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

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
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Dec 05, 2012

really liked it

I do not know if Ben Fountain has accurately captured what it would be like to be a military hero on leave, in Dallas for 24 hours to be lauded during the halftime show. But the idea of this occurring, and the idea of soldiers and what they see and how they process it, is the main point of Fountain's book. The most serious action revolves around the multiple narratives, one of which might just be the thing that breaks Bravo squad apart: a movie deal, a luscious cheerleader, a chance to throw in with the powers that be, a chance to run away.

Fountain mixes the gutter talk of men who need not pretend that all is well with the world with the inner musings of nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn, who is coasting on a hangover and no sleep and a need to feel a woman's parts near his. So between passages larded with more f-bombs than a whole squadron can deliver, Fountain gives us this:

"The war is out there somewhere but Billy can't feel it, like his sole experience with morphine when he could not feel pain. At one point he even tried as an experiment, stared at his cut-up arms and legs thinking hurt, but the notion simply gassed into thin air."
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