Billy Lynn and I Go For a Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime WalkIt’s been almost two weeks since I finished the audiobook of Game Change (on an ill-advised but ultimately uneventful walk home at 2am). Since then I’ve had no audiobook to listen to. While two weeks may not seem that long, when you only have a limited number of songs on your iPhone that time passes a lot slower.

With a trip to the DMV on my to-do list today, I decided the time had come. I had to sit down and pick a new audiobook. The problem was that I had no idea what I wanted to listen to and I didn’t know where to start. I’ve really liked using the format to catch up on nonfiction I would never get around to reading, but nothing was jumping out at me. There were some novels that sounded interesting but some were so long that reading seemed like a better choice (if I wanted to finish in this half of the year).

Then I came to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. I’d seen the book on many Best of 2012 lists, including this one, and so I checked it out.

Amazon shares this description:

Three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare with Iraqi insurgents has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America’s most sought-after heroes. Now they’re on a media-intensive nationwide tour to reinvigorate support for the war. On this rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside Destiny’s Child.

Among the Bravos is Specialist Billy Lynn. Surrounded by patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and Support Our Troops bumper stickers, he is thrust into the company of the Cowboys’ owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Over the course of this day, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years.

With Destiny’s Child just announcing they will come out with new music for the first time in eight years, it was a no-brainer. (If you don’t understand the connection, go back and read the description above for real this time.)

Plus, the audiobook has good reviews and the well-liked Oliver Wyman narrates. And so it was decided. Billy Lynn and I would take the long halftime walk together…and the long walk to the DMV together, and the long walk home together, and the (not-so-long) walk to work together, and so forth.

Now, what to read next?


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