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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Audiobook

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

"The narrator, Oliver Wyman...imbues each member of Bravo Company with a thoughtfully defined character: Billy is unschooled but far from stupid, and Wyman walks that line effectively. The book's pages display words adrift in space, spelled phonetically...but Wyman manages to give each word and phrase the sensibility of the typographical tricks." (John Schwartz, The New York Times Book Review)

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (813 )
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  •  
    Scott 03-26-13
    Scott 03-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "One of the best I've read in a while!"
    Where does Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This one is near the top. I think I enjoyed the audio more than I would have the book - I'd have been tempted to skip over some of the dialog - and definitely wouldn't have had all the voices so distinctly in my head.


    What other book might you compare Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk to and why?

    Not sure - war and football wouldn't be my go-to kind of book, but I read about this as one of the year's best fiction reads. It didn't disappoint. Amazing, laugh-out-loud funny at times, could bring you to tears at others. I don't have a personal perspective on war, but his depictions of Billy, his friendships, his family, his memories all seem very true to me. I kept thinking that this book would make a great movie - all the while our characters are trying to get their movie made. This speaks volumes to me - a book that takes place in one day at a football game that can develop characters, scenes, conflicts, suspense...enough for a movie is an amazing feat.


    Have you listened to any of Oliver Wyman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - at times I thought his narration was a bit over the top...unnecessarily.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - don't think I could sit still for that long, but I definitely had some driveway time as I wanted to finish a particular part.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chiadogs FLORIDA 07-22-16
    Chiadogs FLORIDA 07-22-16 Member Since 2013

    chiadogs

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    "good story less politics"

    a bit to anti-republican but enjoyed story nonetheless. always proud to read about service men and women

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Kraus Kingston, PA, United States 01-10-16
    Joe Kraus Kingston, PA, United States 01-10-16 Member Since 2011
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    "A Gentle Satire with a Sharp Message"
    Any additional comments?

    I’d heard a lot of good things about this book, but it took my old student Alex Barbolish recommending it to get it to the front of my queue. I’m glad he did since this is the best book I’ve read in weeks, and it strikes me as one of the best mirrors of our moment that I’ve seen.<br/><br/>It’s hard not to think of this book in conversation with other American war novels, particularly Catch-22. Both of these are satires, even farces, yet there’s something much gentler about Billy Lynn. If Joseph Heller was trying to channel his fresh anger and outrage at the idea of war, Ben Fountain is dealing with a refrain: we all know war is stupid and, in a post-Vietnam era with a war founded on what many of us have come to see as Bush’s “lies” about the real threat of Saddam, it’s old news that governments risk young men’s lives for obscure purposes.<br/><br/>If the news is old, though, the story is always new. Billy has heroically come to the near rescue of one of his friends in an experience that seems more authentic on television than through his memory or his testimony. It’s been since Hemingway (and maybe even Crane) that we recognize how difficult it is to tell your own war story, but Bill has to discover that truth all over again.<br/><br/>Instead of going down the earnest path of, most notably, Tim O’Brien, though, Fountain explores the problem through absurdity. Here are Billy and his friends, a day before going back to Iraq, being celebrated by the Dallas Cowboys and weighed for participation in a major motion picture.<br/><br/>If Catch-22 puts its satire in neon, this is done in water color. Fountain has a great capacity for letting the absurd sneak up on us. His caricature of the Cowboys owner reveals itself only slowly. (And it’s all the funnier if you know, as most of us do, the original in Jerry Jones.) He nails the voice, the self-importance, and the blindness to hypocrisy, and the result is a gradual juxtaposition of a very silly, frighteningly influential man alongside the decency of a common soldier. <br/><br/>The sub-plot of the cheerleaders works brilliantly, too. Against all odds, one beautiful girl is “really into” Billy, and he has to toggle between such extraordinary good fortune and the realization that his commitment to the army will almost certainly take it away from him. She is a dream girl, but he begins to realize she is necessarily just that: a dream who can’t exist in real life, the real life of what the novel calls at one wonderful point, “the best of the bottom third of their generation.” (I may have that quote off a little, but the spirit is there.)<br/><br/>If all those details and that mastery of tone weren’t enough, Fountain also finds a thoroughly satisfying metaphor for the heart of this book. If the idea of a ‘long walk at half-time’ doesn’t quite nail what’s going on, the title does evoke the underlying insight of the book. We’re at a cultural moment when we simply don’t have the apparatus to appreciate the experience of people like Billy, ordinary, even small people who find themselves in the middle of great events they neither understand nor endorse. We’re all caught in spectacle, and the images of our experience threaten to drown out that experience itself.<br/><br/>I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what makes this work so well. It’s a terrific book, and it will be good to see whether Fountain can deliver again next time.<br/><br/><br/>

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Boulder, CO, United States 03-31-14
    Thomas Boulder, CO, United States 03-31-14
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    "Caricatures, not characters"

    Ben Fountain's short stories "Close Encounters with Che Guevara" was one of my favorite books. This is an experimental novel, with no plot, in a nondescript setting. There are no characters either. There's a movie producer who's a caricature of movie producers. Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old who was given a choice between prison or the army. Beyond that he has no backstory. No other character has a backstory. The soldiers on leave just eat pizza and drink beer and call each other gay. I gave up after 2.5 hours. The writing is good but it's not a novel.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 09-03-12
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Worth the credit"

    I hesitated to download this book but I found it to be an interesting take on the war. Billy's trip home is alternately funny, sad, and eye opening, and I liked the book. Give it a try.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Erik Louisville, KY, United States 06-10-12
    Erik Louisville, KY, United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2014
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    "No Catch-22 But Still An Entertaining Novel"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes.<br/><br/>Ben Fountain’s new novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, has been compared to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Such comparisons are optimistic.<br/><br/>Billy Lynn's is a light if entertaining read that takes predictable potshots at Texas, former President Bush, conservatives and United States military strategy, the last a subject so complex and so interconnected to political and economic initiatives that many are simply too ill educated to discuss the topic knowledgeably. But that doesn’t stop anyone from trying, which is one of the points of Fountain’s book.<br/><br/>Read Billy Lynn's for entertainment value. Don’t read it thinking it possesses the same brilliance as Catch-22; you’ll most likely be disappointed.<br/><br/>That’s not to say Billy Lynn's isn’t without insight. The book boasts a few wondrous moments (mostly humorous) and some well-crafted passages that prompt serious introspection.<br/><br/>Here’s but one example of a critical thought I suspect Fountain spent quite a bit of time polishing: “How does anyone ever know anything? The past is a fog that breathes out ghost after ghost, the present a freeway thunder run at 90 miles per hour, which makes the future the ultimate black hole of futile speculation.”<br/><br/>That’s good stuff.<br/><br/>It should be noted I found the narration quite good, too. The narrator's timely inflections and regional accents added to my enjoyment of this novel, definitely adding a star to the overall rating.


    Would you recommend Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The end.


    Was Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk worth the listening time?

    Yes


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ANDREW H OSTERLUND Raleigh, NC United States 06-27-17
    ANDREW H OSTERLUND Raleigh, NC United States 06-27-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Slow, repetitive, lots of cussing"

    Gave up a couple hours in, narrative of the salesmanship and marketing of war heroes - couldn't seem to get in anything deeper, Lots of characters, not much development. All the dialogue sounded the same, painful and repetitive, unengaging. I was really hoping to be pulled into a story, but it didn't happen. Chalking this up as a miss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark N. 05-27-17
    Mark N. 05-27-17
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    "Excellent"

    A very good book about the absurdity of war. Not Catch-22 quality but the vivid descriptions were excellent and the story was powerful. I highly recommend reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry HOUSTON, TX, United States 04-03-17
    Sherry HOUSTON, TX, United States 04-03-17 Member Since 2010
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    "Why would they make a movie from this?"

    Found nothing new here, wasn't terrible but wasn't that good either. I can understand why the movie was a bomb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard G. Reinis Los Angeles 01-18-17
    Richard G. Reinis Los Angeles 01-18-17 Member Since 2011

    Protector

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    "Perfect Match of Reader and Writer"
    What did you love best about Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk?

    Oliver Wyman is a vocal genius who hits perfect pitch with this modern war saga. The voices, inflections, blank spaces, sounds of machines and vehicles, add so much to a story that adds color to the fog of war, lays bare the hypocrisy of those who would support veterans and the wars in the Middle East, mocks billionaires, demonstrates the utter tomfoolery of NFL Half Time shows, removes the pom-poms from the Dallas Cheerleaders, and much, much more. War is not glorious, and what better way to illustrate that than through the eyes of a war hero on tour. Trained to be killers, he and his heroic brothers take half time to duke it out with roadies and drunk Cowboys' fans, as negotiations for a biopic and a nymphomaniac distract. What a riot!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk?

    Negotiation of a movie deal between the Dallas Cowboys billionaire owner and Billy Lynn's Sergeant.


    Which character – as performed by Oliver Wyman – was your favorite?

    Billy Lynn's latin fellow Bravo


    If you could rename Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, what would you call it?

    This Man's Army is No Picnic


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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