporter; apparently quite a likeable one. Why they expected the lionization of their town and their team as a result of the fact that the reporter was a nice guy is beyond me. Bissinger has proven himself to be an outstanding and objective observer of the culture of Odessa. And, while I don't personally know him, he had nothing against Odessa as a town and probably still doesn't (although he did receive death threats as a result of the book so I don't if that has by now changed his view at all.)Bissinger did what a good journalist does; he told the story of his objective observations. Unfortunately, from this reader's perspective, not a fun or loving or wonderful story. Read more ›
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FASCINATING BUT DEPRESSING 1 Aug. 2000
By A Customer
H.G. Bissinger's account of the fortunes of a high school football team during the 1988 season is a genuinely unsettling exploration of the dominant role that sports occupies in American culture. As abrasive and uncompromising as the empty west Texas prairie that surrounds it, the racially and economically-divided oil town of Odessa is a community in decline. The Permian Panthers football team, the most successful high school team in state history, is the only stable feature around which the town, bankrupted by the boom-bust oil economy of the eighties, can base any sense of identity. Such is the unbelievable extent of the town's obsession with the team, that one often forgets that the players Bissinger writes about are not seasoned professionals or even highly-touted college stars, but 17- and 18-year old high school kids. The pampered treatment that the players receive at school and from the community is disquieting, and it becomes clear that without Permian football, the people of Odessa would have nothing with which to give their lives structure and meaning. In this way, Friday Night Lights examines the relationship between a sports team and a community that occupies such an intriguing and integral role in the American identity. Bissinger's observations moreover highlight the disturbing inadequacies of an education system continually relegated to second place behind athletic success. A fascinating, if ultimately depressing book, that is as much an indictment of life in the heartland of Reagan-era America as it is of the more general nationwide obsession with sports.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic. Very honest.
Published 14 days ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best sports books ever. Period.
Published 15 days ago by Bundai
5.0 out of 5 stars permian got one hell of a mojo!
If you want to get a real insight into the gridiron game this is the book to read. It pulls no punches, and you can soon understand just how big this game is when you you read the... Read more
Published 21 days ago by Raymondo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!!!
Well written, great real life characters.
Published 2 months ago by L. Debbi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Alderton
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Read, really enjoyed it!
Cracking Read, really enjoyed it!
Published 2 months ago by I. MILLAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everything perfect.
Published 3 months ago by Eduardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but worth the read
For an introduction to a certain kind of society in the 80s USA, this is quite interesting.

As an action-packed football book, it's not. Read more
Published 3 months ago by CasualReader
3.0 out of 5 stars ... that on the sports side does give you a good measure of USA...
Gets a bit too into PC politics and colour politics but outside that on the sports side does give you a good measure of USA football and how they only play up to school (unless... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
I'd seen the book down the years and heard about it but on reading it it's more of a sociological study rather than a sports book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by RickoB
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