Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

Friday Night Lights

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...

Details Friday Night Lights

TitleFriday Night Lights
Release DateSep 28th, 2004
PublisherDa Capo Press
GenreSports, Nonfiction, Football

Reviews Friday Night Lights

  • Jason
    This book is heartbreaking.I grew up in a very liberal part of the country. My family is comprised mostly of hard-working European immigrants who value education above all else. In many ways, I should be the last person able to appreciate or understand life in small-town Texas with its conservative values and its unhealthy obsession with high school sports. Yet, I actually did attend a private junior/senior high school with a hockey program that ...
  • Paul
    I was on an airplane one Friday night when I was reading this book. As the plane took off from Cleveland I noticed a high school football game in progress. I could see the lights.. the two teams on the field.. the crowd and the marching band. I watched the field as long as I could. Just at the point when I couldn't see the stadium anymore my eye caught the lights of another football field. Then.. when I looked out over the countryside I noticed t...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    "Life really wouldn't be worth livin' if you didn't have a high school team to support."In the Reading class I am teaching in May 2016, I challenged my students to read a book from a genre they had not read. I played along, and ended up reading an Amish romance and this sports book. One reading friend talked about this book on an episode of the Reading Envy podcast and made it sound pretty compelling, sports or no sports."You'd watch these kids p...
  • Taylor
    I didn't grow up in a football-watching family. My father, who apparently loved the game, passed away when I was young. My mother was much more interested in baseball, and had coworkers with season tickets, so I grew up going to the Kingdome to watch Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Joey Cora, Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson... I even spent my high school prom night at Safeco Field, watching Freddy Garcia pitch a great game against the Yank...
  • Charles
    If you think this book is about high school football in Texas, you're pretty much wrong. There is a fair amount about football, but this book is really a sort of sociological study of a small Texas town where Football is played. There is a lot about the difficulties of the local economy after the oil slump, and in general the book gives what I thought was a fairly negative view of the people and their preoccupations. I almost never like movies be...
  • Shirley
    It's not a surprise that I loved this book. It is about high school football. I watched a lot of football growing up (Friday nights: high school football; Saturday: University of Colorado football; Sunday: NFL football - I was a huge 49ers fan). I probably could have done something great with all the hours I spent watching football. Ah well. My high school football team won the state championship, and I remember it as a glory day - it was snowing...
  • Carol
    If you love football, Friday Night Lights likely will be the best sports book you've ever read. If you don't love football, and aren't an avid nonfiction reader? FNL likely will be the best nonfiction book you've ever read.FNL is about the stories communities tell themselves. It's about how we live our values, collectively, how we relate to one another, how we motivate ourselves, our priorities, how we rationalize public policy, spending, the way...
  • Dan
    My friends Matt & Cassie introduced us to the television show "Friday Night Lights" this past winter. I had only heard of it on blogs before then and never really paid any attention to it.Wow, was I late to the party. The television show is excellent and I highly recommend it, even if you don't like football.Being the bookworm that I am, I had to find the inspiration for the television show. I actually bought a copy of the book for my friend Matt...
  • Will Byrnes
    Bissinger, a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, chronicles a year in the life of Odessa Texas, and more particularly the Permian High School Panther football team, the social nexus of this third rate town. It follows the stories of players for the team, present and past, as well as a look at some of the opposition, the events surrounding the season, the history and economics of the town, and finds a microcosm of the larger world. It is very in...
  • Jerrodm
    This is a fantastic book. I felt sick to my stomach reading it.I played football in high school in a place where there was much more than high school football for most people to do on a Friday night. I can relate to some aspects of the story: football games were the only sporting events in my school where admission was charged, they drew probably five times the attendees of any other sport, and we wore our jerseys proudly to school on pep rally d...
    In 1988 Philadelphia sportswriter H.G. Bissinger journeyed to Western Texas to see what was up with the state's winningest high-school football team. He put not only the Permian Panther's football program under his analytical lens, but the entire city of Odessa in West Texas that surrounds it. Mojo -- that shorthand for football support that shows up on everything from newspaper titles to bumper stickers to hand-lettered signs the cheerleading Pe...
  • Scott
    This 'non-fiction novel' began a little slowly and it was slightly confusing to differentiate the teammates in the first twenty or so pages. However, it quickly becomes gripping and entertaining to follow the ups and downs of this high school football team's '88 season. The sociology of the impact on the small town Texas setting (the state's unofficial motto: "Play Football or Die") is also fascinating. Highly recommended.
  • Christine
    Dear Mr. Bissinger,I think watching the Intelligent Squared debate you were in is great. I loved the television series based on this book. I learned something about myself while reading this. Even good writing such as yours, does not make me care a whit about football.
  • Sera
    Great book that Bissinger wrote while embedded with the 1988 Permian Panthers and living for a year with his family in Odessa, Texas. Bissinger's book not only focuses on the high school football team's quest to win state, but he also provides an understanding of the people who make up the town, its history, and their views on everything from politics to race. For those people who are looking to understand white people in rural America who are li...
  • Zach N
    I liked this book because of the suspense leading up to the playoff's. As silly as it seemed to have the teams to ake the playoff's determined with a coin flip, that just added so much suspense and really kept me glued to the book. I love sports books, and this was a perfect example of a good sports book, i recommend this book for any sports fan/player.
  • Lukas Kott
    I think Friday night lights was actually a really cool book and I enjoyed reading it and didn't have to force myself to read it. Was a great sport about football and life in high school. Living in Texas how it's different living their in a small town that's so passionate about the sport they play and it means so much to everyone in the town. I wanted to feel like I was in the town and one of the football players."Clear eyes. full heart. Can't los...
  • Raleighhunter
    I'm glad I bought this at Half Price Books so the author didn't make any money off of me. I always read the forward of any book and this one, the author tells you up front he is looking for a sport to bash to be the next "A Season on the Brink" and Texas makes an easy target. The writer tells you he has an opinion of Texas before he heads south and writes the story based on his preconceived notions, not anything he actually saw in Texas. The writ...
  • Carol Storm
    Classic reporting, but needs more football and less patronizing social commentary on those poor ignorant Texans and how they "cling" to oil and football!
  • Donald
    One character strength Crow and Bobo have is persistence. They show this on the football field because it takes more than one tackler to bring them down.
  • CJ H
    CJ HerronMrs. EbarviaWorld Lit10/21/08 H.G. Bissinger was born in New York City in November of 1954. He spent time writing for the Philadelphia inquirer. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger is about a small town in Texas called Odessa. Permian High school football is a way of life and almost every kid dreams of wearing the black and white under Friday night lights some day. Permian’s goal in the 1988 season was to reach the state championship...
  • Alicen
    This true story is an incredibly powerful telling of the role football played for this group of young men growing up in rural West Texas in the 1980's. I felt completely immersed in the world the author captured and was I captivated by how he managed to show both the positives and the negatives of such a world, often at the very same time. It felt honest and raw, and I didn't want it to end. "the solemn ritual that was attached to almost everythi...
  • Neil Powell
    This book is about so much more than American Football. On the surface, it tells the story of the Permian Panthers, the high school football team from Permian High School in Odessa, Texas. It focuses on 6 of the senior players and some of the coaching staff. It gives us accounts of their backgrounds, families and their feelings about school, life and playing football. The season in question (1988) was supposed to be the year where the team were t...
  • Kirsti
    Affecting, amusing, alarming, appalling account of the winningest high-school football team in Texas. (Apparently this review was brought to you by the letter A.) Along the way, Bissinger discusses popularity, racism, sexism, fresh-baked cookies, memories, oil, home economics, class conflicts, statutory rape, algebra, the savings-and-loan crisis, lowered expectations, skewed priorities, algebra, and armed robbery.Some of my favorite passages:Coac...
  • Lynn Lebo-Planas
    There are some really interesting sections about the condemnation of football and the institutional racism in a town like Odessa, but it felt loooooooong and could have lost about 50 pages.
  • Rachel Bryan
    Really enjoyed most of this. The actual football games though... snooze.
  • Karessa A.
    Although it took me a while to finish this book, it was wonderful and extremely well written. I enjoyed being able to relate to the number of emotions that were surrounding the games. Throughout the book, you felt like you were apart of the games that were being played and you could feel how each important player felt, it was amazing. I remember just sitting in my room reading and reminiscing about all the good games I have had in football for th...
  • Jackson Adams
    I think a theme could Do the best you can every day because the town Permian was going through some rough times such as the crime rate which has gone up. Also they were going through rough economy times because they are a poor town. But the football team is good and made it all the state semi-finals and worked so hard to get there and lost on the last play of the game. Those players did everything they could to be there they were by doing their b...
  • Kaylee Martinez
    What I really liked about this book is that the main focus of this book was the football players' lives. Bissinger talked about how they would feel and what they would do before a game day. It shows that people relied on them and how the players felt with all that weight on their shoulders. They would have to win so that the Permian fans could be happy, since football was the only entertainment in Odessa.