Sports Illustrated's number-six Sports Book of All Time
A Season on the Brink chronicles the basketball season that John Feinstein spent following the Indiana Hoosiers and their fiery coach, Bob Knight. Knight granted Feinstein an unprecedented inside look at college basketball - with complete access to every moment of the season. Feinstein saw and heard it all - practices, team meetings, strategy sessions, and mid-game huddles - during Knight's struggle to avoid a losing season.
A Season on the Brink not only captures the drama and pressure of big-time college basketball but paints a vivid portrait of a complex, brilliant coach walking a fine line between genius and madness.
©2013 John Feinstein (P)2013 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
"Nothing less than extraordinary." (The Chicago Tribune)
"Riveting.... Perhaps the best basketball book ever written." (Dayton Daily News)
"The best writer of sports books in America today." (The Boston Globe)
If this book was about a general or a politician or even a fictional figure it would be considered one of the great books of the 20th century. Unfortunately this book is about a college basketball coach so the stakes are smaller (do not tell Bobby Knight that) and the figure is real but at times seems stranger than fiction (sorry for using such a cliché phrase) thus it is merely considered one of the great sports books of the 20th century. A title it deserves.
Feinstein is given unrestricted access to Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers for a full year (practices, flights, locker rooms). It is as much a character study and a book about ‘how badly do you want to win’ than a tract about the misbehavior of Bob Knight. I would recommend this book to anyone (even non-sports fan) as Feinstein reports on one of the most fascinating characters I have ever read about.
I can not watch basketball now without imagining how Bobby Knight would react to a play.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I am not an athlete nor a huge sports fan, but I do read a wide variety of genres and have enjoyed some athletic nonfiction previously. This book came to me highly recommended, but in the end fell a bit short for me. I was curious about why I didn't find this book as good as others had said and spent a fair amount of time reflecting on that. In the end, I think it is because I struggled with the story itself, and not with the telling of it. I did learn some new things about Bobby Knight, about his compassion, his kindness, and his commitment to education (not just athletics), that impressed me. However, his story and the anger and frustration he showed others, how he treated others, etc.; the good in my mind just could not outweigh the bad. Bobby Knight's story made me sick. Not theoretically or figuratively; actually. I was so torn by how he treated others, by his swings in moods, by the duplicity of his actions, that it made me sick. I wish he was more of all those good things and that those good things were his legacy. Sadly, they won't be. If you love basketball, if you are so curious about Bobby Knight that you have to read this, then do. Otherwise, skip it and find some other nonfiction to enjoy.
I first read this book 15 years ago and wanted to revisit it now that it's on audio. I'm glad I did. It actually foreshadows much of what eventually happened to Knight. The book not only gives you insight into why Knight was such a great coach, but also why he was destined to self destruct. This is must for any college basketball fan.
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