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Entertainment Weekly Calls Ben Fountain’s Book one of 100 Greatest of All Time


The current issue of Entertainment Weekly contains the magazine’s picks for the 100 greatest books of all time (only the top 10 appear online). Guess whose book comes in at No. 54? Our man Ben Fountain. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk beats out books written by, among others: Mark Twain, Saul Bellow, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Philip Roth, David Foster Wallace, and Michael Chabon. All due respect to Ben, who is a great talent and fine human besides, but this list seems like it could be fodder for “REALLY!?! With Seth & Amy.” In any case, if you haven’t yet read the book, get cracking.

  • RAB

    Fountain was robbed. I pegged Billy Lynn at 51, 52 easily.

  • Tim Rogers

    Strange. Of all the criticisms of that book that I could imagine (unsatisfying ending leaps to mind), that ain’t one of them. I’m a slow reader. But I burned through that book in about three days.

  • Jason Heid

    I concur with Tim. I was instantly drawn into the flow of “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” When I first picked it up, I sat down intending only to read for about 20 minutes or so, but soon found that I could not stop. I didn’t get up for a few hours.

  • Jason Heid

    “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” is brilliant, every bit as good as “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay,” so I’ve got no problem putting it ahead of that work by Chabon.

    But better than “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”? No way.

  • Bill Marvel

    Aside from the pointlessness of this exercise — the 100 greatest books of all time?? From Entertainment Weekly???? — greatness in books is about as hard to pin down as greatness in clouds.

  • ssc

    TOTALLY agree. Have tried sooo many times to read this book. Completely predisposed to like it or even love it. I can’t even get through 50 pages. Have been feeling like an idiot.