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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk takes place during halftime on Thanksgiving Day during a Dallas Cowboys football game. Billy Lynn and his squad members are heroes after an embedded news crew captured footage of them during a successful battle during the Iraq War. The Bush administration, in hopes of rallying public support for the war, has sent them on a goodwill tour of the country. Billy and his buddies are thrust into a surreal environment of glad-handing millionaires, cheerleaders, football players who are better equipped for violence than they are, and Beyonce and Destiny's Child providing halftime entertainment. In a few days, the squad returns to Iraq. Ben Fountain's debut novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "The halftime of the title isn't about the pause in the football game. It's about this brief, stunning, life-changing pause in the way Billy Lynn, two-week American hero, goes to war."