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Paperback A Season on the Brink : A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers Book

ISBN: 0671688774

ISBN13: 9780671688776

A Season on the Brink : A Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Season on the Brink: Journey to the Edge

During "A Season on the Brink", the author, John Feinstein, did a tremendous job of keeping the facts straight and asking people close to Bob Knight what they thought of coach Knight. Feinstein started the book with a brief history of coach Knight's past coaching experiences and the season previous to the one Feinstein wrote about. Feinstein's flashback to previous games and events helped me to follow the story more closely. In the book, Feinstein depicts a man with a dynamic personality that is often overlooked and thought to be non-existent. Feinstein describes coach Knight as a ruthless and brutal dictator of basketball while on the basketball court, but a kinder and gentler teacher of the players while off the basketball court. Feinstein tells how after practice Bob Knight would talk to and explain his actions to the players that Knight had just cussed out and kicked out of practice. Feinstein also does a great job of describing the reasons behind Knight's frequent spouts of rage and the results. The only shortcomings in this book where the authors tendency to wonder in what he would talk about and, on occasion, to jump ahead in his telling of the story after mentioning minor details. One example of Feinstein's ability to wonder is at the beginning of the book, where Feinstein goes from talking about the year he spent with the Hoosiers to talking about his past coaching experiences in no particular order. The jump in what he was discussing was a little confusing at first. Overall, I enjoyed reading "A Season on the Brink". Feinstein took one of the greatest coaches of all time and wrote about him in a way to make me think he was the greatest of all time. "A Season on the Brink" had a lot of information I never knew and the book, for the most part, was easy to understand and follow. I would definitely suggest reading "A Season on the Brink".

A Multi-Dimensional Portrait of a Controversial Subject

Feinstein received Coach Knight's permission to have almost total access to the Indiana University basketball program during the 1985-86 season. By then, Feinstein had earned and deserved his reputation as a first-rate journalist. Presumably that was one of the major reasons why Knight was agreeable. Later, Knight was very displeased with the book based on that season. (I am reminded of what Harry S Truman once said when someone urged him to "give 'em hell" during the 1948 Presidential campaign. "I just tell them the truth and they think it's hell.") Two points seem especially important to me as a controversy about A Season on the Brink continues: This is Feinstein's account of what he observed and experienced; also. Knight and everyone else involved (including Feinstein) are entitled to their own opinion as to how accurate (if not "fair") that account is. My own opinion is that prior to and then following the 1985-86 season, Knight's behavior (including public statements) suggests that Feinstein's account is mostly credible. Since his playing days at Ohio State and then coaching at the United States Military Academy, Knight left no doubt that he was an intense competitor who loved the game with passion and studied it with intensity. He arrived at Indiana University a known quantity and was remarkably consistent (for better or worse) throughout the years he coached there. For every person who views Knight's values with contempt, there is probably someone else who admires those same values. He is obviously a complicated person. Also, as he himself has frequently conceded, he can be contradictory. (Years before the 1985-86 season, Knight observed "I don't agree with everything I do.") Many of the players whom he verbally abused the most were later treated with exceptional kindness and generosity. Feinstein's book suggests various forces which inform and direct Knight's behavior (commendable or otherwise) and I rate this book so highly because Feinstein enables his reader to accompany him during an extended association with Knight and the Indiana basketball program. Whatever your own opinion of Knight, Feinstein's book examines in depth a great basketball coach and demonstrably imperfect human being during a pivotal season more than 15 years ago. My own opinion is that Knight, then and now, is not so contemptible as many insist nor as admirable as many others insist. Final point: Knight has always overseen a "clean" program and has coached, year after year, young men most of whom have earned earned a college degree. Presumably Feinstein respects that and so should we. Those who wish to know what Knight thinks about all this are urged to read his own book, Knight: My Story, which has just been published.

The subject makes this book what it is... outstanding description of a year in the life of the maddeningly complex Robert Montgomery Knight. Using every motivational tool available to him (from psychological ploys, to unconditional compliments to incredibly painful and stressful drills), Knight drives the '86 Indiana Hoosiers relentlessly through a brutal Big Ten season.With little in the way of athletic talent or height, Knight uses every approach he can devise to extract a moderately successful season from an underwhelming group of players. Knight coaxes, belittles, praises and drives the team forward with a style that is as unique as it is politically incorrect.As an aside, I just read Jerry Kramer's _Instant Replay_ (his diary of the '67 Packers) and the parallels between Vince Lombardi and Knight are uncanny. In today's environment, it is unlikely that Lombardi would be allowed to coach in the same style he employed then.Feinstein does a workmanlike job here, letting the subject and the cast of characters do the lion's share of the writing. Feinstein should thank Knight profusely for putting him on the map. For, as he has demonstrated in subsequent books, Knight made this book what it is: a precious historical perspective of a brilliant Coach in a bygone era.

Showing the other side of Knight

Bob Knight is a basketball genius. Yet, after a few outbursts and admitted overreactions...the media has attacked every thing he has done. Feinstein shows how Bob Knight is a mastermind at what he does..he's a general on the court and he expects perfection in return. A must read for anyone who thinks Bobby Knight is only about throwing chairs...he also shapes lives.

The best sports book I have ever read!

This is a fascinating look into the genius and the madness that is Bob Knight. Feinstein details what its like to play for the demanding hall of fame coach. He takes you behind the scenes and into the locker room. Once I started, I could not put this book down. This book is a must for any basketball fan
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