Joanne7758's Reviews > Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
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's review
Aug 10, 2012

really liked it
Read in August, 2012

A Fox News team embedded with a group of soliders films an intense firefight in Al-Ansakar Canal in Iraq. Billy Lynn's friend and mentor, Shroom, dies in his arms and he takes out a few insurgents in the process of getting his friend from being dragged away. He and the boys are genuine documented heroes and the army takes them back stateside for a "victory" tour to prop up an unpopular war.

The book is almost entirely, with some flashbacks, built around a Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys football game taking place in Texas. It is often hilariously funny but below it all is the terror of knowing they'll all be sent right back to Iraq when it's over. As it turns out Billy Lynn is a 19 year old virgin with a philosopher's heart and he tells it like he sees as the ludicrous nature of the tour spins out. As the story develop Billy and the rest of the group know they are being used. Everyone's happy to tell them how great it was to watch them kick butt, that it's about time we got some payback, etc., etc. But it is equally clear to him that they don't want the reality of him, the group or the war -- they like the idea of it all as long as they are nowhere near it and home making money.

I fell in love with this kid, who in one hysterically funny scene dry humps a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader somewhere in the stadium. He got pushed into the war defending his sister, but maybe didn't have anywhere else to go. And maybe he won't have anything to come to either, if he comes home at all.
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