A rerelease of this award-winning, critically acclaimed novel just in time for its major motion picture release, directed by two-time Academy Award® winner Ang Lee; screenplay by Jean-Christophe Castelli; and featuring Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, and Garrett Hedlund, with Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents - 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 victory tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of a Dallas football team, slated to be part of the halftime show.
Among the Bravos is Specialist William Lynn, a 19-year-old Texas native. Amid clamoring patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and "support our troops" bumper stickers on their cars, the Bravos are thrust into the company of the team owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a luscious born-again cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized pro players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Among these faces Billy sees those of his family - his worried sisters and broken father - and Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy's mind and died in his arms.
Over the course of this day, Billy will begin to understand difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms soldiers both dead and alive. In the final few hours before returning to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years.
Poignant, riotously funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is a searing and powerful novel that has cemented Ben Fountain's reputation as one of the finest writers of his generation.
Motion picture artwork ©2016 CTMG.
©2012 Ben Fountain (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
If not for a dreadful story, the author can actually write. Too often he used lists to describe an encounter, but other than that he does an excellent job of putting the reader in the story. Unfortunately, it is the most boring story ever told. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to cover a 4 hour time period and tell the reader absolutely nothing. It reminds me of the movie you start, hoping you'll fall asleep, yet stay awake bleary eyed just knowing it has to get better, only for it to end with ultimate disappointment. This one is not worth the time.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
That is impossible (three words, right?). The publisher's review of this book says it much better than I can. This book is a masterpiece. Billy Lynn is a 19 year old Army grunt, one of the heroes of the Bravo squad. They found themselves in a firefight with Iraqi insurgents. Billy's closest friend, Shroom, catches fire near Billy, who rushes headlong into the middle of the battle to haul his fatally-wounded friend back to a trench. Shroom dies in Billy's arms. The entire moment is filmed by the embedded Fox news "medias," and the squad, with Billy its face, is squired around the country by a Bush administration determined to use them for all the desperate PR they can possibly muster. This amazing novel takes place mostly in one day at the end of the tour, when they are shown off by the slimy owner of the Dallas Cowboys. The writing is brilliant, the narration so completely right that you are glued to your position. This book is why we read.
Catch-22 is what comes to mind. The book deserves to be as wildly popular as the story of Yossarian. It is also hilarious, with wise humor that draws you in with the Bravos, and makes you understand their truly brave dedication, and yet the country's deep ambivalence about the war cannot be denied. Everywhere they have gone, they have been patted on the back, hand-shaken, heartily toasted by everyone who wants a little piece of them. They are deeply embarrassed by the entire production. I had no idea that the book is being released soon as a movie. This is art trumping life. The Cowboys owner, Norm, acclaims to the world that he loves them and is going to make a grand movie of their heroism. But just as in Hollywood, they are first seduced by the idea of getting paid $100K for their roles. Norm, a repulsive insect, makes one offer to them: $5500. Dime, their loving and off-the-wall sergeant, says in the middle of a meeting with himself, Billy, and Norm's forty yesmen that, "Norm loves us so much that he's gonna fuck us in the face!"
Every word. Every phrase. Every joke, with every double- and triple meaning that each one contains. Possibly my favorite is Billy's instant romance with a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, Faizon Zorn. Billy and Faizon fall spectacularly in love, with bombs bursting, ripped-off clothing, and breathtaking dry humping, all in the middle of the half-time spectacular. This scene, starring Destiny's Child, is everything humoungously tacky about the United States. It features the mandatory cast of thousands, choreographed like a Broadway production, selling the Cowboy brand with every sort of trash that the human mind can create. Mr. Wyman has a talent that makes you want to leap out of your seat and cheer.
This is another horrid question. I believe that Mr. Fountain can call his book anything that he wants to call it.
I am not a big fan of war novels. They do make good movies, as Steven Spielberg masterfully showed us with Sophie's Choice, and once again with Schindler's List. I don't know what other writing Mr. Fountain has done, but I will listen to it immediately. I will wait a while, and then listen to Billy's story again, since you can't possibly hear every wonderful, deeply felt word on your first listen. Bravo!!!
Too much of a stretch to be believed it's almost science fiction. War hero comes home to tour the US (flags of our fathers) the bangs a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Racial stereotypes. The author tried too hard to write something he doesn't seem to know a lot. I heard this was "the best novel about the Iraq War." needless to say this most not be that book. I heard they are making a movie. I won't be watching it. This book was a continuous let down.
Typical story of combat vets dealing with the ridiculous civilian world. Army dialog is always amusing and gets to the real nature of things. Implausible story about a Dallas cheerleader.
There will be a movie released this year that can't possibly be as good as the book. I have listened multiple times because the reader and the material are a perfect match. The imagery and undercurrent here are humorous in a cynical way. It's Texas, the Bush years, patriotism of the saddest kind, Cowboy football, good 'ol boys, and the young, handsome Billy Lynn, a pawn of the machine along with his compatriots from Alpha Company. Great novel, and great reading. Please write another novel, Ben Fountain!
Usually war books don't do it for me. But this story is so wholly different, I not only enjoyed it, but recommended to to several people. The entire story takes place on Thanksgiving Day, when Billy and his crew are attending a Cowboys game before deploying back to Iraq. Although everything unfolds over one day, the author manages to weave in a lot of other threads - about their time in Iraq, about the friendship the guys share, about the family drama on the home-front. It's a cleverly constructed story, but what I enjoyed most was the humor - both in the form of dialogue between the soldiers (which may offend some because it's f-bomb heavy, but it rang true and hilarious to me), and the more subtle humor, which the author used to deliver an almost-under-the-radar political commentary.
Never read the print version. I imagine this version is better because Oliver Wyman is such a damn good reader.
Catch-22, humor, sadness, satire
So many wonderful character voices. he is a one-of-a-kind reader. His reading made this one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to, out of about twenty.
"Oh, My People"
way up there
the image-packed prose
I'm not sure. Did he do The Art of Fielding?
there were many
sometimes -- and this may be because I listened to the book -- I felt the prose got very packed with images and details. Obviously good images and good details make for a literary experience, but there were places where the author waxed when I wish he'd waned. But the guy is a tremendous writer and deserves all the praise he got for this book. It's not a rollicking narrative, but it is a beautiful example of meditative prose. The interiority of the novel is amazing and you can tell the author is somebody who really thinks and ruminates and this is why he is to be treasured.
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