“You know what’s funny,” she said, “everybody around here’s such a major conservative till they get sick, get screwed over by their insurance company, their job goes over to China or whatever, and they’re like, ‘Oooooh, what happened? I thought America was just the greatest country ever and I’m such a good person, why is all this terrible shit happening to me?’…” (Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, p. 95)
Billy has noticed that audiences don’t seem to mind anyway. All the fakeness just rolls right off them, maybe because the nonstop sales job of American life has installed in them exceptionally high thresholds for sham, puff, spin, bullshit, and outright lies, in other words for advertising in all its forms. Billy himself never noticed how fake it all is until he’d done time in a combat zone. (p. 131)
This blogger hasn’t been overwhelmed by the book, but he likes how Ben Fountain renders a convincing portrait of Americans -under the George W. Bush presidency, but it could also be under Trump- who don’t belong to the liberal, East Coast establishment, and how he uses the right language register according to his characters’ origins, level of education, social status, etc. The novel has been translated to Spanish and Catalan.