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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  25,185 Ratings  ·  3,257 Reviews
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 ...more
Playaway, w/earbuds
Published July 1st 2012 by Findaway World (first published May 1st 2012)
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Kemper
It’s probably a bad idea for the US military to allow the troops overseas to get the news from back home. I have this fear that someday the service men and women in places like Iraq and Afghanistan will finally snap after seeing the people they’ve pledged to defend are less interested in what they’re doing than TV reality shows and celebrity gossip. If the military ever decides that the pack of assholes back in America isn’t worth fighting and dying for, we could find all that hardware aiming ba ...more
Will Byrnes
It is early in the latest Iraq war. SPC Billy Lynn, a 19-year-old, silver-star-recipient and bona fide war hero, is about to be honored at the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving home game, along with seven other members of Bravo company, for bravery in a battle that had the benefit of a Fox news crew with plenty of film. He is also the window through which we get a hard look at the reality of millennial America. That Ben Fountain succeeds so well in making Billy work both as a character in his own rig ...more
Fabian
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
No; "American Sniper" it isn't. Even "The Hurt Locker" or "Zero Dark Thirty" or the forgotten "Stop-Loss" aren't IT, either.

This IS IT. (you gotta GOTTA read read READ this!)

Of course, you would have to go to literature for the most captivating, most REALISTIC depictions of the new American Soldier's psyche. Juicy and spine-tinglingly relevant, this uber-irreverent novel soars high with a grounded and visceral pulse, in an almost minute-by-minute account of society's push on the soldier (Billy
...more
K
Well, that didn't take very long. Mounting frustration, a couple of critical (if unusual) goodreads reviews, and that's it -- I feel validated now, I'm quitting.

I wanted to blame the audio format, but that doesn't usually get in the way when I'm truly enjoying a book. I could say it's because it's a guy book, but I've liked some guy books in my day -- admittedly they were a harder sell, but not impossible for me to enjoy.

I guess the book just felt repetitive to me. Not much of a plot; rather a s
...more
Steve
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s an old observation, but true nonetheless: Nineteen is a difficult age – old enough to get shot for your country, but not to drink beer. In Billy Lynn’s case, it’s an age where there’s more than that to sort out, but with little training to draw on to get it all figured. We’re pulling for you, though, Billy.

What SPC William Lynn was trained for was life in Bravo Company, ground troops in Iraq who showed exceptional bravery under fire. Footage of their valor found its way into American living
...more
KC
May 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A brilliant exploration of the dissonance and disconnect between military life and civilian life in a time of war. I can't recall the last time I've read a novel that skewers the American public so effectively and relentlessly.

This is the right novel for the last ten years of American wars, perhaps THE novel for the War on Terror/GWOT/Long War/whatever the Pentagon is calling it these days. There are several excellent memoirs and non-fictional accounts of life on the modern battlefield ("The Fo
...more
Hilary
Oct 26, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortlisted
There are few things less enjoyable than poorly-written satire, and there are few time periods less interesting to set a book in than the very recent (past decade or so) past. This book manages to combine both of these for a result that’s just as crappy as you’d imagine. It’s satire with all the subtlety of “Goofus and Gallant.”

The plot is simple: a small band of soldiers from Bravo squad (which is a misnomer, but that just shows the MEDIA DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE MILITARY!) who responded heroica
...more
Sam
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
" 'If it's supposed to be this great Victory Tour then why can't he just stay home?
Mr. Whaley's voice was gentle. 'It's fine young men like your brother who are going to lead us to victory.'
'Not if they're dead.'


It took me much longer than I expected to finish Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk I couldn't put my finger on it at first, until I realized I bookmarked nearly every other page for the first 100 or so pages. This isn't a quiet book on balance: it crackles and pops and is aggressive and
...more
Jill
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is, perhaps, a fortuitous accident that I turned the last pages of Ben Fountain’s absolutely brilliant novel during Memorial Day…a day when rhetoric about courage, support, sacrifice, and patriotism overflows.

Billy Lynn – the eponymous hero of this book – is a genuine American hero. He and his fellow Bravo Squad members decimated an insurgency – caught on film by an embedded Fox News crew -- and became overnight sensations in a nation starved for good news about Iraq. They are brought home fo
...more
Peter Boyle
Feb 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After surviving a bloody skirmish in Iraq, nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn returns to Texas a national hero. Footage of the firefight was uploaded by a US journalist and the ensuing viral sensation quickly made celebrities out of Billy and his fellow soldiers. Along with his comrades in Bravo Company, he is paraded around the country and hailed as a symbol of American hope and valour. The story focuses on one of the final days of the victory tour - Bravo are welcomed as guests of honour at a Dallas ...more
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Ben Fountain's fiction has appeared in Harper's, The Paris Review, and Zoetrope: All Story, and he has been awarded an O. Henry Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, and the PEN/Hemingway Award. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dallas, Texas.
More about Ben Fountain...
“Somewhere along the way America became a giant mall with a country attached.” 47 likes
“If you could figure out how to live with family then you'd gone a long way toward finding your peace.” 25 likes
More quotes…