From our Thursday May 3rd email :
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (Friday May 4th at 7:00)
You’ll be hearing lots of great things about this brand new novel, and all of it is going to be true. Billy Lynn’s army squad become instant heroes/celebrities when their intense Iraq War firefight gets caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew. The squad is brought home for a “Victory Tour,” and this amazing, no-holds-barred novel opens on Thanksgiving Day with the boys piling into a stretch limo, guests of America’s Team (a.k.a. the Dallas Cowboys), on their way to be part of a halftime show with Destiny’s Child. Along for the ride is a Hollywood producer who is trying to broker the squad’s story into a movie deal. The rest of the cast of characters includes patriotic fans, mammoth football players, the Cowboy’s wealthy businessman/owner and his friends, a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and the ghost of one of the members of the squad who died in the firefight.
This is an incredible book. Madison Scott Bell has called it “as close to the Great American novel as anyone is likely to come these days.” And Karl Marlantes, the author of Matterhorn and What it is Like to Go to War, has this to say about Billy Lynn:
“This book will be the Catch-22 of the Iraq War....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. Live one day inside Billy Lynn’s head and you’ll never again see our soldiers or America in the same way.”
Ben Fountain reads here Friday evening at 7:00.