Tuesday, August 28, 2012

the last book I ever read (Buzz Bissinger's Father's Day, excerpt five)

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

I knew it was going to be a story unlike any I had ever encountered.

It only built from there—the injury to Boobie in which he tore his anterior cruciate ligament and you knew his life had changed in the freak millisecond of his cleats getting caught in the turf in the twilight. Added to the book were the ingredients of the open racism, the surreal travel of the football team to away games on chartered jets, more money spent on athletic tape than on new books for the English department.

Friday Night Lights went on to sell close to two million copies. It became the film, then ultimately a long-running TV show. It was the story I was destined to write like every writer has a story he or she is destined to write, the one you have inside you because you only really have one inside you. I knew when it was published I would never top it no matter how hard I tried, and after almost twenty years, I still have not topped it. It all happened when I was thirty-five. The success opened all sorts of avenues, but it also hung over me. It was a wonderful thing to be known for something that had happened so long ago. It sounds like self-pity, but it wasn’t self-pity. It was the fear of being tapped out and topped out, the rest of my life a vain search.

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