Father's Day by Buzz Bissinger


20 Critic Reviews

Because when all the regrets fade into the background, we are left with a father who loves his extraordinary son more than he loves himself.
-Star Tribune


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.

This e-book features a teaser chapter from Bissinger’s story of strategy, heart, and baseball, THREE NIGHTS IN AUGUST.


About Buzz Bissinger

See more books from this Author
Buzz Bissinger is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller 3 Nights in August and Friday Night Lights, which has sold two million copies and inspired a film and TV franchise. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a sports columnist for The Daily Beast. He has written for the New York Times, The New Republic, Time and many other publications.
Published May 15, 2012 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 283 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Jun 03 2012
Weeks as Bestseller
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Father's Day
All: 20 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 3


Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews, on May 18 2012

An intriguing memoir that suffers from confusing narrative lapses, such as contradictory accounts of Zach's work history.

Read Full Review of Father's Day | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Reviewed by Dwight Gardner on May 14 2012

This is a rare kind of success for a nonfiction writer, and you might think it would bring a measure of calm and satisfaction to the book’s author. If you suspect that’s the case, you don’t know much about Harry Gerard Bissinger III, who is universally known as Buzz.

Read Full Review of Father's Day | See more reviews from NY Times

Star Tribune

Reviewed by Stephen Lyons on May 27 2012

Because when all the regrets fade into the background, we are left with a father who loves his extraordinary son more than he loves himself.

Read Full Review of Father's Day | See more reviews from Star Tribune

LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by Scott Martelle on Jun 17 2012

While "Father's Day" offers an unblinking look into the soul of a tortured man, less Buzz and more Zach would have made it a more satisfying book to read.

Read Full Review of Father's Day | See more reviews from LA Times

Entertainment Weekly

Reviewed by Karen Valby on May 11 2012

The four-page description of their death-defying drop, in which father and son cling in terror and joy as they fall from the sky, is one of the most beautiful metaphors for parenthood I have ever read.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Dallas News

Below average
Reviewed by Alex Lemon on May 18 2012

Instead of becoming a father-son bonding experience, the road trip seems to be a way for Bissinger to confront ghosts that haunt his adult life...

Read Full Review of Father's Day

San Francisco Chronicle

Reviewed by Madeleine Blais on Jun 17 2012

...Father's Day has the classic ingredients of a keeper in the memoir genre: honesty and urgency.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

The Seattle Times

Reviewed by David Takami on May 27 2012

It's a kind of miracle to watch this unfold — the letting go, the recognition of Zach's fundamental goodness, and father falling in love again with his son.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Oregon Live

Reviewed by Steve Duin on Jun 02 2012

But the honesty of "Father's Day" is ultimately as cleansing for the reader as it is for the writer.

Read Full Review of Father's Day


Reviewed by Dave Sowders on May 13 2012

A really good book, no matter what its genre, delivers a level of humanity that is both breathtaking and elemental.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

USA Today

Reviewed by Deirdre Donahue on May 15 2012

What gives Father's Day its punch and power is Bissinger's honesty, particularly about fathers and sons, success and failure, pride and shame.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Chicago Sun Times

Reviewed by Rob Merrill on Jun 07 2012

The tone throughout Father’s Day is unflinchingly honest. Bissinger isn’t fishing for sympathy...

Read Full Review of Father's Day

My San Antonio

Reviewed by Yvette Benavides on Jun 18 2012

...is his singular ability to tell a true story about a compelling figure — as he always does — with conviction and a prose that moves readers to a wide spectrum of emotions.

Read Full Review of Father's Day


Reviewed by Andrew Ervin on May 28 2012

Father’s Day implores us not only to open our hearts to the mentally challenged people around us, because that goes without saying

Read Full Review of Father's Day

News Observer

Reviewed by Dwight Garner on May 26 2012

...is riveting and a bit frightening; Bissinger wears his emotions close to the surface. I’m not sure it’s a good book, but it’s a brutal and vivid one, the work of a writer with an unflinching gift for honesty, and impossible to put down.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

The Saturday Evening Post

Reviewed by Jesika St Clair on May 11 2012

In the end it is Zach’s action that brings Bissinger peace in an unlikely place: Los Angeles, the city where he experienced his most “personal and professional failure.”

Read Full Review of Father's Day

The Philly Post

Reviewed by Tim Whitaker on May 04 2012

By trip’s end, Bissinger discovers a kindness and strength of character in his son

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Lesa's Book Critiques

Reviewed by Lesa on Jun 15 2012

...he uses this book to teach himself, and readers, that a young man with a disability can still have strengths and abilities that will allow him to be happy and succeed in his own way.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Priscilla Gilman

Reviewed by Priscilla Gilman on Aug 31 2012

As the book and the road-trip progress, we discover that Zach’s mind is not only limited but also gifted: he is, in fact, a savant with an extraordinary memory and a remarkable facility with maps.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Word Splash

Reviewed by Joanne Faries on Jul 18 2012

The author of father's day writes a book full of insight, humor and reality.

Read Full Review of Father's Day

Reader Rating for Father's Day

An aggregated and normalized score based on 180 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review