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


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What is the "Halftime Walk"?
Matthew Turner Matthew Nov 23, 2013 01:46AM
So I assumed the "halftime" of the title referred to the halftime of the game. But someone just commented on my review that it's actually (rather cryptically?) meant to reference the reprieve from war --- the fact that the soldiers have been allowed to return to the US before being shipped back to the frontline. I totally missed this, and the title is really bugging me now! How did others interpret the title? What is the "Halftime" of the title? And what is the "Walk"?



I think both commenters (Mathew and Gordon) have put their fingers on the halftime metaphor offered by the book. I found this to be one of the most enjoyable books I've read in the past year and can't help but think that in 50 years it will provide great insight into how America felt about the Iraq war. Any one with me?


I really appreciate the comments on this post. I wasn't a fan of the book (thought it was a great concept but over-wrought and too repetitive). And I had a surprisingly negative reaction to the anticlimactic halftime show. I think the title raised my expectation for some plot development that never arrived. But I'm fascinated by Fred's comment about the potential longevity of this book. Maybe it says more about how I consume news, and my sources of opinion, but I just didn't feel like this book said anything new or original? Anyway, I think I've now got a better understanding of the "halftime" and "walk" as metaphor, which I honestly missed completely during my time in the text!

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Matthew Turner Film 4 are amazing... almost guaranteed to be good [IMHO] :)
Nov 26, 2013 04:47AM · flag
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Fred Smith I'll have to look into them. Thanks for the good heads up. ...more
Nov 26, 2013 06:10AM · flag

I agree. I think that that halftime is meant to indicate the football game's intermission, but also the temporary reprieve from the war. Is it fitting that Dallas loses the game? Is it foretelling of Billy's loss (of life)? I somehow felt that the "walk" was that of a "Dead Man Walking".


I originally took it to be just the halftime festivities at the game, but like all good fiction, it refers to more than just that. It was this somewhat bizarre and surreal 'intermission' from the war that inlcuded all the other events of the book--really most of them happening just that day.
I think that in some ways is refers to the 'quest' story where the hero has a variety of experiences while journeying from one place to another. In this case, it was right back to Iraq, but not without a very full day of flirting with riches, a cheerleader and deserting (among other things).


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