Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger has released a sequel to his famed novel Friday Night Lights. The sequel, After Friday Night Lights, takes look a further look into the lives of the characters from the original book that spawned the hit movie and TV show of the same name.
Published in 1990, the first Friday Night Lights is a non-fictional story that centers on Odessa’s 1988 Permian Panthers football team and the social, educational, and economic issues in Odessa at the time.
Twenty-two years later the 34-page sequel After Friday Night Lights focuses on Bissinger’s decades-long friendship with running back Boobie Miles, whose budding career was cut short after he blew out his knee in a 1988 preseason scrimmage, and follows him from the darker years he suffered with depression after his injury to the present and a more optimistic future. The book’s official description:
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.
According to Bissinger, Miles might be “a symbol of everything that was wrong with high school football,” but our friendship is “the most lasting legacy of Friday Night Lights, or at least the legacy I care about most.”
While the original 1990 book Friday Night Lights and its current sequel are based on actual events, the film and television series are fictionalized versions only based on the book – with the 2004 movie starring Billy Bob Thornton and Tim McGraw remaining truer to actual events. The 2006 NBC series (which later when to DirecTV), took a more novelized account of the book, changing real-life coach Gary Gaines to Dillon Panthers head coach Eric Taylor, portrayed by Kyle Chandler, and star player Boobie Miles into showboating loud mouth Brian “Smash” Williams (Gaius Charles). The series concluded its five year run in February 2011.
After Friday Night Lights is now available