HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a…
Loading...

The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football

by Stuart Stevens

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
233459,532 (3.93)None

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 3 of 3
it wasn't always clear what "year" the author was writting about as it jumped around, sometimes from one paragraph to the next. still, a nice easy read, especially if you like football or reliving the glory the days of the past. living in Syracuse, we haven't had much to celebrate as far as football goes, only having our one winning/undefeated season as well (1959). ( )
  jnoble82 | Mar 20, 2017 |


Really wonderful. A memoir that works is a memoir that has magic, some appeal that embraces nostalgia and those special moments that shape people.

I'm not a football fan, but it is still a beautiful book for those who are or aren't because the words 'memoir' and 'father-son' bonding over the sport captures the magic of the game, which even a non-fan could appreciate. This isn't a book about football - it's a book about the bonding of father and son through tradition and indulging in something they share, an everyday occurrence that speaks volumes when introduced into their lives and their relationship. The author looks back with fond memories, comparing the present with his father through the game, finding the love and joy still existing. They have changed, they have aged, but the bond is real and true.

As I kept reading, I saw it wasn't so much the game but the moment, that special something a person can't put into words, a touching history and connection the game brings to the families who share it.

Above football, it captured the connection of families and fans from all over, recognizing each other at different games, or meeting strangers and binding on this similarity alone, with no awkwardness, no hesitation, just a connection immediately understood. Stuart Stevens, from Mississippi, went through the book with the catchphrase repeated, Hotty Toddy, the spirit of Ole Miss. He dug into the old southern feel and tradition, not leaving out the racism slant that troubled him as he grew up during integration of the school system. Sometimes I thought this was delved on a little too much, almost to the point of dividing the book into two points instead, but it ultimately blends together to bring a lot of pieces into one large picture.

The author acknowledges how fortunate he is to have the upbringing he had, the parents he has to this day, the life and changes he was blessed with, making a note that it is not always so for others:

"That I had this chance was a pure accident of my birth, being lucky enough to have parents who gave me options. We say that in America anyone can become anything he desires, which is probably more true for us than most countries, but that still doesn't make it true."

The author made the transition painless when going from the past to the present, perhaps because they were already so intertwined and connected. Sometimes its tiresome to me to try continuous time shifts but I didn't notice in this book, for it was done that well. Stevens writes beautifully, wordy when it should be, to the point and on focus other times.

"But that night in Oxford, first in the soft dusk of a hot Mississippi evening and then in the darkness that seemed to last too long, the rioters didn't want the world to watch; they wanted the world to go away."

This isn't a book that will cause a long review, other than to say it was wonderful and beautiful, told through real characters and touching moments. Again, there's magic in memoirs.

I received from Penguin Publishing in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
Given the presidential campaign that Stuart Stevens was a part of in 2012 - he and I probably differ on many, if not most, political issues. When I heard a TV interview of his, however, I knew I had to read this book - and I am very glad I did.

The book is mostly about a season of Ole Miss football that Stevens attends with his 95-year old father...but politics - both local and national, both present day and of the civil rights era - are woven throughout this thoughtful and heartfelt memoir.

Many of Stevens fondest memories of childhood involve football. Watching football on TV and in person - and specifically - the Ole Miss football team. Stevens was raised in Mississippi - in a state and a family that was steeped in football. His father, who he clearly idolized (and still does, I think), was the main person teaching him about the game they loved, and through the game, a great deal about life and of the troubled times they lived in.

“We say that in America anyone can become anything he desires, which is probably more true for us than any country in the world, but that still doesn’t make it true. And nowhere in America have circumstances of birth been more defining than Mississippi. With my parents, I won the lottery: loving parents, every possible advantage, and, yes, born white. All Mississippi stories are eventually about race, and mine is no exception. The path of my life wasn’t fully determined the day I was born, but the choices I might be afforded were certainly a gift of birth and nothing I had earned.” (His acknowledgement of this, and the fact that both of his parents were Democrats in 1960's Mississippi makes me shake my head as I try and figure out how he ended up on Romney's campaign.)

As the football season plays on, Stevens and his parents travel around for various games and meet others even more intense about the game than they were. When they were on the road at the same time as the Alabama/Auburn game, a woman in a retail store chided Steven's mother about joking about the rivalry. “Honey, we don’t joke about that sort of thing,” the woman said flatly. She didn’t smile. “This ain’t casual like Ole Miss and Miss State.” “I wouldn’t call that casual,” my mother said, laughing. “I would, sweetie,” the woman said, staring coolly at my mother.”

The book makes it clear that football is a religion in the South. A religion that Stevens tries to explain to those not of the south - even while he makes it clear that he know that anyone not raised there would never truly understand. Would never truly feel the passion, the heartache, the wild joy that a southern fan did.

“All those years of games with my dad had taught me the lesson all true fans painfully learn, that the essence of sport is disappointment masked by periodic bursts of joy nurtured by denial.”

There is a great deal of humility, appreciation and quiet joy in "The Last Season". Many times, Stevens is able to take a step back and take a mental snapshot of a moment. Sometimes it is a moment that is beautifully similar to a good one he experienced as a boy, sometimes it is a moment that starkly shows the differences between the times...and many times it is a moment with his father that he knows may be one of the last ones.

I loved this book. The descriptions of the fans, the schools, the party atmosphere before the game (and the quite atmosphere after a loss), the season changes and the fierce love this man has for his father were wonderfully evocative. And the football - the descriptions of games (even for a fair-weather fan like myself) was simply gripping.

“The interception was only one play, early in a long game, but it was enough to let you believe that tonight had a shot to be one of those magical games when luck and chance had decided to bless our side, if only for a few hours.”

Stevens now has many of those magical hours of memories that he won't forget - and neither will I. ( )
  karieh | Oct 5, 2015 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For all the wonderful teachers who taught me how to read and tried to teach me to write
First words
It was the first Ole Miss game that season in Jackson, and I'd been looking forward to it all summer.
Quotations
Sports had proven the cliches to be true: that only by uniting could we build something greater than ourselves.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385353022, Hardcover)

Fathers, sons, and sports are enduring themes of American literature. Here, in this fresh and moving account, a son returns to his native South to spend a special autumn with his ninety-five-year-old dad, sharing the unique joys, disappointments, and life lessons of Saturdays with their beloved Ole Miss Rebels.

After growing up in Jackson, Stuart Stevens built a successful career as a writer and political consultant. But in the fall of 2012, not long after he turned sixty, the presidential campaign he’d worked on suffered a painful defeat. Grappling with a profound sense of loss and mortality, he began asking himself some tough questions, not least about his relationship with his father. The two of them had spent little time together for decades. He made a resolution: to invite his father to attend a season of Ole Miss football games together, as they’d done when college football provided a way for his father to guide him through childhood—and to make sense of the troubled South of the 1960s. Now, driving to and from the games, and cheering from the stands, they take stock of their lives as father and son, and as individuals, reminding themselves of their unique, complicated, precious bond.
 
Poignant and full of heart, but also irreverent and often hilarious, The Last Season is a powerful story of parents and children and of the importance of taking a backward glance together while you still can.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 08 Jul 2015 18:10:26 -0400)

A 60-year-old son and his aging father reflect on their lives and share poignant and irreverent memories as they attend a full season of Ole Miss football games together, just as they had over half a century ago. In the fall of 2012, grappling with a profound sense of mortality, Stevens began asking himself some tough questions, not least about his relationship with his father. The two of them had spent little time together for decades. He made a resolution: to invite his father to attend a season of Ole Miss football games together, as they'd done when college football provided a way for his father to guide him through childhood. Now, driving to and from the games, and cheering from the stands, they take stock of their lives as father and son, and as individuals, reminding themselves of their unique, complicated, precious bond.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.93)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 2
3.5 1
4 2
4.5
5 2

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,436,030 books! | Top bar: Always visible