Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - Ben Fountain

This book just didn't do it for me. I would give it 3 1/2 stars.

 

While I am hardly an apologist for conservative political views, even I found this to be very heavy handed. There isn't hardly a single enlightened person in the book aside from the soldiers. I found the plot, which I considered to be unrealistic at times, to be more or less a form to hold the threads of dialogue and political opinions. Several scenes and characters (the main soldier's trip home for instance) just seemed tacked on for no apparent reason.

 

Well written, yes. Biting and insightful, definitely. I can see why plenty of people liked this book. It just wasn't for me. Maybe I was looking for something different. I was hoping for a "solier's eye" view of the Iraq War. It just didn't give me that. I was hoping for something along the lines of "All Quiet on the Western Front" or "The Sojourn."

 

On another note, I found it interesting that this author presents a negative view of our culture of war, but a very sympathetic view of our soldiers. As I am from a military family going back several generations, I found that viewpoint refreshing and accurate.

 

I will definitely try this author again.