By Ben Fountain
A finalist for the nationwide ebook Award!
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the conflict of Al-Ansakar Canal"—three mins and forty-three seconds of severe battle stuck on tape through an embedded Fox information crew—has reworked the 8 surviving males of Bravo Squad into America's such a lot sought-after heroes. For the prior weeks, the Bush management has despatched them on a media-intensive national Victory Tour to reinvigorate public aid for the warfare. Now, in this cold and wet Thanksgiving, the Bravos are site visitors of America's workforce, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to join the halftime express along the celebrity pop crew Destiny's baby.
one of the Bravos is the Silver Star–winning hero of Al-Ansakar Canal, professional William Lynn, a nineteen-year-old Texas local. Amid clamoring patriots carrying flag pins on their lapels and help Our Troops bumper stickers on their automobiles, the Bravos are thrust into the corporate of the Cowboys' hard-nosed businessman/owner and his coterie of rich colleagues; a luscious born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood manufacturer; and supersized seasoned gamers longing for a vicarious style of battle. between those faces Billy sees these of his family—his nervous sisters and damaged father—and Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy's brain and died in his fingers at Al-Ansakar.
Over the process at the present time, Billy will start to comprehend tricky truths approximately himself, his kingdom, his suffering relatives, and his brothers-in-arms—soldiers either lifeless and alive. within the ultimate few hours earlier than returning to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for domestic and mourn these lacking, face a heart-wrenching selection, and become aware of natural love and a sour knowledge a long way past his years.
Poignant, riotously humorous, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn's lengthy Halftime Walk is a devastating portrait of our time, a searing and strong novel that cements Ben Fountain's acceptance as one of many best writers of his iteration.
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Additional resources for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
The refuse collected there cascaded down the mountain to a depth undetermined, creeping, growing, of indescribable variety and richness. One evening late in March the drinkers blinked in a sweep of lights on the curve, watched a glistening black Ford coupe pull up across the road. It was brand new. A few minutes later Marion Sylder came through the door of the inn resplendent in gray gabardines, the trousers pressed to a knife edge, the shirt creased thrice across the back in military fashion, his waist encircled by a strip of leather the width of a whip-end.
The other one was standing next to her then. They looked at each other and the first one said, Thank ye, I reckon we can make it all right. The boy hung back behind them. Across June’s shoulder Sylder could see him looking not at them or at the women either, but at the car. How fer ye goin? June wanted to know. The two exchanged glances again. This time the taller one spoke up. We jest goin down the road a piece, she explained. Tell her let’s all go down the road for a piece, Sylder suggested. What?
I never figured they’d be headed wrong. Way they’re goin, through Sevierville, it’s near thirty mile. Between them in the crevice of the seat nestled a mason jar of whiskey. Sylder heard the skirling tin sound of the lid being unscrewed and he reached out his hand for June to pass the jar. Moths loomed whitely before the windshield, incandesced, dusted the glass with mica. A ballet of gnats rioted in the path of the headlights. He drank and handed the jar back. Under the black hood the motor hummed its throaty combustions.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain