What do readers think about Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever?
August 30, 2016
Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever has seen the light of day. It’s now resting on Amazon and other eRetailers.
First, I would like to thank Y & R Publishing for producing such a great-looking book.
I want to thank Juta Medina for designing a stunning cover that captures the emotion of the story.
And I am forever indebted to those who have taken the time to read the novel and write a review.
The reviews keep coming, and it’s an humbling experience to realize the reviews are better written than the novel.
Thanks to you all.
Review by Billy Ray Chitwood:
If ever a book was meant for big screen theaters, it’s Caleb Pirtle’s, Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever. This gifted and prolific author has a style and delivery that keeps you reading, metaphors and all.
The reel begins beside a big water tower, with some of the Avalon footballers climbing up that structure hundreds of feet to paint on the holding tank the words, Alabama State Champs. The ace quarterback is the only player who cannot make the climb. It becomes a subtle and substantially symbolic part of the book.
In Avalon, Alabama – small town America – eighteen year old quarterback, Casey Clinton has brought his high school team to the State Finals. He has also brought reputedly the ‘best passing arm’ in the country. Trailing by four points with thirteen seconds to go in the game, the rain coming down and the field a quagmire of soggy grass and mud, all Casey has to do is hit his soft-handed wide receiver, Lucas Calhoun, on a square-out from the opponents ten yard line…money in the bank, everybody on the coaching staff and on the sidelines believe.
Casey runs around in the backfield avoiding tacklers, gets to his spot, sets his right foot to hit his wily and superstar wide receiver who is open in the end zone. Casey’s right foot sinks into the mud, and the ball wobbles out in the general direction of Calhoun who is desperately trying to catch up to the wind-driven football. Lucas doesn’t make the misdirected football…
Game Over! Humiliation and regret begins. A new world opens up for Casey Clinton, most of it negative, suffering the frowns of his fans and ‘friends’, feeling the contradictory emotions that come with this ‘passage’ in his life.
Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever has all the reader wants – moral ambivalence, love, romance, sex, murder, the shifty and life-changing tactics of College football recruiters, offering their gifts – cars, young hostesses who are happy to accommodate their school’s next super stars. The characters are well drawn and portrayed, showing Mr. Pirtle’s brilliance as a wordsmith.
Review by Patricia La Vigne:
Friday Nights Don’t Last Forever by Caleb Pirtle III is a roller-coaster ride through Casey Clinton’s life from the time he slips in the mud during a crucial Friday night high school football game. That slip cost his wide receiver, Lucas Calhoun, a fumble which lost the game to the rival team, and the State Championship.
From that moment, the author takes his reader into the heads of each character in the story as those characters evolve throughout the story, how their lives are affected by events and experiences. The language might be construed as “typical” for the rough exterior layers of older teen boys and the coaches who want to spell out the situations in terms understood best by those boys.
In spite of losing the state championship, Casey’s reputation as a star athlete spread beyond his small hometown of Avalon, Alabama. Coaches from universities across the South vied for his signature on the dotted line that would catapult him to a college football team.
At the helm, stood Frank Hatchett—one might call him an old “war horse” of coaches– from the University of Alabama. Frank had the reputation of being a veteran recruiter for the University of Alabama who wines and dines prospective players from around the country. He’s also of the opinion he should rule over other coaches when it comes down to his choices.
He is intent on recruiting Casey, whose throwing arm has led his team to many victories through the years.
But what happens when Frank arranges to meet Casey and his family for a media interview, and while walking toward the family, Frank has to ask his assistant what the kid’s name is again? We learn a side of Frank that is more political than genuine interest in the boy he says should play for the Crimson Tide team of Alabama.
When Casey is confounded by the growing number of recruiting coaches from universities throughout the South, he seeks advice on what to do, where to go, and how to avoid the constant clatter of telephone calls. He gets little satisfaction from his parents because he sees a side of himself they don’t.
We get a deeper picture of the emotions Casey goes through, especially with his friends from school. A girl he loves who taunts and teases him; the boys who challenge his fear of heights when they try to goad him into climbing the local water tower; the sexual turmoil he suffers when he is rebuffed by the head cheerleader; the seduction by a minister’s young wife, and when he is discovered on New Year’s Day in a Dallas hotel with a murdered girl, not knowing if he committed the murder.
From the depths of despair, can Casey rise from the ashes of his life like the proverbial Phoenix ? Is this his rite of passage into becoming a responsible adult?
Caleb Pirtle writes the powerful story of what can be considered a “behind the scenes” look into the life of an eighteen year old who has it all—talent, fame, glory, a golden future—but at what price?
Review by Roger Summers:
Casey Clinton is a magician. He knows football. But Caleb Pirtle out-magicians the magician.
Caleb knows how football works – especially how football works Casey Clinton. Maneuvers him, snookers him, leads him, seduces him, confounds him, guides and misguides him.
It is always first down and ten, with the red zone ever within attainable reach the way Caleb zip-zip-zips his story along, captivating and then keeping the reader spiraling in his words as only Caleb can.
A football coach once said that there is not much to know about football except that a football is a prolate spheroid. Anything else, the coach insisted, is pure conjecture. Not so. Football is as complex as it seems to be simple.
Caleb knows football’s complexities, its intricacies, and, yes, its addiction for players and fans alike and knows how to tell the tale of them in his special, inimitable fashion that will keep readers up late into the night – Friday or any other night – until the very last word of this compelling novel is absorbed.
Along the way the reader comes to understand what is amiss and what is restorative about this night of nights in the razzle-dazzle of football.
And then the book will be closed – slowly, slowly closed – followed by long moments of time out to reflect upon all you have come to know and understand between the first word and the last.
Review by David L. Atkinson:
Although the subject matter was foreign to me, the character development and complexity I found fascinating.
Caleb Pirtle has the skill to put the character out there with the mission of drawing in the reader and does so with great skill.
The emotions that the players on the football team experience are tangible and never dull in this treatment of the game and its multi-faceted nature. An excellent read.