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Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A…

Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream (original 1990; edition 2000)

by H. G. Bissinger (Author)

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2,217604,637 (4.04)56
Return once again to the enduring account of life in the Mojo lane, to the Permian Panthers of Odessa -- the winningest high school football team in Texas history. Odessa is not known to be a town big on dreams, but the Panthers help keep the hopes and dreams of this small, dusty town going. Socially and racially divided, its 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 inspires-and sometimes shatters-the teenagers who wear the Panthers' uniforms. Includes Reader's Group Guide inside.Now a major motion picture starring Billy Bob Thorton.… (more)
Title:Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream
Authors:H. G. Bissinger (Author)
Info:Da Capo Press (2000), Edition: 1, 367 pages
Collections:C location, Your library
Tags:paperback, NF

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Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by Buzz Bissinger (1990)


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It’s Friday night in the late ’80s, and the town of Odessa, Texas is deserted. Where has everyone gone? Chances are they went to the Permian High School football game. Follow the 1988 Permian Panthers as they face the ups and downs of a tough season including injuries, losses, and controversy.

With a steep tradition of winning, the young men on the team face incredible pressure to be perfect and deliver what everyone wants – another state championship. In an odd twist straight out of a movie, it could all end in a three-way coin toss. In a town that is larger than life, these young men will face the biggest challenge of theirs. Win or lose, this is the stuff of dreams and memories.

The Bottom Line: Sports fans will want to check out this pager-turner that inspired the movie and the TV series. With a main focus on sports, this book also takes a look at education, American culture, local history, economics, and politics. The updated version is just as riveting as it was when it was first published and features a look at where the young men are twenty-five years later. Still relevant today, “Friday Night Lights” will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read (or reread) this classic sports story. Highly recommended for sports fans, educators, parents, students, and history buffs.

For the complete review including Book Club Notes, please visit the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | Feb 25, 2019 |
This is the story of the Permian football team in Odessa Texas. They are the winning-est high school football team in Texas history. The book follows the year long journey of the 1988 football team. The author moved to Odessa with his family so that he could be engrossed in the local culture and really get to know the team, coaches, and the town. Odessa is a depressed, recently desegregated town in West Texas. Known for being one of the worst cities to live in of all America, the town cares for little else besides football. Drawing crowds up 15-20 thousand people for a Friday Night game, you were a local hero and star if you ever played on the Permian High School Team. This team knows that their only goal is to win at all costs, and find that sometimes that cost it too high.

I really enjoyed this book. I shook my head several times at the stories I read about how much stress these kids were under to perform high school football. How education took not only a backseat, but basically wasn't even on the radar as long as their best players didn't have to sit out due to grades. One school took it all the way to the judges in the court to make sure that an Algebra grade could be over looked so that the kid could play on his football team. There were a few kids on the team who were as naturally bright as they were talented - one even went to Harvard. But while they were in high school, football was king, and no matter where you were in class rank, it didn't matter if you couldn't perform on the field on Friday night.

I encourage you to check this book out. I am going to watch the movie and TV show next to see how it compares. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
I love football: I love watching football, I love reading about football. This was a great story about a high school football team in Odessa, Texas, named the Permian Panthers, and their attempt to make it to the state championship in 1988. In a town like Odessa, there isn't much to look forward to except for football, and the Panthers would often draw crowds of up to 20,000 people on a Friday night. People would wait in line for two days to get tickets. To a high school football game. Can you even begin to imagine that? I can't. The pressure these kids were under is staggering. It's a compelling and gripping story, full of tension and obsession. ( )
  bekkil1977 | Feb 10, 2018 |
I didn't think that I would be interested in the "New Classic." But the author hits this one out of the park, weaving a story together of the intimate details of the lives of the players, the coach, and the community. This might take place in Texas but it is a classic coming of age story. The revised edition with the afterward, 25 years later, is almost as expected. ( )
  deldevries | Nov 1, 2017 |
I can't believe I'm giving this book 5 stars, but that's how good it is. I didn't want to like it and in fact have resisted all things FNL in spite of (or because of) being a native Texan. But the storytelling and the story and the history were wonderfully done. It is relevant to our times even now and I just might have to watch the movie and/or the series now. ( )
  Pamici | Oct 12, 2017 |
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In the Shreve High football stadium, I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville, And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood, And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel, Dreaming of heroes.

-From "Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio", by James Wright
To Howard, whom I miss. To Sarah, Gerry and Zachary, whom I love.
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Maybe it was a suddenly acute awareness of being "thirtysomething."
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This is the book version, not the film or TV series.
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Follows the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas, exploring the lives of the players and the impact of the championship team on the small town.
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