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Season on the Brink Paperback – November 15, 1989
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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.
The Wall Street Journal One of the best books on sports that I have read in some time. -- Review
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I believe much of Knight's public has a love-hate attitude toward him. He can be a warm friend and it is evident that, when someone he cares about is in trouble, he goes to great lengths to comfort, encourage, help in any way he can. The man has heart, but he also has a dark side. Did he abuse players through the years? I would have to say yes. I'm amazed in one sense that he got so many blue chip players to play for him. I would have refused in a heartbeat, knowing that he would crush me with his screaming and his profanity. But I guess it speaks to his amazing reputation as a smart coach that so many players gravitated to his program. Players learned a great deal from him.
I must admit I resented the constant psychological games Knight played with his team. He would curse, cajole, encourage, give pep talks, scream in-your-face dress downs, and then act as if nothing unusual had ever happened.
But in regard to this book, I still say it was entertaining to read and it's a great basketball story.
You will be hard pressed to find a book that contains this amount of detail. The basketball scenes described are riveting. Knight though flawed comes across as a principled and loyal man who's inability to control his temper is baffling. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's interested about the inner workings of a team.