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North Dallas Forty Peter Gent (1973)

This novel tells the story of 8 days in the chaotic life of pro football player, Phil Elliot. Elliot is addicted to painkillers and mind-altering drugs and has to choose between abiding by the NFL’s drug policy (which the novel exposes as hypocritical) or giving up on his dreams. The story is often graphic.

Gent was a wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys from 1964 to 1968. Unfortunately his pro career was marred by injuries and ended in 1969 before he could play for the New York Giants. North Dallas Forty is a semi-autobiographical novel. In 1979, Gent wrote a screenplay based on his novel and it became a film that starred Nick Nolte.

In 1989, he published a sequel, North Dallas After 40. Gent has also published another football novel, The Franchise, in 1983.