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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ebook

by Ben Fountain


Ben Fountain was the lead subject in a 2008 New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell about late bloomers. Now, six years later, comes a novel that, appropriately enough, takes a while to bloom

Ben Fountain was the lead subject in a 2008 New Yorker article by Malcolm Gladwell about late bloomers. Now, six years later, comes a novel that, appropriately enough, takes a while to bloom.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is a satirical war novel written by Ben Fountain, which was published in early May 2012 by Ecco Press, a publishing imprint of HarperCollins. The novel chronicles the experience of a group of Iraq War veterans who are hailed as heroes and sent on a victory tour following their engagement in an intense firefight that happened to be caught on camera.

Penkid says: I was in Iraq at the same time as Billy Lynn - not as a soldier but as a civilian contractor. Sitting in the TOC and listening to the Battle Update Briefs was a surreal experience. screen narrated by the various Brigade leaders, were all the reports of the day. On another screen - CNN. I spent a lot of time looking from one to the other in puzzlement. How could the press be so off base? And the entertainment news! Michael Jackson, Brittany Spears, etc etc. And commercial after commercial.

19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. 2-time Academy Award® winner Ang Lee brings his extraordinary vision to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, based on the widely-acclaimed, bestselling novel. Through flashbacks, the film shows what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions. The film is told from the view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who, along with fellow soldiers, is hailed as a 'hero' after a harrowing Iraq battle. He'is brought home for a victory tour.

Start by marking Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk as Want to Read .

Start by marking Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Ben Fountain’s remarkable debut novel follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive "Victory Tour" at Texas Stadium, football Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk is a razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq.

Ben Fountain, who manages a sly feat: giving us a maddening and .

Ben Fountain, who manages a sly feat: giving us a maddening and believable cast of characters who make us feel what it must be like to go to war. Veering from euphoria to dread to hope, Billy Lynn is a propulsive story that feels real and true. and has written a funny novel that provides skewering critiques of America's obsession with sports, spectacle, and wa. ' - -Huffington Post.

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

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. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

Ben Fountain's blinder of a first novel has been a long time coming The book opens with "tag teams of grateful citizens" trampolining "right down the middle" of Billy's hangover, and their patriotic words tumbling around his brain: "terrRist".

Ben Fountain's blinder of a first novel has been a long time coming. Fountain is such an egregious late bloomer that, a few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a New Yorker article about him. Back in 1988 he left his job as a property lawyer in Dallas, Texas, to write at his kitchen table; his first book, the acclaimed short story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, was not published until 18 years later, in 2006. The book opens with "tag teams of grateful citizens" trampolining "right down the middle" of Billy's hangover, and their patriotic words tumbling around his brain: "terrRist"; "freedom"; "nina leven"; "currj"; "sacrifice".

From the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, comes Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ( The Catch-22 of the Iraq War -Karl Marlantes)

From the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, comes Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ( The Catch-22 of the Iraq War -Karl Marlantes).

Anayalore
There must be an incredible hunger for a satirical treatment of America's recent conflicts because nothing else could explain the interest in this novel. It is shallow, poorly constructed, and so filled with cliched characters and settings that it descends into pure banality by page 30. Do not waste your time or money looking for another Slaughterhouse 5 here----the book misses completely.

Please see other reviews for a more expansive plot summary. Suffice to say simply that the entire novel concerns a single day in the "Victory Tour" of an heroic Marine Company whose battle was captured on film by American TV. The brave soldiers have been flown home from Iraq to spend two weeks doing TV, media, news etc. and this particular day is their last---a halftime appearance at a Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game. ((If you are thinking that this sounds more like a SHORT STORY than a novel, well, let's just say I think you're onto something.)

The problem is simply the writing. Satire is difficult in that it requires genuine empathy for character and setting from the author. If the true essence of the characters and settings is not believably established, the writing quickly becomes cliched ranting.....and that is what happens here. Some examples:
-----the setting: Texas, of course, where every citizen is a naive but sadly patriotic hick. No bright Texans here---al uniformly redneck despite their income level. Just as Fountain cannot imagine a bright conservative, I'm certain he has never met a naive liberal from the Northeast. The Marines?? All brash, foul-mouthed, sexist boors with dialogue lifted right from The Jersey Shore. The citizens?? All naive and unknowingly exploited by GW Bush.
------the dialogue: I know Marines and I know Texans and believe it or not they do not all talk alike. Fountain substitutes endless "Marine banter" for actual character or plot development. To the author, somehow page after page of rapid-fire dialogue amongst characters you know little about is the only tool for his 'satire.'
-----the plot: none. Pace is established only by moving the Marines: first their limo, then their seats, then a skybox buffet, and on and on. If you are waiting for something of interest to actually happen, well, keep waiting.
-----characters: all cliched. The Cowboys Owner and Hollywood type---exploiters. The citizens---naive rednecks. The TV station that filmed and then exploited the battle---FOX, of course. (NBC, ABC, PBS, CNN would never do that.) The politicians---take a guess.

If your idea of satire is Rachael Maddow debating Shaun Hannity then this novel is for you.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME. SATIRE??? IT IS NOT-----YOU WILL LEAVE THE BOOK, IF YOU BOTHER PAST PAGE 30, EMPTY AND STILL SEARCHING FOR A QUALITY, SATIRICAL TREATMENT OF THE SUBJECT. The author's tone, dialogue, and setting are off-pitch from page 2.
Cyregaehus
Every war in the twentieth century has given us quality literature, some great, some not. "All Quiet on the Western Front, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Slaughterhouse Five, Catch 22, The Things They Carried" were great. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is not. But like all literature, "Billy Lynn" holds up a mirror to America and the image is chilling.

Billy Lynn and his fellow grunts in Bravo Team return to the states for a hero's welcome, only to be confronted by an America completely unfazed, totally uninvolved in the war. Like "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Billy Lynn" shows the puzzlement of troops who return from deadly battle only to see a complete disconnection in civilian society. America appreciates Bravo's efforts, politely expresses their support for the troops, but don't interrupt America's quest for materialism and pursuit of our right to happiness.

Ben Fountain draws an excellent portrait of America's ambivalence towards the Iraqi War, something that we've never seen before. In all other wars (except for the brief Desert Storm), our troops were primarily drafted, pulled reluctantly into harm's way. Families everywhere had someone or knew someone in the service. Casualties and deaths reverberated through communities reminding everyone that it could have been their son or nephew. It was this reverberation, the cry of mothers, which ended the Viet Nam War. Young men had no control over their lives. Authors explored the ancient Greek concept of determinism: how much of our lives are determined by things we cannot control, such as chance and the environment in which we live. Vonnegut developed these themes into his fatalistic view of life, as did Remarque, and Hemmingway developed an anti-war theme out of the chaos of the Great War, an insane war with no purpose.

But this war is different. Ours is now a small volunteer army; few families have sons or nephews in the war and there is little emotional reaction to the war, certainly nothing that impedes our pursuit of happiness.

Fountain begins his book by having his hero, Billy, essentially forced into the service and thus into the war. Fountain is best at bringing us into the emotion of a scene: Billy pulling his wounded sergeant from the gunfire, only to see the sergeant die in his arms. Then later the nineteen-year-old Billy envisions his sergeant's death face as often as he envisions sex. Or the scenes of the teasing flirtation with his sister, and later her overwhelming guilt from feeling responsible for his return to possible death in the war zone; the blunt, rude confrontation of his sergeant with the Jerry Jones character, the polite, politically correct Machiavellian. Fountain is at his worst when he breaks the narrator's voice, the voice of an enlisted grunt, and launches into a polemic, leftist diatribe, or, in several instances, lapsing into an academic voice with "inchoate" or literary criticism jargon such as "palpable," which completely break the narration. Occasionally the narration becomes didactic when he explains the story as if we won't understand it.

"Billy Lynn" is not great literature and we may not see any great literature come out of this eight-year struggle. But Fountain is absolutely correct: there is an American ambivalence toward this war, a lack of emotional concern for our neighbors' sons and nephews, and maybe it's because we don't personally know anyone in harm's way. There is no great groundswell of support for the war or any great voice of opposition. And that's scary.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk ebook
Author:
Ben Fountain
Subcat:
EPUB size:
1231 kb
FB2 size:
1149 kb
DJVU size:
1616 kb
Language:
Publisher:
Canongate; Main edition (2012)
Rating:
4.2
Other formats:
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