Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain, Fiction.   Billy Lynn is the hero of a caught-on-tape firefight between Americans and Iraqi soldiers.  Fox News airs the footage and the Bravo team becomes instant celebrities and models for the war in Iraq.  They are currently on a tour of America to raise morale and let people shake their hands, and the entire book is set during their last stop, a Dallas Cowboys football game on Thanksgiving.  The other characters thrown into the mix in Texas - oil tycoons, Cowboy Cheerleaders, burly stage crew members, family members, and a Hollywood manager, serve to show the contrast between each other and the strange situation the men of Bravo are surviving.  Their normal - dodging bullets, surviving in extreme conditions - make the most American situation, halftime at the Dallas Cowboys football game, an alien experience.  There are scenes that will stick with you long after you read the book (and you should), like when Billy talks with the football players that just want to shoot someone, the tour of the equipment room, and the halftime show.  How surreal would it be if you saw your best friend killed, killed others in return, and a few weeks later, were watching Beyonce being bootylicious on stage right next to you?  Fountain lets you know.

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