Friday Night Lights

By H.G. Bissinger,

Book cover of Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

Book description

The 25th anniversary edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller and Sports Illustrated 's best football book of all time, with a new afterword by the authorReturn once again to the timeless account of the Permian Panthers of Odessa,the winningest high-school football team in Texas history. Socially and racially…

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Why read it?

4 authors picked Friday Night Lights as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

A superb and gripping account of the hold that American Football has over a small town in the USA. In telling the story of a season, Bissinger captures the glory, tragedy, and futility of sport, and its connection to racial politics, ambition, local rivalries, and a passionate fan base. Led to a brilliant TV series. Elegiac and path-breaking.

When I read Friday Night Lights, I felt like a mirror was held in front of us as a culture. I loved how thorough the immersion was of the Texas high school football life. It was like Bissinger asked for an unguided tour and it was granted, and he wrote about what he saw. I later read that the people of Odessa were horrified by the book and my response to them would be to look a little closer. Sports are great; I played, I watch, I enjoy. But to become obsessive to the point of glorifying boys when…

From Mark's list on institutional hypocrisy.

If you’re in the know, you understand the tagline used in my book list. It comes from the TV show inspired by this amazing work of journalism. I first read Friday Night Lights in college 25 years ago as a sociology/history assignment. A major sports fan, I was excited to see a book about high school football on my required list. This book,’s about so much more. This inside look at a year spent with one of the most dominant Texas high school football programs delves into the politics of small towns, the pressure put on young athletes, personal…

Although most cultures test their young through sports, there is nothing on the planet that quite rivals American high school football as a rite of passage. Behind the boosterism and cheerleading rests a melancholy knowledge that, for most of the boys on the field (and many of the fans in the stands), life will never be better than it is on those cool autumn nights. Bissinger’s genius is to capture this combination of excitement and wistfulness in a moving, utterly engrossing account of the Permian Panthers of Odessa, Texas as they undergo their fifteen weeks of glory in pursuit of…

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