Theresa's Reviews > Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
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Jul 06, 2012

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012

Ben Fountain's novel is built around the final day of a "Victory Tour" of 19-year-old war hero Billy Lynn and his Bravo comrades before they're sent back to Iraq to finish their tour of duty. The day is spent at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium on Thanksgiving Day, where the men of Bravo are being honored. The book is a searing look at the Iraq War, though the emphasis is less on what is happening on the battlefield (though that is not ignored) and more on what is happening (or more accurately, not happening) on the homefront. It dives into our (the American public's) general ignorance about the war and our self-serving ways of honoring the troops, not because they need it but because we do. It's a harsh look at what America has become and what our values are. Fountain does an amazing job with the book, encapsulating post-9/11 America in a way that I have not yet found anywhere else. Once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. The story is heartbreaking and penetrating and feels, ultimately, too true.
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Bruce Stern A couple of perceptive points made. Wish you'd written more about those points—'what our values are,' 'our self-serving ways of honoring the troops, not because they need it but because we do.' What is 'penetrating' about the story?
Thanks for the review


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