Author(s): Ben Fountain
"This book will be the Catch-22 of the Iraq War". (Karl Marlantes). Nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn is home from war. Back in Texas, he has become a national celebrity. A Fox News crew filmed Billy and the rest of Bravo squad defeating Iraqi insurgents in a ferocious firefight. Now Billy is a decorated soldier and Bravo's three minutes of extreme bravery under fire are a YouTube sensation. Seizing on this PR gift, the Bush administration has sent the surviving members of Bravo on a nationwide 'Victory Tour' to reassure the homeland. Today, during the final hours of the tour, they arrive at Texas Stadium, guests of honour in a nationally broadcast Thanksgiving Day game. The story follows Billy and his fellow Bravos through a climactic afternoon, as they mix with the rich and powerful, endure the politics and affections of their fellow citizens, aspire to sex and marriage with the famous Cowboys cheerleaders, share centre stage with Destiny's Child and attempt to close a movie deal. They will learn hard truths about love and death, family and friendship, duty and honour. Tomorrow, they must go back to war. Tender and full of humanity, this is a wickedly funny, powerfully contemporary novel about a young man, the citizens who sent him to war, the family he left behind and the era that let it happen. In "Billy Lynn", Ben Fountain has created a new American hero for our times.
'This book will be the Catch-22 of the Iraq War. Instead of skewering the military, however, it skewers the society responsible for sending it to war, namely us. This funny, yet totally sobering, dissection of the American way of watching war will have you squirming at the same time you are laughing out loud; Fountain applies the heat of his wicked sense of humor while you face the truth of who we have become' - Karl Marlantes * 'As close to the Great American Novel as anyone is likely to come these days - an extraordinary work that captures and releases the unquiet spirit of our age, and will probably be remembered as one of the important books of this decade' - Madison Smartt Bell * 'Passionate, irreverent, utterly relevant, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk offers an unforgettable portrait of a reluctant hero. Ben Fountain writes like a man inspired and his razor sharp exploration of our contemporary ironies will break your heart' - Margot Livesey"
Ben Fountain's short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN award, was named a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, made major regional best-seller lists all over the States and was named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune, and Kirkus Reviews.