Nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn is home from war. Back in Texas, he has become a national celebrity. A Fox News crew filmed Billy and the rest of Bravo squad defeating Iraqi insurgents in a ferocious firefight. Now Billy is a decorated soldier and Bravo's three minutes of extreme bravery under fire are a YouTube sensation. Seizing on this PR gift, ...
Nineteen-year-old Billy Lynn is home from war. Back in Texas, he has become a national celebrity. A Fox News crew filmed Billy and the rest of Bravo squad defeating Iraqi insurgents in a ferocious firefight. Now Billy is a decorated soldier and Bravo's three minutes of extreme bravery under fire are a YouTube sensation. Seizing on this PR gift, The Bush administration has sent the surviving members of Bravo on a nationwide 'Victory Tour' to reassure the homeland. Today, during the final hours of the tour, they arrive at Texas Stadium, guests of honour in a nationally broadcast Thanks giving Day game. The story follows Billy and his fellow Bravos through a climactic afternoon, as they mix with the rich and powerful, endure the politics and affections of their fellow citizens, aspire to sex and marriage with the famous Cowboys cheerleaders, share centre stage with Destiny's Child and attempt to close a movie deal. They will learn hard truths about love and death, family and friendship, duty and honour. Tomorrow, they must go back to war. Tender and full of humanity, this is a wickedly funny, powerfully contemporary novel about a young man, the citizens who sent him to war, the family he left behind and the era that let it happen. In "Billy Lynn", Ben Fountain has created a new American hero for our times.
Fountain's novel--the best, boots-on-the-ground portrait of contemporary American culture I have read in years--places the reader in the middle of a 20-car collision of hopes and habits and values, framed within one of the nation's most revered rituals. An outstanding effort full of passages that invite open-mouthed admiration for his "yeah, he pulled that one right outa my head" skill with prose.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-04-04 In Hamilton's superb eighth suspense novel featuring PI Alex McKnight (after A Stolen Season), McKnight looks into the murders of three young people, all made to look like suicides. McKnight, a retired Detroit cop who lives quietly in rural Paradise, Mich., receives an unexpected visit from Sault Ste. Marie police chief Roy Maven, his professional nemesis. Maven thinks McKnight can help a friend, U.S. marshal Charles "Raz" Razniewski, the father of the first "suicide" victim, a college student found hanging from a tree near Misery Bay one cold winter night. When Raz turns up murdered, McKnight and Maven partner to solve the multiple crimes. After the murders of the fathers of the other victims, FBI agent Janet Long joins the case. The stark frozen landscape of Lake Superior is beautifully drawn as are the characters of McKnight and Maven, who develop an unlikely bond. Assured prose, a thrilling plot, and a surprising, satisfying conclusion make this a winner. Author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-02-27 Unfolding over the course of one Thanksgiving Day, Fountain's (Brief Encounters with Che Guevara) second novel follows Bravo Company, the eight survivors of a savage clash with Iraqi insurgents, on the last leg of their government-sponsored "Victory Tour" in this witty and ironic sendup of middle America, Fox News politics, and, of all things, football. One minute, the soldiers are drinking Jack and Cokes, mobbed by hordes of well-wishers demanding autographs and seeking "the truth" about what's "really going on" over there; the next, they're in the bowels of Texas Stadium, reluctantly hobnobbing with the Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleaders, brokering a movie deal with a smarmy Hollywood producer, and getting into a drunken scuffle with the stadium's disgruntled road crew, all in a series of uncomfortable scenes that border on the farcical. Texan Billy Lynn is the 19-year-old hero who learns about life and himself on his visit home to his family, and the palpable camaraderie between soldiers ground the book. But despite much valid pontificating on what it means to be a soldier and the chasm that exists between the American public's perception of the war and the blunt reality of it, the often campy writing style and canned dialogue ("We, like, we wanna do somethin' like you. Extreme, you know, cap some Muslim freaks...") prevents the message from being delivered effectively. Agent: Heather Schroder, ICM. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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