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532 of 562 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Americana
As a seventy year old woman who doesn't own a TV and lives in Maine, it's unlikely that a book about soldiers, football, and high rollers looking for a movie deal set in Texas would compel me to write my first review, but this book did. It's a piece of Americana that tells us about ourselves in the same way that say To Kill a Mockingbird or Death of a Salesman reveals...
Published on May 8, 2012 by Woodsy Wilds

versus
105 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death, Sex and Moral Ambivalence
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...
Published on May 19, 2012 by Steven C. Hull


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532 of 562 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Americana, May 8, 2012
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This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
As a seventy year old woman who doesn't own a TV and lives in Maine, it's unlikely that a book about soldiers, football, and high rollers looking for a movie deal set in Texas would compel me to write my first review, but this book did. It's a piece of Americana that tells us about ourselves in the same way that say To Kill a Mockingbird or Death of a Salesman reveals pieces of the puzzle that is America. I somehow feel better for having read this book which is why, I guess, some of us read in the first place.
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214 of 227 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pitch-perfect look at a group of soldiers, and their place in 'at home' culture, May 5, 2012
This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
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When I first heard about this book (and Karl Marlantes' blurb), I assumed it was written by a veteran - it isn't, and that's really amazing, because this is a pitch-perfect look into a soldier's experiences.

I say that as a veteran (of Desert Storm) and an embedded journalist in Iraq in 2007-09, so I have some first-hand knowledge with what he describes. To me, the voices and actions of the characters are dead-on accurate.

It's got some flaws, which I'll get to first so I can finish strong. In my mind, the flaws are because he's trying so hard at writing something big and memorable, and it gets away from him at times.

The conclusion veers into melodrama. Up until the last 40 pages or so, I could pretty much buy the events as possible real-life occurrences. But the end features a couple moments where I couldn't quite suspend disbelief.

While the civilians he describes behave realistically, there's times when it feels very much like the author's "meta rant" against the American mindset - he sets up some characters as one-dimensional straw men so he can show his disdain. I agree with what he's presenting, but it doesn't always feel like a story - more like he's trying to inject a point into the fictional narrative. Which is fine, but not if it's obvious like it sometime is.

Most of the time, the story is told in present-day perspective with some flashbacks. Very occasionally, he switches into describing the future, and that's awkward. For me, I would have liked no 'future look' at all.

So, okay, those things threw me off.

Everything else is very strong. Marlantes called it a "Catch 22" of the Iraq War - but that's not accurate, because to me it's not really a satire. Fountain isn't over-dramatizing events (except occasionally as I note), or exaggerating things for comic effect - it feels real, not deliberately over-the-top.

Billy Lynn and his fellow soldiers are often treated as props by the civilians they encounter - it might seem unlikely, but it's not. When I came back from Desert Storm, I was treated nicely, of course, but as a prop for the patriotic feelings for others - nobody cared about 'me,' but they did care about their opportunity to tell me how proud they were about America, my service, the troops, blah blah blah, and then I had to hear their two-cent opinion about every little tactical decision (I was a photographer who drove a Humvee - Gen. Schwarzkopf didn't keep me in his loop...). That disconnect comes across very accurately in Fountain's narrative.

This is what homecoming is like. So in the crazy situation that Fountain has put them in, the characters look for what's familiar - and that's their fellow soldiers.

The voice of those soldiers - all infantrymen - is spot on. This IS how infantrymen behave, especially when they're in a small group being gawked at. It's them against the world, and the fights they get into, arguments they have, flouting authority (but not their sergeant's), all ring very true.

Billy Lynn, the 19-year-old hero and main character, reminds me of some of the soldiers I met - very confident and self-assured, but not on a very deep level, like it wouldn't take much for the act to fall away. He's a hero you'll root for.

It's tough to describe the plot because I don't want to give things away. I think a reader should know not to expect some tragedy at the end that betrays your affection for the characters. There is a Hollywood subplot about a possible movie that's entertaining, and probably truthful, but I wouldn't know. A thinly-described parody of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is good for comic, and not-so-comic relief (he should have just named him). Obviously, a cheerleader comes into play.

Military readers should be aware of places they'll need to suspend disbelief - a Silver Star would take much longer to award than described here; I find it very hard to believe that the group of men would have to go back to Iraq at the conclusion of the "Victory Tour," and I wish Fountain came up with some kind of reason (even if contrived) to explain that; getting into fights in an Army dress uniform and then walking around afterwards and still look presentable would be very difficult.

But I really liked this story. I like any book that honestly tells a soldier's story. It's refreshing to read a book about the homecoming, or at least scenes at home, rather than another story that takes place in Iraq itself.

I think a military audience would really like this book, and will laugh and be annoyed at the right parts.

But I'm not sure the right civilian audience will ever read "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." It's a solid reminder, even in fictional form, that soldiers are not props for our own conflicted feelings of feel-good patriotism, which is so rarely backed up by actual deeds or service. If people have nothing to offer returning veterans but, "you know, what we really should do in Iraq/Afghanistan is..." then they should say nothing at all.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll take "Fresh Similes" for $800, June 11, 2012
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This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
Plenty have summed up the plot of this book; if you've arrived at the Amazon page and are reading reviews, it's safe to say you know at least the rough outlines of the story. So I'll forego that....

A colleague of mine likes telling this story: his wife finally asks him what he's reading after he repeatedly laughs out loud. He replies to her, "A war novel." There's a bitterness that underlies it all, to be sure (see my back-and-forth with one of the one-star curmudgeons for more on that), but that bitterness is frequently offset by Fountain's hip, hilarious, dead on observations and wonderfully fresh cache of similes. Here are just a (very) few examples:

"She performed with a multitasky air of distractedness, like she was watering plants while talking on the phone..."

"She was still capable of sad, skewed smiles from time to time, forcing the cheer like Christmas lights in the poor part of town..."

"His complexion is the ruddled, well-scrubbed pink of an old ketchup stain..."

"Billy makes a few of the cheerleaders for strippers--they have the tough slizzard look of the club pro--but most of them could be college girls with their fresh good looks, their pert noses and smooth necks, their scrubbed, unsullied air of wholesome voluptuousness..."

"They're just so pretty and genuinely nice, and toned, good God, their bodies firm as steel belted radials...."

"Their wonderful breasts keep noodging up against his arms, setting off sensory bells and whistles like a run of bonus points in a video game..."

"Back in the locker room the players have almost finished suiting up. The air is a pungent casserole of plastics, b.o., farts, melon-woody colognes, and the rancid-licorice reek of petroleum liniments..."

"Then someone asks are we winning [the war in Iraq], and Billy gets passed around like everybody's favorite bong..."

"The fans around them are sheltering under blankets, umbrellas, here and there a plastic trash bag; only the Bravos sit there like stock in a pasture, wide open to the weather..."

If that's the kind of writing that constitutes "shallow," "boring," and "arrogant," then give me more! Well done, Ben Fountain. He raises terribly important questions about American society, but avoids the preachy cantankerousness of a jeremiad. A spoonful of sugar (a whole lot more here, actually) helps the medicine go down.
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105 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Death, Sex and Moral Ambivalence, May 19, 2012
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This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
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.
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99 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Serio-Comic Masterpiece, May 1, 2012
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This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
This book succeeds at virtually every level, starting at the level of the sentence, moving to the level of the paragraph, then to the deft pacing of the narrative, and the use of tension to make us wonder how it all will end. It succeeds, above all, at the level of its characters and their dilemmas. I am a reader with virtually zero interest in football, war stories, and Texas vulgarity, which are Fountain's main concerns. But I became gripped by all these things as I accompanied Billy Lynn and his platoon-mates during their day at Texas Stadium. Fountain is able to give words and thoughts to his title character that are well in excess of the boy's education, but never for a moment do we doubt that Billy is actually capable of feeling and thinking the depth and variety of emotions and thoughts he has.

This book is a moving commentary on the state of America today. It will make you laugh; it will make you cry; it will provoke sympathy and anger.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great writing but over-the-top Bubba trashing enuses, February 13, 2013
By 
Mary P. Rayme "mayray" (Elkins, West by-god Virginia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First of all, I am a left-wing Democrat as opposed to the wars as anyone.

Second, I absolutely loved the writing style of Ben Fountain. I re-read many sentences just to enjoy his unique and spot-on writing, so lovely and lyrical. I also liked that the whole novel took place in a matter of hours during a football game.

What I didn't like was the whole juxtaposition of the naive boy war-hero who sometimes spoke in the narrative voice of a young person, but then would slip into a highly-intellectual voice. The dicotomy was painful, and the propaganda purpose was just not so subtle. This is the fatal flaw of this book.

Also, many of the characters were very flat stereotypes of Bubba-types, which I'm sure Texas has a bumper crop of, but still, enough is enough already.

I was surprised to see other literary journals compare this work to Catch-22 or Slaughterhouse Five, two of the greatest anti-war novels ever written. Sorry, but there is no comparison.

We need more anti-war novels, especially now, as we have toiled over a decade on two wars that cannot be won. Who will write them? Not Ben Fountain...

I do look forward to reading more by Ben Fountain but hope that his next book has more sublety in the message. You don't have to shout, Mr. Fountain, we hear you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant Masterpiece, August 7, 2012
This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
I have been aggressively recommending "Billy Lynn" to my friends and I have never gotten more immediate, positive and powerful responses.

An email from one said: "Thanks for letting us know about this. A f---ing masterpiece. I'm mostly through my second reading, and still every time I put it down, I say, `a f---ing masterpiece.'"

A voicemail from another: "I've been reading `Billy Lynn' all day. What a great book. I've been laughing and crying all at the same time."

My friends got it exactly right - "Billy Lynn" IS a masterpiece and is both hilarious and emotionally poignant (also joyously profane). And Fountain has pulled off something most authors only dream of - he has written a novel with a page-turning plot that is also trenchant political and social satire.

No other book, fiction or non-fiction, captures the utter, surreal insanity of the first few years of the new millennium (though for non-fiction, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" comes closest). I predict that ten or twenty years from now (if there are still books and readers) folks will be recommending "Billy Lynn" to youngsters who want to know what it was like in the decade that America started its long slide into ruin.

Some reviewers, especially from the East Coast, have said that Fountain exaggerates both the goofy accents and brutal obliviousness of some of the book's characters. That simply isn't so. Anyone who has lived in Dallas for any length of time will recognize all of these people and confirm that Fountain has a pitch perfect ear for their speech and has done a better job of reporting on their mores than a professional ethnologist. If anything, he may have been a little too kind.

About halfway through "Billy Lynn," I had a series of quick epiphanies - "The Dallas Cowboys have finally gotten the book they deserve; no, Dallas has finally gotten the book it deserves; no, (modern) America has finally gotten the book it deserves." I had to put a stop to my expanding mental list. Let's just say that, among others, pop culture, professional football, late-stage capitalism, the Bush Administration, Fox News ... have all gotten the book they deserve.

With nineteen year-old Specialist William Lynn, Fountain has created one of the great characters in American literature, right up there with Huck Finn, Alexander Portnoy and Jack Crabb ("Little Big Man"). By the end of the first chapter you feel like you've made a new friend. By the end of the last, you know that Billy will haunt you for a spell.

P.S. - Here's a unique book review: General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recently gave a FaceBook shout-out to "Billy Lynn."
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars American Values as a Jumbotron, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
Billy Lynn is a nineteen year-old Texan home from the war in Iraq. He is taking part in a two week victory tour sanctioned by the Bush administration. Billy was caught on film by Fox News as he was trying to save his fellow squad members from an ambush in Iraq. This ambush, at Al-Ansakar Canal, has become known as a victory, a hero's walk, and Billy, along with the rest of his troop, is touring the United States talking to the people about what it's like to be a soldier in Iraq. Billy's thoughts are complex even though his verbal capacities don't often reflect this. His mentor, Shroom, was killed in Billy's arms at the ambush and Billy tries to imagine what Shroom's response to aspects of this tour would be.

The tour is frequently a parody of modern American life. The gist of the book takes place in Dallas at the Dallas Cowboy's stadium as they face the Bears. Present with the entourage, now known as the Bravos, is a man named Albert who is a producer and is trying to put together a film about Billy's troop. Back and forth goes the pondering of who will play each of them on the Hollywood circuit. They keep coming back to Hillary Swank who will play one of them as a woman which is not going over too well. Bravo's reception as they go through the electoral states is great. "I mean everybody loves you guys, black white, rich, poor, gay, straight, everybody. You guys are equal-opportunity heroes for the twenty-first century."

As Billy rattles off and reflects on the cities they have visited, practically every one "happened to lie in an electoral swing state." Billy didn't say this out loud but he wondered about it. He also wondered about the movie deal. Why was this so important? He had received a silver medal and lost his closest friend. Most people don't ever bring this up.

As Billy meets and mingles with the rich and famous he wonders what separates them from him. He realizes that education is just one of the things that they don't have in common and Billy is not anxious to go back to school. "If there was real knowledge to be had in the Texas public schools he never found it, and only lately has he started to feel the loss, the huge criminal act of his state-sanctioned ignorance as he struggles to understand the wider world. How it works, who gains, who loses, who decides. It is not a casual thing this knowledge. In a way it might be everything."

The rich and famous talk about the exploits of Bravo troop and how they came to the aid of an ambushed convoy. "They went straight into the battle with no backup, no air support, outnumbered against an enemy who'd been preparing to attack for days. They didn't think twice about the odds stacked against them, they even suspected it was a trap, and yet they went right in without hesitating..." " Luckily, a Fox news crew was present and videoed the whole skirmish. This is the basis of Bravo's heroism, the country's pride, and the reason for the tour.

As Billy spends time with the Dallas Cowboys he can see that they don't really give a darn about what Bravo troop has done. "Billy tries to imagine the vast systems that support these athletes. They are among the best-cared for creatures in the history of the planet, beneficiaries of the best nutrition, the latest technologies, the finest medical care, they live at the very pinnacle of American innovation and abundance, which inspires an extraordinary thought - send them to fight the war!"

Billy is stunned by the language he hears: nina leven, terrRr, wore on terrRr, praaaaaay, ire values, ire way of life. "I'll say this for nina leven," a man confides to him, "it shut the feminists up...... They're not so interested in being 'liberated' now that we're under attack. There's certain things a man can do that a woman just can't. Combat, for one."

As the news media asks Billy what stands out in his mind the most as he travels across country he talks about the airports, the malls, the civic centers, the hotel rooms and auditoriums and banquet halls "that are so much alike across the breadth of the land, a soul-squashing homogeneity designed more for economy and ease of maintenance than anything so various as human sensibilities."

Billy comes to ponder philosophical questions such as why his body, as a soldier, doesn't belong to him. He questions why the national anthem is so commercialized - played for for-profit companies, before board meetings, at banks. Could it be that our country is about advertising rather than reality, a giant Jumbotron portraying commercials? In regard to the Texas football game, "Maybe the game is just an ad for the ads." Billy realizes that there is always an opportunity for people to spend money. "Happily there is retail at every turn so the crowd doesn't lack for buying opportunities, and it's the same everywhere Bravo has been, the airports, the hotels, the arenas, the convention centers, in the downtowns and the suburbs alike, retail dominates the land. Somewhere along the way America became a giant mall with a country attached." And attached to our country is a war, and that war, too, is commercialized and patronized, and offers all kinds of opportunities for buying and selling on all levels.

The book is a parody and a jazz riff on post-modern culture. Unfortunately, it goes on too long and restates the same themes over and over again as we hear the author's voice vibrate again and again as he lets the reader be sure, so sure, that nothing is missed. I call this rhetoric. Yes, there is a good story in these pages but a lot of it is hidden behind the author's voice instead of the author's voice being subtly infused within the story. I got the point early on and was still getting the point as the novel ended.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Crying Out Loud, May 2, 2012
This novel moved me. There's levels of reading:

1. There's "bathtub / ashtray on the toilet / having a soak" reading. The kindle's killed that.

2. There's "sitting up from a sprawl on a sofa and swinging your feet to the floor because you're emotionally moved" reading. Contemporary bilge passed as literature's killed that.

3. And then there's "standing up and carting the book to the next room and sharing well written words with someone else" reading. And those moments are why I read.

This novel moved me.

It got my ass off a sofa and into the next room to read passages aloud. Hell, this read almost became a public speaking event.

Funny & wise. Brilliant? No. But close. Damn close. I downloaded this novel from the Saint Paul Public Library yesterday. Okay. I have to own it. In print.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?, August 13, 2012
By 
David McLemore (San Antonio, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel (Hardcover)
`Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is the Catch-22 of the Iraq War.' That's what they said, in a few reviews and right on the dust jacket.

It was one reason I picked up Ben Fountain's new novel. I fell in love with 'Catch-22 sometime in the late 1960s when I was in my last year of college and the Tet Offensive was about a year away and you could still read books about war without too much self-consciousness. The first time I read 'Catch-22', I thought it hilarious, a staggering satire on the military and the military mind. The second time I read it, after my time and life as a draftee in Mr. Nixon's army, and I'd had my own opportunity to meet Lt. Scheisskopf and Maj. Major Major, I found Heller's book to be painful journalism.

Which brings us back to 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.' It's no 'Catch-22'. There's none of the feverish madness of Heller's world at war. It should be there. The idea of sending the remnants of an Army squad back to the states for a heroes' tour is ripe with possibilities. And making their last stop a Dallas Cowboys' game on Thanksgiving Day, and the soldiers are special guests of a rapacious Jerry Jones-style owner is ready-made for satire. And Fountain gives it a go, but it's flat and hesitant. For Fountain runs into the stone wall of reality: It's very hard to satirize the excess of America's obsession with war and football, the consumerist hustle of the Cowboys or the Satanic majesty of Jerry Jones. You can't bullshit the bullshitters.

One thing Fountain does beautifully is show the tight connection between the soldiers, their profane and insane bond. And Fountain is brilliant in underscoring the shameless truth of America's ambivalence with its military. We slap yellow magnetic ribbons on our cars and wear flag pins and proclaim our `Support for the Troops' incessantly. We'll clap as they pass us in the airport. We'll even shed a tear, or at least a sad face, should we read a KIA list. And immediately forget them after they come home, maimed and dazed.

Billy Lynn and his soldiers understand this ambivalence. They aren't surprised by either the protestations of support and patriotism in their `war on terra.' They also understand most of America is quite content to let them take the risks and face the IEDs and car bombs alone.

I remember talking to some young National Guardsmen from Arkansas who had just finished their year-long tour in Iraq, mostly spent patrolling Sadr City and trying to train the new Iraqi army. They were keenly aware that their school friends and family back in Little Rock or DeQueen supported them. They'd seen the car decals. But while they had been trundled off to Baghdad to fight a nasty little war no one had the slightest clue why,

These kids were going home and they were delirious with joy at the prospect, but there was also a look in their eyes, a subtle tone of voice that reminded the observer they knew they had paid a much higher price for not much in return and that the folks at home were perfectly OK with the arrangement.

I recall another soldier, an older non-com at Ft. Hood. He recounted, with an alarming lack of bitterness that seeing a GI in uniform at the mall or a soldier shopping at the grocery with a prosthetic arm or leg was common currency around Killeen - and increasingly rare the farther you traveled from an army post. By the time you got to Houston, the non-com said, you really stood out in a crowd.

"This country is content to let 1 percent of the population wear the uniform and go into harm's way," the non-com said. "We went to war and the rest of America went shopping."

This is where Fountain gets it exactly right. At the end of their long day at Cowboy Stadium, as they prepare to ship back to the war, Billy Lynn has an epiphany. It dawns on him that "these smiling, clueless citizens" are the ones who have it right.

"For the past two weeks he's been feeling so superior and smart because of all the things he knows from the war, but forget it, they are the ones in charge, these saps, these innocents, their homeland dream is the dominant force. His reality is their reality's bitch; what they know is more powerful than all the things he knows, and yet, he's lived what he's lived and knows what he knows, which means what, something terrible and possibly fatal, he suspects. To learn what you have to learn at the war, to do what you have to do, does this make you enemy of all that sent you to war?"

Billy understands. Just as those young Guardsmen from Arkansas did. They know something deeper, scarier and more evil than those who sent them will ever know. That's something Joseph Heller didn't quite connect to the surreal madness of war. It's what 'Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk' got better than Catch-22.
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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain (Hardcover - May 1, 2012)
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