Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son

Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son

4.7 10
by Buzz Bissinger
     
 

ISBN-10: 0547816561

ISBN-13: 2900547816561

Pub. Date: 05/15/2012

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A remarkable memoir from the best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August.

Buzz Bissinger’s twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never

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Overview

A remarkable memoir from the best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August.

Buzz Bissinger’s twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.

Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didn’t really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.

As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zach’s worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zach’s twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900547816561
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/15/2012
Pages:
256

Table of Contents

Zach 1
Bon Voyage 17
Blue Box 34
Is That All There Is? 50
Failure to Forget 65
Embassy Suites! 79
Lost in Milwaukee 93
Cardinals and Cookies 107
Lost 117
I’ll Do Anything 127
Scene of the Crime 134
Boobie 148
Mom and Dad 162
Hollywood Blue 178
Viva Las Vegas! 190
Coming Into Los Angeles 200
Picture Perfect 210
Zach and Gerry 221
Reality Bites 227
Epilogue 234
Zach’s Acknowledgments 240
Buzz’s Acknowledgments 242
Author’s Note 244

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Father's Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have a disabled child, like I do, you will cry pages into this book and you will continue to do that till you finish. The author is a dad, and he speaks from that male "dad" place that books written by moms just don't get. I cannot do the book justice except to say "Thanks" for helping me realize that those fears and feelings I live with are not unique and that we all have good days and bad days. If you don't have a disabled kid, but know such a family, this should give you some insight into things. As much as I thought there was some univerasality to the book, it was also very very personal. And it is a love story from a dad who so badly wants to know his unknowable son. See, even writing that made me tear up. It's a good read, hopefully for everyone, but it was for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Searing and heartfelt, this book is a must have. As a parent, it is hard not to be moved by this book. What Buzz Bizzinger has done is shown the world how something that would have defeated the average man has actually shaped Buzz into a better man. This book is a triumph in what it means to be a parent. The Bissinger family is proof that without a test there would never be a testimony. Reading this book, I was reminded of a story of two stories of a father and a son in a book called "When God Stopped Keeping Score," which is currently on sale here on BN. Clark offers stories just as Bissinger does of hope and triumph. If you are looking to be inspired, then you have come to the right place. You will find in both of these great books.
Nancy_W More than 1 year ago
Very good. Perhaps a little contrived -- "we will go on a trip and I will write about it" -- and maybe for that reason the insights felt a little orchestrated. Nonetheless I was absorbed and sympathetic. Excellent writing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone who has ever known a family with a challenged child should read this book. It gives an honest and open view of how a parent goes through the process of accepting a childs limitations and abilities. I will probably reread this book at some point just to refresh my memory and know once more how blessed a family is even if one of their children is challenged in some way!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers Favorite Buzz Bissinger, well known author of "Friday Night Lights" (among other great writings), is the father of twins. Gerry and Zach could not be more different. Gerry is "normal" while his twin is autistic and a savant. Zach's journey is not an easy one but Buzz and his ex-wife work as a team to provide the best experience they can for his life. Wanting to spend more time with his now mid-20's son, Buzz decides to take the young man-child on a road trip to the places where they used to live across the country. What happens next is a roller coaster ride for each man in their own way. Having never had the experience of parenting a child with special needs like Zach, it was an eye opening experience to listen to this audio book. The joys and pitfalls of being such a parent and being a son with special needs have etched deep in the recesses of my mind. I laughed; I snickered. I got so angry at the author for his apparent lack of patience, but then I cried when I realized that he was really doing the best he could under such pressure. I wanted to yell at him. I wanted to hug him and apologize for thinking these thoughts in the first place. I am a person who carries tidbits of what I have learned. Every time I get lost or forget something I should remember, I think of Zach and his amazing gifts. I think everybody should listen to this audio book. It puts life into its true perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara2 More than 1 year ago
I thought this was a magnificient book. Buzz Bissinger is a wonderful writer. He is able to express his feelings and emotions in such an honest and fearless manner. He incorporates his relationship with his parents and sons so openly and is able to see himself and his mistakes so clearly. He went on the trip with Zach to get to know him better and to perhaps get closer to him which he did, but he also learned to understand him and the way his mind worked. He was able to accept Zach's limitations and marvel at his differences. I also loved his sense of humor, such as the games they would play when they said good night to each other, his constant questioning of Zach to try to get him to be able to express his feelings, and the way he joined in with his son in riding all those rollercoasters and rides. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will read it again, probably many times, as there is much to be learned from it.
GeorgiaGirlADD More than 1 year ago
This was such an honest and open approach to a subject that many avoid or pretend it doesn't exist. Parents who claim never to be disappointed in having an imperfect child are not in touch with reality. The writing style was different and easy to follow. Two thumbs up!
nanaDH More than 1 year ago
As a parent of my adopted special child, i found the book sad as well as uplifting. The emotions are the same and it took a lot of courage for the author to open up his heart and soal. A must read for families with special needs.