Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Two Excellent Books
I love it when books give me new eyes with which to see the world. Adam Black's THE PRANK was one of those books*.
THE PRANK was written as though the reader were finding out about a breaking news story through internet news sources. The way it was written as well as the story it told brought questions to my mind about the value of how we ingest media and how that informs how we perceive truth. I loved it.**
And now there's BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK.
Billy Lynn is back on U.S. soil, traveling on a victory tour with his squad of fellow soldiers. This after a dangerous mission in which some of their company were killed. The Bravos are heroes. They are traveling with a movie producer who, while they are traveling, is trying to work a deal to get their story made into a movie. As the culmination of their victory tour, they are invited to participate in the spectacle of a Dallas Cowboys football halftime show.
Written from Billy's point of view, BLLHW juxtaposes the harshness of being a combat soldier with the comfort and excesses of American life.
How does a soldier fighting in Iraq, daily battling dirt and blood and fear and enemies, missing family and home, reconcile the lavishness of American life? How can civilians even partially conceive of the difficulties and challenges faced by soldiers in combat?
Fountain gets us inside Billy's head as he and the other Bravos travel together, and by so doing, exposes the stark contrasts between the life of a combat soldier and life in the U. S. of A.
BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK is brilliant. Fountain gets us to examine soldiering and American life, which allows us to take a deeper look at our own lives. And isn't that ultimately the point?
*See my blog post about this most excellent book here (you'll have to copy and paste the link, but it's worth it):
**No, really, read the blog post about this book:
Clicking on the book covers will take you to Amazon's web page for each book. Clicking on the underlined title may take you to Barnes and Noble's web page for each book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog! (Thank you!) You can also send us email: 2of3Rs(AT)gmail(DOT)com. Thanks for stopping by!