Emily Crowe's Reviews > Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
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Feb 04, 12

Read from January 15 to 31, 2012

I'd say that the first 3/4 of this book feels constantly fresh and somewhat edgy and it was all I could do to keep myself from tearing through the pages. The last bit bogged down a bit for me, though.

That being said, I feel that this may be an important book. So far it's the only one I've read coming out of the Irag War that subsumes itself in neither action sequences nor in an overwrought family drama. This one seems to be just as much about the war itself as the politics behind it and how America feels about it. (Though given the book takes place mostly in Texas, especially Dallas, we're not really given a look at the dissenters' side of things.)

It's also the first book coming out of the Irag War that seems willing to say that war is, more than anything else, a commercial enterprise. It's difficult not to draw the same conclusions about it as, say, the Dallas Cowboys franchise and the oil-steeped politics of the state in which the book is largely set.

Karl Marlantes blurbs this book, and he's not a writer whose opinion I take lightly, especially when it comes to the topic of war. My thoughts might need to settle down on this book before I can say more about it.
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