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Editorial 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 Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Alison
  • Washington, DC, United States
  • 03-08-14

Not what I expected - in a good way!

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Michael
  • TONAWANDA, NY, United States
  • 09-19-13

fantastic

Would you consider the audio edition of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk to be better than the print version?

Never read the print version. I imagine this version is better because Oliver Wyman is such a damn good reader.

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

Catch-22, humor, sadness, satire

What does Oliver Wyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

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

"Oh, My People"

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

amazing writer

Where does Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

way up there

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

the image-packed prose

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

I'm not sure. Did he do The Art of Fielding?

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

there were many

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mcg
  • Seattle, WA
  • 02-25-13

Captures the Texas Homefront Zeitgeist of the War

If you could sum up Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk in three words, what would they be?

Soldiers meet home front

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

the tour of the equipment room and the locker room

Which scene was your favorite?

there are too many to isolate

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found this book familiar, funny and sad. It has very interesting incites on domestic patriotism in contemporary American (Texan) Society. Everyone loves the troops, to the extent they can leverage them or co-brand. I was in the military and ther perspective is definitely familiar.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Elisabeth
  • Durham, NC, United States
  • 01-13-13

Disappointed

I had heard so much buzz about this book, I expected to love it or at least laugh out loud at moments. Billy Lynn is ok. Fountain wants us to believe that Billy Lynn is really struggling with returning to Iraq after coming back to the US on leave after a significant skirmish victory. The problem is that there really never seemed to be a question as to whether or not he would return with his squad; just that he is getting some pressure from his sister to act a certain way. That said, the main conflict was not believable for me. What was more intriguing was 19 year old Billy's observations of successful businessmen and what it took for them to succeed. This seemed to provide impetuous for Billy, perhaps for the first time, to think about his long term future, not just day by day living. Billy Lynn is not a bad book; I just think that it was overhyped.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great performance, ordinary book

While there were flashes of insight and some well-turned phrases, the majority of this book was a bit of a tedious read. Same old, same old relevations about war, America, etc., with a bit of cheerleader fantasy added in. I really did not like the story itself, but I loved the narrator's delivery. He was able to capture each character with an entirely different voice and persona, which made this a far more tolerable listening experience.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Boring and horribly mis-matched reader

I want those hours of my life back. Next to no plot, annoying characters and wen worse reading. Boring b

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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couldn't do it

What could Ben Fountain have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

lack of plot. two hours in and the football game still hadn't started. though Wyman's performance of the different characters was outstanding, they weren't remarkable enough for me to keep track of while listening. overall the parts I listened to were very disjointed. never got hooked.

What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

he's a very talented narrator and did an amazing job differentiating the voices and accents of all the men.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • LARRY
  • Valencia, CA, United States
  • 01-28-14

Boring!

What disappointed you about Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk?

Perhaps I didn't read the summary well enough because I was really bored and disappointed with the novel. For some reason I expected some of the story to take place under wartime conditions. Instead it all centers around the "Bravo" teams presence at a major Football game. I kept hoping it would get more interesting but it never did.<br/>The narrator was very good, but, in my opinion, just could not save a boring story

What do you think your next listen will be?

I will do more research before I order again. I have enjoyed all the other books I have listened to through Audible

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

Billy

What character would you cut from Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk?

??? They were all boring

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 11-09-12

Know what you are getting

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I am scratching my head over this one. I think it is more a misconception over what I thought I was getting, and the new paperback cover depicts that story better. This is really not a war / military book, it is a Dallas Cowboy Thanksgiving Day book which centers on the experience from the point of view of some US soldiers who are stateside for a short publicity tour. It is not a bad book, just not a good choice for me.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful