Thursday, July 21, 2016
DNF - Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Published May 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: I bought both audio and ereader editions
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at “the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal” has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America’s most sought-after heroes. The Bush Administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide “Victory Tour ”. Now, at the end of their tour, the Bravos are set to do the Halftime Show at Texas Stadium where they’ll be the Dallas Cowboys’ guests.
Among the Bravos is the Silver Star-winning hero of Al-Ansakar, a 19-year-old Texas native named Specialist William Lynn. On this final day before their redeployment, Billy and the Bravos will meet patriots who are proud of their troops and proud to be Americans. They include the Cowboy’s 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. Between their faces he sees those of his family, his worried sisters and broken father, and there is Shroom, the philosophical sergeant who opened Billy’s mind and died in his arms at Al-Ansakar.
If you've followed this blog long, you are well aware that I rarely ever give up on a book, especially one that I'm listening to. But 40% of the way into this one, I just couldn't be bothered any more. Not the book for me? Maybe. Not the book for me right now? More likely. A book I should read instead of listen to? Well, that's a possibility.
It's not to say that there's nothing good about the book or that Fountain doesn't have some interesting things to say about our culture, about war, and about the way we treat those who fight wars. He definitely does.
Almost half way through the book, though, I felt like I'd learned what Fountain had to say and that we were now playing Herman Hermit's "Enery The Eight I Am" - you know, second verse, same as the first (okay most of you probably have no idea what I'm talking about here - you'll just have to trust me on this one).
But, I'm not deleting my Nook copy of the book just yet because Ang Lee is directing a movie adaptation of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk which is scheduled to be released on November. I may just have to pick this one back up before then. Because if Ang Lee is involved, you know the movie is going to be worth watching and I'd hate to say I gave up on the book only to find out it had a terrific ending. As they say in the movie "Galaxy Quest," "never give up, never surrender."