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A Friday Night Lights Companion: Love, Loss, and Football in Dillon, Texas

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Introduction by Will Leitch, founding editor of Deadspin

Talk to any of the millions of devoted Friday Night Lights fans and they’ll tell you: it’s not just a show about high school football. Its rich, interesting characters and honestly portrayed relationships make the show’s portrait of West Texas life compelling and relatable in ways that have nothing—and everything—to d
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Smart Pop (first published July 5th 2011)
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Writing about A Friday Night Lights Companion is going to be difficult for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the fact that I completely, totally, 100% love this book and it's difficult to put that kind of love in words. But I'll try. The book is a collection of essays on the television show Friday Night Lights. It includes Why We Love... essays on each of the characters, an essay on Coach and Tami's marriage, and an essay on how the unique deal with DirecTV saved the world's best show. ...more
Ashley - Book Labyrinth
This is quite obviously a book that differs from the books I normally review (is it fiction? no. is it YA? no), but I was thrilled at the chance to review it. You may (or may not) know that I am a massive Friday Night Lights fan, so when I first heard about this book I was psyched that it even existed. To be able to review it? Awesome! Because Friday Night Lights is a show that if you love it? You love it. You flail over it and fangirl/boy over it and promote it to everyone you know. “It’s not r ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Alexis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Must read for fans of the series. This is a clever analysis of the characters, plot lines and some of the things that made this under-rated show so great. I stayed up late last night reading it. I can't wait to rewatch the show!

I really enjoyed some of these essays.
Thomas Benigno
This book is a compilation of articles by journailsts on almost every aspect of the show and explains why some of us were so hooked on its every episode. I never cared so much about so many characters and was, as a result, hooked on the series from the start. I grew up in Brooklyn then Long Island, and yet I so loved this little fictitious town of Dillon, Texas and practically everyone who lived there. (It may just be kismet that I get the most wonderful reviews on my novel, The Good Lawyer, fro ...more
Doug Stotland
Even if the essays were candy I would have enjoyed this book as an excuse to relive some of my favorite moments and characters from Friday Night Lights. That's kind of what I expected when I bought it but was pleasantly surprised with the substance of the books. Most of the writers attempted to critique the show seriously or distill their appreciation in a way I found satisfying.

As with any collection of essays and articles there's always at least a few that aren't worth reading. For this group
I love the TV show that this book revolves around. It is my favorite show and I never get tired of catching random episodes on TV or starting a rewatch for the nth time. This book really reminded me of why I love Friday Night Lights.

My favorite sections were, by far, the "Why We Love..." character series, written by Jen Chaney. The characters of this show are what make it so special to me, and it was so fun to relive some of their best lines and moments. While I didn't always agree with some of
Melyssa Dawn Michaels
For any fan of Friday Night Lights, the series and even the movie this book is a must read. Its a collection of essays and other such writing endeavors based on the show and the characters within said show. As well as taking the show and comparing it to real life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and even found it hard to put down at times. I especially enjoyed the "Why we love (insert character name here) sections and I couldn't agree more with them all as a whole. Very well put together and a ...more
Is it great literature? It is extraordinarily well written? Did it impart great depth of knowledge? Did it make me a better person? No on all four counts, but if you love the show Friday Night Lights like I do it is a wonderful way to review and analyze the town and Dillon and all of the people you love who live there. It also helps you get through the withdrawls of knowing there will be no more episode to watch - no more Coach and Mrs. Coach. No more Matt and Julie. No more Tim, Billy, Mindy, S ...more
Some essays are stronger than others, but it's hard to complain about a book all about the awesomeness of Friday Night Lights. It's a fun read, and some of the essays made me think about the series in a way I never had before (like Robin Wasserman's piece, which argues that the show isn't meant for teens even though it's about them). My biggest issue was the editing -- there's a lot of unnecessary repetition that easily could've been cut. Overall, though, this is a fun read for any fan of Friday ...more
i'm only giving it 3 stars because it inspired me to rewatch it yet again. some interesting essays and some redundant ones as well but there are errors here and there (east dillon PANTHERS?! come on!) that really make the whole thing kind of sloppily put-together. there are some insights into the series that i would've rather seen explored over the more obvious ones. overall, i should probably just write my own essays about my beloved fnl.
This book was okay. I of course love the show otherwise would have had not interest in even starting the book. Some essays were much better than others. I really enjoyed that some of the essays included facts about things other than the show... how accurate story lines were and the culture.

Review before completing book
***So far I like a lot of the essays.. but who wouldn't love essays on Why We Love Tim Riggins or Coach Taylor. ***
I teach this book every year, and I'm such a fan of the show, so I had to read this. I enjoyed it and thought they included a great range of perspectives that highlighted all the best aspects of the show. That being said, I outright disagreed with some of them, and none of them (with the exception of the essay on gender and sexuality) really hit home for me. It was ok -- I could do better ;) -- but it was a pleasant read.
Mary Mackie
If you love the show "Friday Night Lights" (and note I did not put "love" in the past tense) you are bound to really like this. It could have had more depth to a lot of the essays, and the "WHy We Love..." sections got boring after a while, but it talks about FNL to the people who already love FNL and know what they're talking about. It's a nice read. "Texas Forever, Man."
Friday Night Lights wasn't the best show I ever watched, but it was the show I liked the most. This books reminds me why. We're just past a year to the day that the final season began airing, so this was the perfect time to remind myself why I loved the show so much. This book did just that. Now I want to watch the show again. Miss you, Friday Night Lights.
A fun way to revisit a favorite show, which I have also just recently begun rewatching. The essays in this book varied in how much they held my interest, which makes sense given the range of topics they focus on. My favorite parts were the "why we love [character name]" sections singing the praises of many of the characters.
Janelle V.
I liked the book for taking both the really fangirl road (the "Why We Love Tim Riggins" essay is a case in point) and the more analytical approach. For instance, I found the essay on class differences quite interesting but could not understand why the Tim/Lyla relationship as a casualty of class differences was not included.
This book is like opening the door to a secret club of Friday Night Lights fans that you always wished were in your life while you were watching the show. I would definitely recommend to anyone who watched and loved the show.
Louise Wardell
I won this book on Goodreads. It talks about the lessons we learned during the show Friday Nights Lights. I was a fan of the show therefore found it interesting to revisit some of the characters.
Not your typical companion book. Rather than a guide to characters, episode descriptions or plot synopses, etc., you'll find social commentary on living in small town America.
If you are a fan of Friday Night Lights, this is a fantastic book. I loved revisiting the characters and Dillon. Now to rewatch the whole series. . .
Oct 25, 2011 Shana marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
I received this as a Goodreads Giveaway. I recently had surgery, so I'm not able to read as much or as fast as I'd like. I will write a review soon.
Texas forever!
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Leah Wilson is Editor-in-Chief of the Smart Pop imprint of Dallas-based publisher BenBella Books. She graduated from Duke University in 2003 with a degree in Culture and Modern Fiction, and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fall season premiere schedules make her a little giddy.

(Her author blog is the main blog for Smart Pop's website, and she'll be using this Goodreads account in part to do some
More about Leah Wilson...

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