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Father's Day

A Journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son

Bissinger, H. G.

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Father's Day
Print
Houghton
A remarkable memoir from the best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August.

Buzz Bissinger’s twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.

Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didn’t really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.

As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zach’s worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zach’s twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.


The best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and 3 Nights in August journeys across country and into the psyche of his son and traveling companion, where he finds not only the remarkable skills and debilities known as savantism, but a host of qualities we should all emulate.

Baker & Taylor
The author recounts a father-son road trip during which he gained insight into the worldviews, challenges, and talents of his socially challenged savant son, Zach.

Baker
& Taylor

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Friday Night Lights recounts a father-son road trip during which he gained insights into the worldviews, challenges and talents of his socially challenged savant son, Zach. 100,000 first printing.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
ISBN: 0547816561
9780547816562
Branch Call Number: B Bissinger B
Characteristics: xii, 242 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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Jul 22, 2012
  • Rock_Shadow rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I read the books perhaps too quickly as it captivated me so much on different levels. It wasn't necessarily about Buzz's way of parenting, thinking, or writing - for me it was the universal parenting anguish that Buzz dared to express very deeply. Just the fact that our kids are completely different from us is enough to make rearing any kind of a child mind-boggling. Buzz has been too hard on himself for his inability to be there fully for his child, since Zach is so difficult to understand. Reading Buzz's book helped me to see how essential listening to a child is, no matter what they can or can't express. The harder you are on yourself for your child not living to your expectations the harder it becomes to truly listen to your child. Buzz is able to start looking at the world with his savant son's eyes, and that is a monumental achievement for any parent.

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Bissinger, H. G.
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