Father's Day

Father's Day

A Journey Into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son

Book - 2012
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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 bothsocially 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.

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

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Rock_Shadow
Jul 22, 2012

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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