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Season on the Brink: A Year with Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers
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Season on the Brink: A Year with Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,309 ratings  ·  93 reviews
A Season on the Brink is the gripping, inside story of one of the most controversial and driven figures in sports: Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight. Features a blockbuster bonus chapter--not included in the hardcover--on the 1986-87 Indiana season including their NCAA championship win!
Paperback, 353 pages
Published December 31st 1987 by Pocket Books (first published 1986)
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Sep 02, 2008 Laura rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people without TVs that are forced to read about basketball games instead of watching them
This book proves 2 things without a doubt:

1. Bob Knight is an asshole
2. You can read about a game or see it live, but basketball is best enjoyed on TV in the comfort of your own home.

The end.
I am not an athlete nor a huge sports fan, but I do read a wide variety of genres and have enjoyed some athletic nonfiction previously. This book came to me highly recommended, but in the end fell a bit short for me. I was curious about why I didn't find this book as good as others had said and spent a fair amount of time reflecting on that. In the end, I think it is because I struggled with the story itself, and not with the telling of it. I did learn some new things about Bobby Knight, about h ...more
stop the presses!
Bob Knight is an asshole......
I think it's interesting how many people say this book just confirms that Bob Knight is an asshole, when I really don't think anything could humanize him more than the stories Feinstein tells about Knight's passions and insecurities. If anything the book might be a too-sympathetic portrayal; Feinstein mainly represents Knight as being driven by love of the game and desire to win, when in reality his main concern was with himself, namely how he was treated and how he was represented in the media. ...more
Al Young
I have been going back and reading some of the great all-time sports book. This is among the best-selling sports books of all time, and follows the 1985-86 Indiana Hoosiers basketball team and their colorful coach Bobby Knight.

Feinstein has since become a fixture on sports talk radio, and a keen observer on sports (especially college basketball and golf). Knight at the time was a God among mortals where College (and high School) Basketball was the local religion. I spent quite a bit of time in t
I liked it because it was about Bob Knight, a figure I have been fascinated by for many, many years. I used to tell people I decided to get my undergrad degree at Indiana University because of Knight (in a past life I was an inappropriately obsessed basketball player, against all odds at 5'1"). This was, of course, before I learned of his hilariously out-of-touch sexism. But still, his style of basketball was my bread and butter. I can't believe I hadn't read Feinstein's book sooner--it is still ...more
If you know anything about college basketball, you know who Bobby Knight is. But few people can pinpoint the reason why Knight is the way he is and why he is known as one of the best coaches in college basketball history. “A Season on the Brink” chronicles the 1985-1986 basketball season, a year after the infamous chair-throwing incident. In this book, author John Feinstein was somehow allowed to shadow Knight and the team throughout the year, witnessing both the good and bad with the Indiana Ho ...more
Yes, Bob Knight is a jerk. However, there is something admirable yet tragic about a guy who pursues perfection with the doggedness that he does, and in doing so puts relationships in jeopardy. Even though some of his methods are deplorable, isn't that the passion we look for in all our stars? LeBron James was one of the top 3 players - if not the best player - in basketball in the 2010-2011 season but was widely regarded as a disappointment because he did not live up to his infinite potential. A ...more
I had really high expectations for this book, which weren't met, but I think that stems mainly from that fact that when this book was published in the late 80's, it probably was revolutionary. Today, though, social media has made the behind-the-scenes stuff in this book relatively mainstream. I applaud Bob Knight for allowing Feinstein to follow him around for a year - that takes guts, especially if he was going to act the way he did. There are parts of Bob Knight's coaching philosophy that I ad ...more
David Ward
A Season on the Brink by John Feinstein (Fireside 1986)(Biography) follows Coach Bob Knight of the Indiana Hoosiers through the 1986 and, in abbreviated form, the 1987 college basketball seasons. What a sad, sad man. Why any kid would want to spend four years with him is beyond me. My rating: 6/10, finished 4/10/14.
Jd Ehringer
This book is what made me really get into basketball as a kid. I feel like it could do the same for someone else. Definitely suited towards upper elementary grades because of the length and some of the words being a little complex, but definitely one I would recommend a student to read if I felt they could handle it.
Really could have been called "A Tale of Two Knights". The out of control, chair throwing Knight, and the Knight who is as loyal to his friends, players, and others who are courteous approaching him. This was one of the few Feinstein non fiction books I haven't read. I have to admit part of the reason was how I felt about Bobby Knight. Sometimes I liked him and sometimes he irritated me. But I really did enjoy this book. As a former ref I would never want to work his games. That would be really ...more
A very in-depth look at a year (and more) of the Indiana University basketball program coached by the unpredictable Bob Knight. I was impressed with the amount of detail with which Feinstein wrote this book. All the traditions and routines were very fascinating and bring the reader closer to what is going on.

After reading this book, one gets the impression that Bob Knight is a man who, although he has issues with controlling his temper and actions, cares very much about his players and program a
Truman Devitt
A Season on the Brink is possibly the best sports book I have ever read. If you are a college basketball fan, this is a book for you. Over a three week period, I could not stop reading it. I highly recommend this book.
Xander Echt
This book is a great book. John Feinstein has shared many great things that I didn't know about Indiana basketball. I loved the Indiana Hoosiers. I watch them every time they play. I wish I could see Bob Knight coach my team. In the book now it is November 1985. It is just before the Indiana Hoosiers have started there season. They have been having some trouble though. Some players are having rouble with getting to class. Also some players are having trouble with the NCAA if they the team wants ...more
This book was, pretty much, exactly what I expected. Bobby Knight yelling. Bobby Knight belittling. Bobby Knight screaming. Bobby Knight sympathizing. Bobby Knight eating. Bobby Knight bitching. Bobby Knight loving. Mixed in is John Feinstein providing colorful commentary and history to the season before The Season on the Brink. Special props to Cleveland State whom I totally forgot knocked the Hoosiers out of the first round. All in all, it was a mildly enjoyable read, especially when they disc ...more
Although this is a decent look into the ups and downs of college basketball with one of the most winning and polarizing coaches ever, it fell short for me with too much focus on the mood swings of Bob Knight and too little involvement in the development and progress of the student athletes. I lost count of how many times I read that "Steve Alford was just Steve Alford" for a wrap up on one of the great players of the game and then have minimal insight into his reactions to the coach's tirades. O ...more
Here's the remarkable thing: I finished it. And I not only dislike college basketball, I am completely ignorant of it. The only reason I read this book was because I heard the author interviewed on a nationally-syndicated radio show and found him to be an engaging storyteller. Since he was promoting the re-release of this book on its 25th anniversary, I thought I might like to read his writing. It's a tribute to John Feinstein's story-telling ability that I hung in there to the end. If you like ...more
Wonderful view of complicated man and big time college athletics. Still relevant despite the explosion of money and TV in college athletics.
Holly Cline
I thought this book was done really well on a lot of levels. It's one of the best sports tagalong books I've read. And that is saying something since this is written about a season where I was 1 year old at the time. I had no attachment to or recollection of the particular Hoosiers team. I knew very little about Bob Knight other than the obvious. I've seen a few of the classic Hoosier games on ESPN Classic. But to go in with so little knowledge and come out loving the book, and Bob Knight himsel ...more
I read this first when Bobby Knight was still coach of Indiana, beloved by Hoosiers, adored by pundits, and hated by basically every other basketball fan in the world, and it did nothing but reinforce that he is, indeed, an asshole. I did reread it recently, since it seems that he has mellowed since leaving coaching and becoming a commentator, and I am left with the feeling that this was simply a man who should have never been involved with the molding of young men. Great basketball coach, sure. ...more
The book "A Season on the Brink" was a wonderful book if you like sports books like I do. It shows you the ups and the downs of Hoosiers season. After reading this book I think I learned more about Bob Knight and how he was very outspoken to his players. this was taken well by players and others not so well. John Feinstein really captured coach Knights personality in this story. This is the main reason why I liked this book is because it was very detailed and taught me a lot about Coach Knight. ...more
William Becque
Getting to read about a hard-ass coach like Bob Knights makes me further appreciate both his genius, and my inability to play basketball. There's no way, with my already delicate mindset, that I could get a new asshole ripped into me on the daily without finding me hanging in my closet by the drawstring of my team issued shorts. I also love books that give me the "behind the scenes" look at any sports team, so if you happen to not like sports (or have a life) probs not the best book for you.
Great inside look at college ball through the lens of Bob Knight. Maybe kisses his ass a bit too much, but he's a mean bastard so don't piss him off if he gives you access to write a book on him.
Beta Test
Loved the book. I think the best thing that can be said is that if you like Bobby Knight this book will make you like him more and if you don't like him, this book will make you hate him. Tough to do both in the same book. This really launched Feinstein's career.
John Feinstein provides extraordinary insight on a controversial coach. Robert M. Knight accomplished so much, but his tactics at time seem to stretch past the line of decency.
Howard White
Maybe the best single sports book ever written. Bob Knight, then basketball coach of the University of Indiana, gave John Feinstein complete access to the team and coaches for one year. What emerged was a scalding portrait of a brilliant, unsettled, and unsettling coach and a team of college players dealing with his anger and inhumanity on top of a major college basketball schedule and its pressures. Couldn't put it down.
It was interesting to be given such an insider look into a season with Knight. I didn't love the writing style and I could basically tell who would win each game by the tone of the writing at the beginning of each game description. However, the quotes and some of what Knight did and said was quite fascinating. Worth the read for me, although I could have done without the chapter on the 87 season at the end.
Spencer Hill
Love him or hate him, Bob Knight is the best coaches of basketball in America. # national Championships, highest graduation rate of a Div 1 program, and no NCAA violations. He has spawned many other great coaches like Coach K (we will excuse Isiah Thomas-nice guy, bad coach). Read this book after reading his own autobiography and see the season through eyes.If you love college hoops definitely read this one
The fact that Bobby Knight is a jerk doesn't prevent this from being a great read. And even a jerk may hold some principles that are admibable, which is why it is so confusing to see that he is nonetheless a jerk.

A great read! I did go to IU so I am prejudiced but I was glad when Myles Brand finally gave Knight the heave-ho so I am not quite so prejudiced.

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John Feinstein is one of the nation’s most successful and prolific sports authors who has written 24 books to date. His most recent work Are You Kidding Me? , written with Rocco Mediate, was released on May 18, 2009, and is presently on the shelf at bookstores everywhere. In addition, he is an award-winning columnist and regular contributor in both radio and television.

John Feinstein is a 1977 gr
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