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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

by Ben Fountain

How do you have a victory tour, if you haven't won the war? Or make a film about winning the war, if you haven't won? Should you worry about this, or should you just sit back and enjoy yourself? And how do you enjoy an American Football Match when you are the half-time extravaganza and then going back to the battlefront that night? Billy Lynn has to resolve all these problems, before he gets on the plane back to hell. A blinder of a first novel.

Extract

Kathryn brought out two more beers. Billy's philosophy was, any buzz that you caught during daylight hours was a bonus; that time didn't count against your total allotment here on earth, therefore the daytime buzz was that much sweeter. And today, what could be more perfect than lying in the sun, drinking beer with an extremely hot blonde in a bikini? The only problem, of course, being that the girl was his sister, but what was the harm in pretending for a few short hours?

Parallels

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker
Spartacus by Howard Fast
 

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