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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben…

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2012)

by Ben Fountain

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1,2821018,894 (3.92)157

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English (99)  Spanish (1)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Fountain certainly understands how nineteen year old males think! I get that sometimes a lot of story elements may be compressed for impact but in the end this novel was a bot of a let-down because I could not suspend sufficient disbelief in the concatenation of events taking place in a period of several hours within a football stadium. ( )
  nmele | Apr 10, 2018 |
Even though they were not finalists the same year, I would have preferred this book won the National Book Award than "Redeployment." I found "Billy Lynn's..." more engaging and easier to digest, characters easier to relate to and sympathize with than "Redeployment." Of course not all war books are the same, but having read both that deal with a contemporary war—and being on the NBA list—it's difficult not to compare the two. I just felt Fountain was more successful at making the war and being in the armed forces easier to understand for someone with zero experience with that. ( )
  ctkjs | Jan 3, 2018 |
Fantastic and incisive social commentary about war and those take advantage of it--about the vast gulf between what war really is and what it's made out to be. The writing is just brilliant. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
Terrific book; amazing writing. This book isn't for everybody, but I loved it. Actually, it would be more accurate to say I respect it.

Billy Lynn is a nineteen year old veteran of the Iraq war. He was caught on film in a terrible firefight where he heroically fought jihadis. He and his band, Bravo troup, are back in the US for a "Victory Tour", as the US government endeavors to gin up flagging support for the war effort.

All the action basically takes place on one day, Thanksgiving Day, at Cowboys Stadium (the old one). Written in present tense by a narrator with an amazing voice, this is a book as much for fellow writers as it is for readers. Put it on your To-read shelf. Better yet, just read the damn thing. ( )
  denverbennett | Nov 7, 2017 |
This is one of those books that I'm glad I read — because there are so few novels on the Iraq War experience — but it didn't feel engage me emotionally.
( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Every two or three years, if I'm lucky, I get my hands on a novel that I simply can't shut up about, a novel I shout from my humble mountaintop to anyone who will listen, a novel that I hand-sell any time I have a literate audience of one or more. In many cases, I'll purchase this novel, over and over and over, and put it in the hands of readers....One novel this year blew the top of my head off like no other, and that was Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain....

No brow-beating, no navel gazing and no ranting. Just great storytelling, fully realized characters and sentences that crackle. In short, Fountain makes it look easy.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Jonathan Evison (Nov 28, 2012)
The novel is niftily postmodern, in that it deals with a heavily mediated reality. Bravo squad aren't even called Bravo squad, but that was what the "Fox embed" christened them. They hear their story being spun in real time: "Carl, what can I say?" says Albert, the movie producer, on the phone. "It's a war picture – not everybody gets out alive." The stadium is dominated by the huge "Jumbotron" screen; Billy wonders whether "maybe the game is just an ad for the ads". But Fountain, like better-known writers of his generation such as Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace, has dragged this ironic, media-saturated style back in the direction of sincerity, with rich, sharply drawn characters that you care about. Beneath the dazzle, there's a story as old and simple as Kipling's poem "Tommy": "They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls, / But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!"
added by zhejw | editThe Guardian, Theo Tait (Jul 6, 2012)
The irony, sorrow, anger and examples of cognitive dissonance that suffuse this novel make it one of the most moving and remarkable novels I've ever read.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Nance Pearl (May 21, 2012)
There’s hardly a false note, or even a slightly off-pitch one, in Fountain’s sympathetic, damning and structurally ambitious novel. (The whole story, with the exception of a flashback or two, takes place during the course of a single afternoon.) Billy and the other Bravos are, for the most part, uneducated, but they possess a rare intelligence that allows them to see things as they really are, which is not exactly the way the pro-war meme generators want Americans to see them.

By the novel’s end, we’re forced to reassess what it means to “support the troops.” Does it simply mean letting them know they’re in our prayers as we send them back into battle and go about our business? Does it mean turning them into gaudy celebrities? Or could there perhaps be a more honorable and appropriately humble way to commemorate their service? “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” asks us to consider the uncomfortable possibility that we don’t really know the answer anymore.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"—three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny's Child.
Un accrochage avec des insurgés irakiens . Trois minutes quarante - trois de pure violence filmées par Fox News, désormais en boucle sur Youtube et les huit survivants de la compagnie Bravo deviennent du jour au lendemain les enfants chéris de l'Amérique . Billy Lynn ne pense, comme ses frères d'armes qu'à une seule chose : profiter au maximum de ses derniers jours de permission . Repartira t il pour l'Irak , laissant derrière lui ses illusions et son innocence ?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060885599, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, May 2012: Billy Lynn and his Bravo squad mates have become heroes thanks to an embedded Fox News crew’s footage of their firefight against Iraqi insurgents. During one day of their bizarre Victory Tour, set mostly at a Thanksgiving Day football game at Texas Stadium, they’re wooed by Hollywood producers, smitten by Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, and share a stage at halftime with Beyonce. Guzzling Jack and Cokes and scuffling with fans, the Bravos are conflicted soldiers. “Okay, so maybe they aren’t the greatest generation,” writes debut author (!) Ben Fountain, who manages a sly feat: giving us a maddening and believable cast of characters who make us feel what it must be like to go to war. Veering from euphoria to dread to hope, Billy Lynn is a propulsive story that feels real and true. With fierce and fearless writing, Fountain is a writer worth every accolade about to come his way. --Neal Thompson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad. Follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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