Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights Study Guide

Friday Night Lights is a novel by famed sports writer and journalist H.G. “ Buzz” Bissinger. The novel was published in 1990 and surrounds the Permian Panther’s 1988 high school football season. His landmark novel has sold roughly 2 million copies and continues to be in print today. Friday Night Lights spent an impressive sixteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It is also considered by Sports Illustrated to be the best football book of all time. The book has spawned the major motion picture Friday Night Lights in 2004. There is also an NBC television series based on the book by the same name. While the book was originally intended to be a testament to the resilience of a small town and their high school football team, Bissinger ultimately became more critical of the town of Odessa. Consequently, Friday Night Lights has garnered controversy in Odessa and many other small West Texas communities mentioned in the narrative. Some people in these towns objected to, what they considered to be, perpetuating negative stereotypes of small town Texas. Coach Gaines has yet to comment on the book or its successful spin-offs. In 2012, Bissinger wrote a compendium describing the lives of many of the players since they graduated from Permian.