Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

By Ben Fountain,

Book cover of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Book description

His whole nation is celebrating what is the worst day of his life

Nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn is home from Iraq. And he's a hero. Billy and the rest of Bravo Company were filmed defeating Iraqi insurgents in a ferocious firefight. Now Bravo's three minutes of extreme bravery is a YouTube…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I read this book nearly every year, and I also assign it to my novel-writing students. Reading it (even for the fifth time), you feel your heart grow.

It’s a novel about football and war—my two least favorite subjects—and yet Billy and his soldier cohort of brave and vulnerable goofs got into my heart.

They are so out of their league, being paraded around as heroes at a Dallas Cowboys football game on Thanksgiving Day, and they are trying their best while observing some deeply disturbing things about the country they are risking their lives to defend. 

I loved this book because it fearlessly profiles a certain type of hypocrisy in our culture through the experiences of Billy Lynn and his fellow soldiers of the Bravo Squad. They’re reluctant war heroes on an unwanted victory tour stop at a Dallas Cowboys game. I identified with Billy as an everyman with a challenging background. I felt it was a powerful juxtaposition of the price we ask some to pay to support our way of life that is cluttered with banality.

I could feel his pain and grief over the losses he’s experienced, and I wanted him to be…

From Mark's list on institutional hypocrisy.

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