Sunday, 2 July 2017

Billy Lynn's Long Half Time Walk by Ben Fountain


From Goodreads

A finalist for the National Book Award!

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.        

My thoughts

This was a recent reading group read. It's not one that I would've picked up for myself, but that's the point of being in a reading group, reading books that you might not normally read. I was not alone in not having enjoyed or given up on it, as it wasn't received that well by the other members of my reading group either.

I gave this a 1 star or 2/10.

Do you ever get the feeling when you pick up a book that it's a bit of a chore and you're not really that bothered about reading it? Well that's how I felt when reading it.

I ploughed on to around page 109 and then just lost interest. I didn't feel that it was actually going anywhere at all. I was oblivious to the fact that most of the book was set in a 24 hour time period, that's how much notice I was actually taking. I did however, realise that it was a little bit dual time frame style as it was flashing back to the time spent in Iraq. I think that I was getting confused by the vast array of different characters.

I do hate giving up on a book as I feel that if an Author has taken the time to write the book, then the least I can do is give them my time and read it. However, I did remember some advice I was given by members of an online forum, which is part of Read It Swap It. They all said that if a book didn't grip you by either 50 or 100 pages, whichever amount you wanted to pick that you should give up on it as there are far TOO many books and not enough time.

If you decide to give the book a go, I hope you fair better with it than I did. I am in the minority on Goodreads as it's got so many 5 star reviews that my 1 star review won't make a difference at all.

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