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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk FTI

by Ben Fountain

A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at “the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal”—three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America’s most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide Victory Tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside the superstar pop group Destiny’s Child.

Among the Bravos is the Silver Star–winning hero of Al-Ansakar Canal, Specialist William Lynn, a nineteen-year-old Texas native. Amid clamoring patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and Support Our Troops bumper stickers on their cars, the Bravos are thrust into the company of the Cowboys’ hard-nosed businessman/owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a luscious born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized pro players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Among these faces Billy sees those of his family—his worried sisters and broken father—and Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy’s mind and died in his arms at Al-Ansakar.

Over the course of this day, Billy will begin to understand difficult truths about himself, his country, his struggling family, and his brothers-in-arms—soldiers both dead and alive. In the final few hours before returning to Iraq, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years.

Poignant, riotously funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a devastating portrait of our time, a searing and powerful novel that cements Ben Fountain’s reputation as one of the finest writers of his generation.


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Released
28 September, 2016

About Ben Fountain

Ben Fountain is the author of the acclaimed short-story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara and a debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the 2012 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2012 National Book Award. In addition, he has received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, an O. Henry Award and two Pushcart Prizes. He was also shortlisted for the International Author of the Year Award in 2012. His fiction has been published in Harper's, The Paris Review, Zoetrope: All-Story and Stories from the South: The Year's Best, and his non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times among other publications. He lives in Dallas, Texas.



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