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Customer Reviews for

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Average Rating 4.5
( 80 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Did you ever wonder about the war?

I read fast. Really fast. Very few books slow me down. This book brought me to a standstill--and sent me back to read again. It knit the realities of combat to the realities of American civilian life. And with the same stitches, it bound the absurd fantasies of both ...
I read fast. Really fast. Very few books slow me down. This book brought me to a standstill--and sent me back to read again. It knit the realities of combat to the realities of American civilian life. And with the same stitches, it bound the absurd fantasies of both experiences. It is no wonder that civilians who experience combat experience nothing the same way ever again. This slice of life was a story intricately spun and made into an uncomfortable but irresistible jacket. Thank you.

posted by Dickinson on June 3, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

OK

I was disappointed overall. It sounded good from the write up of the story, but I found it to be very repetitive in terms of the characters. I'm glad I bought it as a daily special.

posted by 8104320 on July 5, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Did you ever wonder about the war?

    I read fast. Really fast. Very few books slow me down. This book brought me to a standstill--and sent me back to read again. It knit the realities of combat to the realities of American civilian life. And with the same stitches, it bound the absurd fantasies of both experiences. It is no wonder that civilians who experience combat experience nothing the same way ever again. This slice of life was a story intricately spun and made into an uncomfortable but irresistible jacket. Thank you.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2012

    Having a somewhat loose connection to the military lifestyle, I

    Having a somewhat loose connection to the military lifestyle, I felt an instant connection to this book that goes deeper than a cursory glance just across the surface. It made BILLY LYNN’s LONG HALFTIME WALK real to me, yet I did have trouble initially getting into the story, because it’s told as much through flashbacks, bouncing in time from the present to the past, that I struggled initially with the author’s choice of storytelling. But once I caught on, I dove into the water headfirst, and I didn’t bother coming up for air.

    Sure, there are satirical elements to the story, and it presents a world that’s not all sugarplums and candy canes and apple pies, but it’s the world we currently live in, if not slightly exaggerated. And for me, that was most of the appeal of the novel.

    I loved the direct line of sight into the eyes of a soldier, a grunt and a squad that was suddenly blown up bigger than an atomic bomb because of the media attention, the Jumbotron, the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and the Victory Tour. It’s a study in American excess, and it further cements the great American divide between the haves and the have nots.

    This novel is at times powerful, heartbreaking, funny, sad, but overall it’s a richly written piece of fiction that made me pause and reflect, if even just for a minute, at the direction our country has taken.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2013

    This book is as good as the best reviews say it is. It's very mo

    This book is as good as the best reviews say it is. It's very moving and sad and insightful and revealing. What happens to the young, impressionable men we send to war is something we can't comprehend without the experience ourselves. This story helps reveal a lot about them and also a lot about ourselves and our responses to them. And most of it happens during one professional football game at Cowboys stadium. What a clever way to tell their story. I loved this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2013

    This is an amazing anti-war book that embodies a certain essence

    This is an amazing anti-war book that embodies a certain essence of what it means to be an American in the 21st century. It took me a few false starts to get the rhythm of this story of class, race, and gender among many other things. Thought provoking and sadly funny--do not give up.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    One of my Top 10 for 2012

    Dark satire of war and the selling of war.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Reminded me of Catch 22

    Reminded me of Catch 22

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not so much a novel of the Iraq War as a novel of soldiers attem

    Not so much a novel of the Iraq War as a novel of soldiers attempting to understand the country they've enlisted to protect. There are comparisons drawn between Americans' commitment to their pastimes and their disinterest in the world around them, and Fountain's book, while making no real statements about the war, is happy to engage this larger, slower target. Humorous and touchingly written, Fountain' characters are believable and vivid, and surely they're the reason this novel made the Book Award shortlist. It didn't win, but as an effort to map a post-9/11 America, and the war we refused to examine, Bill Lynn wholly succeeds.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The title of this book sounds as if it should be a children&rsq

    The title of this book sounds as if it should be a children’s story – it suggests adventure, morality lessons, guidance, with an ending that leaves a restful “at peace” feeling. With the exceptions of this NOT being a children’s book (by any stretch) and the ending lending itself more toward deep discussion than rest, this is a book of adventure, morality and guidance. It asks the reader to consider the possibility that the wall behind the pretty paper may be, at its best, flimsy and to dare to look what it may be hiding.
    The ten members of “Bravo Squad” became famous when the embedded Fox News team attached to it for two weeks filmed the three minute, 43 second battle of Al-Ansakar Canal in Iraq. Eight members of the platoon are on the final day of a two week “Victory Tour,” spending it being “honored” at Texas Stadium during the halftime show of Thanksgiving game between the Cowboys and the Bears. After two weeks of such honors, he “Bravos” are ready for this Temporary Duty to be complete. The day is described through the eyes of 19-year-old William “Billy” Lynn, Silver Star recipient and old-soul philosopher.
    Mr. Fountain is talented in his ability to keep a complex story concisely focused and articulated quickly. The story is told as the day as it progresses with sufficient recalls, by Billy, to give him and the Bravos a history and development enough for him to become “real.” Billy observes life and its participants then opines of those observations with the authority of one who has faced The Ultimate and was gifted by that meeting with the clarity of thought and perspective far beyond his years. As he plays with his three-year-old nephew, he comes to an understanding of a God that is real, not a plastic sketch he had been offered when he was younger, “Divine spark, image of God, suffer the little children and all that – there’s real power when words attach to actual things.” (p. 74). The “actual” things he has seen have taught him a meaning of power, one that shows his present surroundings to be as false the god he was offered when he was younger.
    The author expertly uses a fictional setting to speak to present realities. He has a Texas billionaire orate about the evils from which America has saved Iraq and the rant could have been lifted from any present-day electoral speech by any Presidential Candidate (p. 118).
    The satire and barbs are so good and clear that the author either received permission from various political figures (unlikely) or he has a very good lawyer who is expert at defending against slander suits. He lays bare the excesses and cronyism, often using familiar names, upon our economy has come to depend and the complicity thereof we all bear in its success. The overall commentary the book offers is one of questioning where society is and how it managed to arrive there. Often humorous, deeply biting and profane in its profundity, this book is one that is in much need of being read and discussed. The book is centered upon a member of an active duty combat platoon, told as they interact with each other, therefore, the language is as would be expected – raw, graphic and not for those easily offended. There is also graphic description of battle and its results.
    The six hours of Billy’s life he shared on this particular Thanksgiving were enough for him to become a friend. I hope he writes more soon.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Superb

    With malice toward none.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2013

    Excellent book. well written.

    Like being in a pinball machine of sensory elements. Great Book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Well written, good read

    I loved this book. Some of the descriptive phrases are so powerful that you are transported into the storyline. I will read this book again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2012

    Recommended reading

    Very entertaining.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    OK

    I was disappointed overall. It sounded good from the write up of the story, but I found it to be very repetitive in terms of the characters. I'm glad I bought it as a daily special.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    "Catch 22" meets "Semi-Pro"

    The title of this book sounds as if it should be a children’s story – it suggests adventure, morality lessons, guidance, with an ending that leaves a restful “at peace” feeling. With the exceptions of this NOT being a children’s book (by any stretch) and the ending lending itself more toward deep discussion than rest, this is a book of adventure, morality and guidance. It asks the reader to consider the possibility that the wall behind the pretty paper may be, at its best, flimsy and to dare to look what it may be hiding.
    The ten members of “Bravo Squad” became famous when the embedded Fox News team attached to it for two weeks filmed the three minute, 43 second battle of Al-Ansakar Canal in Iraq. Eight members of the platoon are on the final day of a two week “Victory Tour,” spending it being “honored” at Texas Stadium during the halftime show of Thanksgiving game between the Cowboys and the Bears. After two weeks of such honors, he “Bravos” are ready for this Temporary Duty to be complete. The day is described through the eyes of 19-year-old William “Billy” Lynn, Silver Star recipient and old-soul philosopher.
    Mr. Fountain is talented in his ability to keep a complex story concisely focused and articulated quickly. The story is told as the day as it progresses with sufficient recalls, by Billy, to give him and the Bravos a history and development enough for him to become “real.” Billy observes life and its participants then opines of those observations with the authority of one who has faced The Ultimate and was gifted by that meeting with the clarity of thought and perspective far beyond his years. As he plays with his three-year-old nephew, he comes to an understanding of a God that is real, not a plastic sketch he had been offered when he was younger, “Divine spark, image of God, suffer the little children and all that – there’s real power when words attach to actual things.” (p. 74). The “actual” things he has seen have taught him a meaning of power, one that shows his present surroundings to be as false the god he was offered when he was younger.
    The author expertly uses a fictional setting to speak to present realities. He has a Texas billionaire orate about the evils from which America has saved Iraq and the rant could have been lifted from any present-day electoral speech by any Presidential Candidate (p. 118).
    The satire and barbs are so good and clear that the author either received permission from various political figures (unlikely) or he has a very good lawyer who is expert at defending against slander suits. He lays bare the excesses and cronyism, often using familiar names, upon our economy has come to depend and the complicity thereof we all bear in its success. The overall commentary the book offers is one of questioning where society is and how it managed to arrive there. Often humorous, deeply biting and profane in its profundity, this book is one that is in much need of being read and discussed. The book is centered upon a member of an active duty combat platoon, told as they interact with each other, therefore, the language is as would be expected – raw, graphic and not for those easily offended. There is also graphic description of battle and its results.
    The six hours of Billy’s life he shared on this particular Thanksgiving were enough for him to become a friend. I hope he writes more soon.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

    Great

    This is one of the best books i have ever read this is oneof the best

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Perfect Pitch

    It took awhile to get a feel for storyline, but thank God, I didn't give up. A terrific first novel! Should be in line for the National Book Award!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    Rp Ads!

    Please put them here and l will advertise for you! Thanks! ~ Madeline

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2014

    To ana

    Yes! Please post soon!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2014

    To Ana

    Where are you going to be posting? P.S. i am glad you are back.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2014

    Enjoyed it.

    Yes, there aare moments were you have to suspend your disbelief and women characters lack depth, but the quality of the writing is outstanding.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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