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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wednesday, September 12 - BEN FOUNTAIN

Tonight at 8 PM on Bibliocracy:  Novelist BEN FOUNTAIN.  The spectacle of war meets the Society of the Spectacle when combat soldiers who’ve survived a firefight in Iraq --- filmed by, yes, Fox News! --- are promised a heroes’ celebration at a Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving football game.  "USA, USA!" Dark humor, fatalism, other mostly despicable Americans conspiring in their humiliation – and ours – are not lost on the eight combat vets of Bravo Company, who of course still want to meet the famous Cowboys cheerleaders before being sent back to war. In Billy Lynn’s Long Half-Time Walk, writer Ben Fountain’s funny, honest, elegant prose constructs, follows, imagines this long single and singular day, with appearances by Billy’s family, the Cowboys owner, Beyonce, drunken fans, Hollywood agents, and the ghost of a dead war buddy.  Fountain is author of an excellent short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, is widely published, and has received all kinds of awards. Reading Billy Lynn seems to have impressed everybody, with stunning reviews all over the place.  This may be THE anti-Iraq War novel, in case you, like me, have been looking for it, though it’s of course mostly about the never-ending war at home, over what is genuine and what is fake and exploitive.  Thanks for listening, on the radio, online or, as a free download at the KPFK station archives.  

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