Rebecca's Reviews > Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
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Jul 12, 09


I had a terrible time trying to get into this book. I decided to pick this book up because my mother absolutely loves the TV show, which I have never seen. Maybe it was because the book was written by a sports columnist, or perhaps it was simply because it was written about sports in general, but I just never enjoyed reading it. I appreciated the experience of muddling through it, however, because I know someday as a literature teacher I will inflict books upon my students that they will struggle with just as much, and I very much believe in the power of empathy.

I do appreciate the merits of the book, however. Bissinger does a good job of describing Odessa and its residents, but I wonder how unbiased he was as his 'research' moves forward. Given the blatant racism and sports fanaticism running rampant in Odessa, I can understand the temptation to demonize them, and I think at times Bissinger gives in a little too much to that temptation. I appreciated the historical background of Odessa, explaining how the oil booms and busts effect the town, although at times the author gets a bit bogged down in the numbers.

Overall, I wouldn't rate this book as a total loss. When reading for pleasure, I would recommend the book to someone who reads every issue of Sports Illustrated, or who has already become interested in the movie or the TV series. For future teachers, I would take audience into account and perhaps assign this as one of several options.
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