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Sunday Salon: Friday Night Lights

The Sunday Salon.comThe last book I finished in 2008 was Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger.  I had this book on my radar even before I read A Prayer for the City, because I have a soft spot in my heart for inspirational sports stories. Even though the book turned out to be different than I expected, I still really enjoyed it.  I’ll get to a real review sometime soon.

The reason I’m writing about this for my Sunday Salon post is that Friday Night Lights has been turned into a tv show on NBC that I also really love.  The show is very different from the book — the storylines are similar (since they both follow the arc of a football season), but ultimately the two pieces take on different issues.  The book seems critical of the fandom of Texas high school football, and although the show does take on some of the darker aspects of this fandom, it’s actually much more positive about sports in general.  The show is character driven, and I thought the casting was very close to the characters as described in the book.

In any case, I wasn’t disappointed in Friday Night Lights when I read it, and finishing the book made me even more excited for the show to be back in NBC in a few weeks.  You’ll know where to find me Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. 🙂

Are there any book to tv adaptations you think are particularly good? Particularly terrible?

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  • Eva January 4, 2009, 5:29 pm

    I saw the movie of this and enjoyed it…being from a different part of Texas, I certainly sympathised with bits and pieces of it!

    As far as book to TV adaptations, one of my very favourite TV shows is Bones, which was inspired by Kathy Reich’s mystery series. But they don’t really have much in common, and when I read one of the books I didn’t like it at all. So that’s a successful adaptation for me! 🙂

  • Ali January 4, 2009, 6:19 pm

    I can’t think of any book to TV adaptations apart from Little House on the Prairie, LOL. But I’m intrigued by Friday Night Lights, now that you write about it. I might have to give it a try.

  • Andi January 4, 2009, 8:31 pm

    Ahhh, yes, Texas football fandom. Having grown up in a small town, I’m pretty familiar. I haven’t read the book yet, but a former prof of mine used it in some of her introductory writing classes since it hits home for so many of the students. Glad to hear you liked it! I’m more interested in giving it a go now.

  • Michele January 4, 2009, 10:51 pm

    Loved the book and the tv show, too, even though they are very different!

    I didn’t, however, care for the tv adaption of Crusoe. Ugh.

    The good news is that anything Masterpiece Theater touches is just gold!

  • Michelle January 5, 2009, 3:00 am

    I adore Friday Night Lights. I keep meaning to find the book, but I have had no success so far!

  • Louise January 5, 2009, 6:37 am

    I think Bones is a terrible adaption! I have read the books and loved most of them and they are NOTHING like the tv-series 😉

  • ted January 5, 2009, 7:41 am

    The original Brideshead Revisited is, to my mind, the best adaptation of a novel ever made for television.

  • Kim January 5, 2009, 8:40 am

    Eva: I haven’t seen the movie yet, I can’t decide if I want to or not. I’ve never read the Kathy Reich’s books, but I do like Bones quite a bit.

    Ali: Ahh, yes, Little House on the Prairie. I forgot all about that one 🙂

    Andi: I think this would be a good introductory book, especially for people more familiar with Texas football. I can see why the book might get students riled up and interested.

    Michele: A book could be written about how terrible the Crusoe adaptation on NBC actually was 🙂

    Michelle: I found mine by chance at our school bookstore on a rack dedicated to the EW 100 New Classics — I’d been looking for it for a long time.

    Louise: I’ve heard that — I think you either love or hate Bones, depending on what you thought of the books. Crime fiction isn’t really my thing, but I do have a soft spot for crime shows on tv. Go figure 🙂

    ted: I’ve never seen that, but it sounds cool.

  • bkclubcare January 5, 2009, 9:18 am

    I just netflixed (due to arrive tomorrow, I hope) the made-for-TV HBO movie Empire Falls which was an excellent book. I was going to mention Bones but I haven’t read the book(s).

  • Kim January 5, 2009, 8:51 pm

    bkclubcare: I haven’t heard of that, but thank goodness for Netflix 🙂