** Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is the story of a young Texan soldier whose bravery, witnessed by an embedded journalist, whisks him and the surviving members of his squad through a surreal tour that includes both an emotional visit with his family, with his stroke-ravaged father, debt-laden mother, and angsty sisters, and a bizarre celebration a Cowboys football game where they are feted by the exploitative rich friends of the owners, pampered in an unexpectedly personal manner by the cheerleaders, and alternatively abandoned or abused at times. The book does a great job of exposing the divide between those who fight the war and those who decide to fight. The end peters out into nothingness, and I would have liked more of a defined ending, but perhaps that the whole point of the story.

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