Written by H.G. Bissinger
Da Capo Press
|This national best-seller, which was made into a
movie, could be one of the best books ever written of a sport. Texas high school football
is a way of life in our countrys 2nd largest state. To magnify this
obsession even more, West Texas high school football is practically the lifeblood of each
town on that side of the state.
H.G. Bissinger traveled to Odessa, Texas, to learn of the story of the Permian Panthers. Predominantly populated by Caucasian students, its fascinating to read of how the school fought for certain sections of the town to be divided into their school district, just to get the best Black and Hispanic players.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS focuses in on the 1988 Permian Panther football team. Considerable time is spent on each of the important members of the team, and you get to know them intimately. This has a great effect on how youll feel about the story when the good, the bad, and the ugly rear their heads.
Coach Gary Gains and his wife Sharon ride the tumultuous rollercoaster that comes with being the coach of such a successful high school football team. When theyre winning, Odessa couldnt be happier, but after a loss, the town virtually squeezes the life out of the Gains family.
One of the most suspenseful parts of the book is when a 3-way tie had to be broken to determine who went to the playoffs. All 3 coaches were given a secret location in the middle of nowhere, and even escorted by police, to decide which 2 teams would advance.
I really feel connected to Boobie Miles, Mike Winchell, Ivory Christian and Brian Chavez. I credit H.G. Bissinger for doing this, and giving me one heck of a read.
I strongly recommend you read FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS.