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. Poignant, riotously funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a devastating portrait of our time.
A novel that looks stateside at the commodification of soldiers in an overseas invasion that no one understands yet everyone seems to want. Fountain sets his narrative during a 2004 Dallas football game, and all the toxic American forces of politics, sports, and celebrity come bearing down upon these young “heroes” as they are made part of the halftime entertainment. Obscured by the agendas of others, the soldiers’ reality is neither seen nor understood except through the powerful art of Fountain’s intricately orchestrated portrait.