- Last Updated: 10:56 PM, June 16, 2012
- Posted: 10:19 PM, June 16, 2012
Readers know him best for “Friday Night Lights,” the book about boys and football that became a film and TV series. But only now has Buzz Bissinger written about his own three boys — his son Zach, in particular. His new memoir “Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind & Heart of My Extraordinary Son” tells of a road trip with Zach, 24, a “savant” with a dazzling memory but a measurable IQ of 70. “He can’t add a hundred plus a hundred, although he does know the result is ‘a lot,’ which is close enough when you think about it,” Bissinger writes. Nevertheless, Zach is kind, fearless and faithful. He never forgets a birthday — or Father’s Day, either. Here are Bissinger’s picks of some of the greatest father-son books ever.
Death Be Not Proud
by John Gunther
I think this book was recommended to me by my father, who always said that there was a “Death Be Not Proud” element in the birth of Zach and his twin. It ends on a sorrowful note, but what always rang in my mind was the bravery of the son. It’s just a beautiful book — tender and wrenching and really gorgeous.
by Elie Wiesel
I went to Berlin recently and saw Auschwitz. I’m Jewish, and I’ve read a lot about WWII, but I can’t really describe it. I read this book after I went, and the devotion of father and son throughout the most horrific circumstances possible was amazing. It proved to me that the strength of the human spirit goes far beyond what we can imagine.
The Great Santini
by Pat Conroy
This is the ultimate book about fathers living vicariously through their sons and having ridiculous expectations. [Director] Alan Pakula, a dear friend, said “Friday Night Lights” should be called “Fathers and Sons,” because it’s filled with fathers living through their kids. But I never met one as brutal.
by Richard Ford
I met Richard at a PEN conference in New York. His handling of the English language is better than anyone’s, but he was kind, funny — and a huge sports fan. This is a book in which a father’s trying to deal with a son who’s angry and upset, but in the end they kind of work it out. That’s the thing about Ford: There’s always a thread of hope in his work.Follow @NYPostOpinion