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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream [Bargain Price] » User review

Even if you hate football, you'll love this book

  • Jul 10, 2010
Let me preface this review by saying that I am not much of a sports fan. Yet this is one of my favorite non fiction books of all time. 
The surface story, is of course about high school football and the fanatical followers of one small town team in Texas, where football is a religion. But it is really a penetrating look at economic, class, social and racial issues in America- viewed through the singular prism of  a dead end small town.
Written in the late 80's, at the end of a oil boom & bust economic cycle, the book is just as relevant today in the current "Great Recession" era.  For those familiar with the movie version of this book, and the even better and sadly overlooked TV series, I recommend this book as it is the source material, and just as well done. Powerful, poignant, and beautifully observed!

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Patsy Hatt ()
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Secular religions are fascinating in the devotion and zealousness they breed, and in Texas, high school football has its own rabid hold over the faithful. H.G. Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, enters into the spirit of one of its most fervent shrines: Odessa, a city in decline in the desert of West Texas, where the Permian High School Panthers have managed to compile the winningest record in state annals. Indeed, as this breathtaking examination of the town, the team, its coaches, and its young players chronicles, the team, for better and for worse,isthe town; the communal health and self-image of the latter is directly linked to the on-field success of the former. The 1988 season, the oneFriday Night Lightsrecounts, was not one of the Panthers' best. The game's effect on the community--and the players--was explosive. Written with great style and passion,Friday Night Lightsoffers an American snapshot in deep focus; the picture is not always pretty, but the image is hard to forget.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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ISBN-10: 0306813742
Author: H. G. Bissinger

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