Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - Ben Fountain

"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" came out in May 2012 but slipped right by me somehow.

 

That's a shame because this is a remarkable book: accessible, authentic and as is the way with such things, taking you someplace you didn't know you were headed to but that you're glad to arrive at.

 

This is the story of nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn, of Bravo Squad, a hero of the Iraq war being taken on a victory tour of the USA before being sent back to Iraq to complete the last eleven months of his extended tour of duty.

 

Now I honestly thought, when I bought this book in October, that my restless trawling of digital book stacks had rewarded me with this gem but it turns out I'm just another happy cog in a marketing chain. I see now that this five-and-a-half-year-old book was in my sights because Ang Lee releases the movie version this month.

 

Now that should be interesting given that the book opens with a slightly bemused Bravo Squad finding their story being turned in Hollywood movie fodder, with Hillary Swank being considered to play the role of Billy, although whether she'd do so as a woman playing a man or a woman playing a woman is still an open question.

 

I'm reading "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" for the Armistice Day door on the  24 Festive Task reading challenge.