After Friday Night Lights: When the Games Ended, Real Life Began. An Unlikely Love Story. [NOOK Book]

Overview

Nearly twenty-five years ago, H. G. (Buzz) Bissinger, then a young reporter for the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” moved to Odessa, Texas, family in tow, to follow the fortunes of the 1988 Permian High School football team. He hoped to write a celebratory treatment of a team and a town. The result: “Friday Night Lights,” a bestselling American classic that spawned the popular film as well as the series, considered by many one of the best on ...

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After Friday Night Lights: When the Games Ended, Real Life Began. An Unlikely Love Story.

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Overview

Nearly twenty-five years ago, H. G. (Buzz) Bissinger, then a young reporter for the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” moved to Odessa, Texas, family in tow, to follow the fortunes of the 1988 Permian High School football team. He hoped to write a celebratory treatment of a team and a town. The result: “Friday Night Lights,” a bestselling American classic that spawned the popular film as well as the series, considered by many one of the best on television.


The original book’s most compelling character was James “Boobie” Miles, and his experience in Odessa was, as Bissinger puts it in his daringly honest sequel “After Friday Night Lights,” “a symbol of everything that was wrong with high school football.” The complex friendship between subject and author has deepened over the years, and is, Bissinger writes, “the most lasting legacy of ‘Friday Night Lights,’ or at least the legacy I care about most.”


Heading into the 1988 season, Miles looked like a star-in-the-making, a sure bet to ascend to college and the NFL. Abandoned by his mother, beaten by his dad, he had scraped through a rough upbringing, but it appeared that success on the field was soon to redeem his pain. Then, in a meaningless preseason scrimmage, Boobie blew out his knee. By midseason he was off the team, no longer needed by his coaches, who had found themselves a new running back.


“After Friday Night Lights”—an original 45-page story written to be read in a single sitting—follows Boobie through the dark years he suffered after his injury right up to a present that is imbued with a new kind of hope. It is the indelible portrait of the oddest of enduring friendships: that of a writer and his subject, a “neurotic Jew” and a West Texas oil-field worker, a white man raised in privilege and a black man brought up in poverty and violence, and a father and his "fourth son." Their story encompasses the realities of race and class in America. And reveals with heartbreaking accuracy how men rise again after their dreams are broken.


It is a must-read for fans of the book, the movie, and the television series.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the bestselling “Friday Night Lights,” “A Prayer for the City,” and “Three Nights in August.” He is also a contributing editor to “Vanity Fair” and a columnist for “The Daily Beast.” His new book, “Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son,” will be published May 15 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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Editorial Reviews

Bob Costas
"Years after encountering a compelling character we often ask ourselves the 'what ever become of' question. In the case of Boobie Miles, Buzz Bissinger never let the story go and here he answers our questions as only he can."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614520245
  • Publisher: Byliner Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/19/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 564,004
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the bestselling "Friday Night Lights,” “A Prayer for the City," and "Three Nights in August." He is also a contributing editor to “Vanity Fair” and a columnist for “The Daily Beast.” His new book, "Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son," will be published May 15 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Biography

Award-winning journalist and bestselling author H. G. ("Buzz") Bissinger has an undeniable knack for capturing the rhythms of life in big cities and small towns alike. While working as a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, he and two colleagues shared a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for their six-part investigative series on corruption in the city's court system. A year later, reports of "the winningest high school football team in Texas history" led Bissinger to the economically depressed and racially divided town of Odessa, where he followed the team in question, the mighty Permian Panthers, on their quest for the state championship. Upon its publication in 1990, Friday Night Lights became an instant classic -- a cautionary tale about the dangers of sports obsession that remains required reading in many American high schools. It was filmed in 2004 and inspired a critically acclaimed television show.

Bissinger shines at "immersion journalism." Granted unlimited access in the mid-'90s to then-mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell, he crafted a superb behind-the-scenes account of Rendell's uphill struggle to rescue the decaying city from economic decline. Published in 1998, A Prayer for the City became a New York Times Notable Book of the year. Then, in 2005, he parlayed his relationship with Cards manager Tony La Russa into the bestseller Three Nights in August, an intriguing view of major-league baseball filtered through the lens of a three-game series between the rival Cubs and Cardinals.

In addition to his bestselling nonfiction, Bissinger has produced in-depth articles for a variety of publications -- most notably Vanity Fair, where he works as a contributing editor. Among his best-known pieces are an exposé of Stephen Glass, the disgraced New Republic reporter fired for journalistic fraud; a probing profile of the merciless, mercurial radio shock jock Don Imus; and a poignant story about the life and death of the great thoroughbred racehorse Barbaro.

Good To Know

Some fascinating outtakes and fun facts from our interview with Bissinger:

"One of the inspirations for my becoming a writer was the baseball board game Strat-O-Matic. I started playing it as a kid when I was ten or eleven. The game featured individual cards for every player in the major leagues. The results were incredibly realistic and after each game I would sit down at my typewriter and type up a game story as if I was writing for the New York Times."

"My grandmother got her law degree from Syracuse University in roughly 1911 and later co-founded with her husband an investment banking firm on Wall Street known as Lebenthal & Co. My parents worked at the firm and so did my uncle. As for my grandmother, she worked at Lebenthal until her early nineties."

"I am the father of twin sons that were born in Philadelphia at Pennsylvania Hospital in 1983. They were 13 weeks premature. Gerry weighed 1 pound 14 ounces, and Zachary 1 pound 11 ounces. They were the first male twins to ever survive at Pennsylvania Hospital. They are thriving today. Talk about miracles."

"I am 5'6" and desperately wish I was taller."

In 1998, Vanity Fair published Bissinger's article "Shattered Glass," an exposé of the career of disgraced New Republic writer Stephen Glass, who was fired for journalistic fraud. The article was later adapted for the 2003 film of the same name.

Bissinger admits to having an "abiding hatred" for the blog-o-sphere. In April, 2008, he appeared on Bob Costas's television series Costas Now and launched an angry tirade against Will Leitch, creator of the sports blog "Deadspin."

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    1. Also Known As:
      H. G. Bissinger
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 1, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; Nieman Fellow, Harvard University, 1985-1986

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Santimonious fluff.

    How much did I pay for 20 pages of a mildly interesting update on Boobie + 10 pages of refried FNL? 3 bucks? I *might* be interested in trying another one of these short pieces from this publisher (ONLY because of the authors listed), but not if they are only more half-hearted efforts like this one.

    It's probably best that writing a review on this Nook Touch is so tedious, so I don't totally waste my time:

    1.) I'm from West Texas. I appreciate the effort the author takes to portray some pathetic stereotype of this part of the country, but it rings hollow if you've ever lived and worked here. (I get it, though. We need to pick up our litter, clean up some abandoned buildings, and update our hotel rooms in rural areas.) (If there is a next time, can there at least be mention of a poker player thrown through the windows of a saloon? Or six-shooters?)

    2.) There's more than one side of every story. Unfortunately for the reader, the author has seemingly found he can only get traction plucking the same string over and over.

    3.) I had to pay 3 bucks for this? The free sample was longer than the remainder of the article!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Bizzinger a hero

    Seems to me that buzz wrote this piece to pat himself on the back more than to update what has happened to people from the original story over the years. A quick read? Yes. A must read? No.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2012

    Did not catch my full attention

    it was a slow read, although I appreciated knowing what happened to the characters. It took me awhile to finish this book, I wasn't excited to come back to it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Worth the read

    Good follow up to "Friday Night Lights". Bissinger revisits the story a decade later and focuses on how things have evolved for one player since the original book. If you liked the first, the second will be enjoyable, too.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2012

    Stormkit

    Okee dokee.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Apprentices play room

    Apprentices play here in their free time

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Possessedmit

    I can kinda understand. My parents dont know i rp so sometimes i want to quit.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Prettyheart

    Actually, we are moving to 'inner life' and sharing camp with coreclan's.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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