Rediscover: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain was a National Book Award finalist, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the basis for a film by Ang Lee that opens this Friday. Fountain's debut novel follows the eight members of Bravo Squad, a unit of U.S. soldiers brought home from Iraq for a "Victory Tour" after a bloody skirmish is captured on video. 19-year-old Billy Lynn and his comrades are to be set pieces of the halftime show of the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving game. The novel takes place in a single day at the stadium, with several flashbacks, where Billy confronts the harsh, sometimes satirical disconnect between his role as a wartime soldier and a homefront that experiences so little sacrifice.

Ang Lee's adaptation introduces Joe Alwyn as Billy Lynn, who stars alongside Kristen Stewart as Billy's sister, Chris Tucker as a Hollywood producer trying to sell Bravo Squad's story, Vin Diesel as a sergeant who died in Billy's arms in Iraq, and Steve Martin as fictional Cowboys owner Norm Oglesby. Fountain's novel was originally published in 2012 by Ecco Press. On October 25, Ecco released a mass market movie tie-in edition ($9.99, 9780062656568). --Tobias Mutter

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