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Season on the Brink Paperback – November 15, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reissue edition (November 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671688774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671688776
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Why is A Season on the Brink the bestselling sports book of all time? The answer is easy: Bobby Knight. Audaciously brilliant, exasperatingly volatile, and never boring, the Indiana University basketball coach is Greek drama and comedy neatly wrapped in a red sweater. Like all high-strung people, Knight is particularly interesting when things don't go according to his playbook. John Feinstein had the good fortune to follow Knight and his Hoosiers through a difficult 1985-86 campaign; that Feinstein could watch that season attached to Knight's hip gives A Season on the Brink its sights and its sounds. That such closeness allowed entry into Knight's heart gives the book its fury. The combination is irresistible.

From Publishers Weekly

Washington Post sportswriter Feinstein spent the 19851986 season with the Indiana Unversity basketball team. The season began under ominous circumstances because the 19841985 record had been a losing one, and its highlight (or, more accurately, nadir) had been coach Bob Knight's hurling a chair across the court in the Purdue game. His outbursts are central in this story, and it is not always clear when they are staged or if he is out of control. Feinstein writes that Knight believes in coaching through fear and, although those around him assert that he has learned to be more patient, he will not strike readers as noteworthy for his emotional control. So, despite his legendary loyalty to his friends and his acts of charity, Knight emerges here as an unlovely human being. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Sports Illustrated. (November
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John Feinstein spent years on the staff at the Washington Post, as well as writing for Sports Illustrated and the National Sports Daily. He is a commentator on NPRs "Morning Edition," a regular on ESPNs "The Sports Reporters" and a visiting professor of journalism at Duke University.His first book, A Season on the Brink, is the bestselling sports book of all time. His first book for younger readers, Last Shot, was a bestseller.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Great book - sports fans and basketball fans must read this.
Retesh D. Shah
My curiosity about Bobby Knight led me to "A Season On The Brink;" a book which describes the full 1985-86 season with Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers.
Irishgirl
A well written, interesting book about a complicated individual.
Brent Siegel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Irishgirl on June 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Growing up, all I knew about legendary college basketball coach Bobby Knight was that he would rant and rave, throw chairs, get arrested, scream in his players' faces and snap at the media. During college, upon taking a class called "Moral Reasoning In Sport," I conducted research on Bobby Knight and got to know Bobby Knight as a person better. The ironic thing was that he stood for good morals but what he practiced as a coach boardered on the immoral at times. I saw how wonderful a man he could be and how badly he could cut a person down. I was fascinated by his style.

My curiosity about Bobby Knight led me to "A Season On The Brink;" a book which describes the full 1985-86 season with Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers. Author John Feinstein, who trooped along with the team complete with notepad and tape recorder, crafts this book in amazing detail with all the trimmings. We are given a real life look at the pressures that college basketball can bring to both coach and players, the trials and tribulations. We are given a taste of how addictive competition is and the emotional effects it can have.

"A Season On The Brink" describes Bobby Knight in a way that begs you to love him and begs you to hate him. Passionate about not failing, Knight pressures himself to succeed and is quick to think himself a failure each time he does not reach certain goals. His characteristic short fuse is always there to represent this. After the disastrous 1984-85 season where he performed the legendary chair throw that got him in trouble, he vowed not to go through a repeat season in 1985-86. He constantly reminded his players of that terrible season as fuel for them to create a better season in '85-'86.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Ross on October 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
...an 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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Luke Johnson on December 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
"A Season on the Brink"
A Season on the Brink, was a great book. This book was about a coaching legend. Bob Knight, is described by many sport fans as one of the best coaches of all time. This is not just a plain old book. This book is about a coach walking between extreme madness and a complete genius.
In August of 1984, Bob Knight of Indiana University, lead the U.S Olympic basketball team to the gold medal. At that time, this was a master achievement to add to his two NCAA tournament championships. Many coaches to this day have not accomplished anything like this.
In February of 1985, Bob Knight's sees glimpses of his career coming to an end. His team is struggling dramatically. The Hoosier supporters are curious to what is happening to their Indiana program. Now Knight is known to go a little haywire, so anything is possible. In February of 1985, Bobby Knight throws a chair across the floor as a Purdue player is preparing to take foul shots. A little haywire is absurd! This is something that one would watch in a hockey game, not a NCAA Basketball game. Knight was suspended for only one game after reacting like he did. After ending that season, Knight was to where sky was the limit, to rock bottom! Knight also knew if another season like this was to occur, that his career was on the edge. Entering the 1985-86 season, would be a season on the brink.
Bobby Knight had been preaching his team that they needed to get into position to be in position. The Hoosiers were 2-2 in the Big Ten. Their next game was at home, against the Ohio State Buckeyes. This was a deciding game for the Indiana Hoosiers. This would give them a chance to be in the run for the Big Ten race.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph C. Landon Jr. on September 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a huge sports fan, I couldn't wait to read this book and get an inside look into a college basketball season with Bob Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers. John Feinstein pulled off a minor miracle by convincing Knight to allow him to follow the whole team, players and coaches alike with his notepad and tape recorder throughout the 1985-86 season.
What you'll see is an inside look at the trials and tribulations of a big-time college basketball team and the sometime circus atmosphere created by their tempermental coach. The book starts off with a quick recap of the 1984-85 season which included the now famous chair throwing incident. Then you are lead through the offseason, training camp and regular season of 1985-86. Feinstein does a good job of keeping up the pace despite giving detailed recaps of every season's game. He ends the book with a brief summary of the national championship season of 1986-87.
There's no doubt who the center point of the whole book is: That of course is Bob Knight. I'm not an Indiana hoosier fan but I certainly was well aware of all the incidents Knight's been involved in over the years including the chair throwing, head butting, and choking. I can't say that my opinion of him changed at all after reading this book. The best word I can use to describe him is: complex.
In this book, you'll read how he verbally abuses players, especially Daryl Thomas. He'll play mind games like he did with Steve Alford, the team captain and best player. He'll be upbeat about the performance of the team one minute, and then the next he'll say how the team is horrible and will never win with these players. Warning: there is some profanity, but the f-words are "blanked" out.
But at the same time, this coach is extremely loyal to his players after they graduate.
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