Matt Gallagher is a former US Army captain and the author of the acclaimed Iraq War memoir Kaboom, based on the popular and controversial blog he kept while he was deployed. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia and has written for the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and The Paris Review, among others. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn.
From this conflagration, The Good Lieutenant unspools backward in time as Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their very mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier had been kidnapped by insurgents. And then even further back, before things began to go so wrong, we see the backstory unfold from points of view that usually are not shown in war coverage--a female frontline officer, for one, but also jaded career soldiers and Iraqis both innocent and not so innocent. Ultimately, as all these stories unravel, what is revealed is what happens when good intentions destroy, experience distorts, and survival becomes everything.
Brilliantly told and expertly captured by a terrific writer at the top of his form, Whitney Terrell's The Good Lieutenantis a gripping, insightful, necessary novel about a war that is proving to be the defining tragedy of our time.
As an old veteran in the book says, Something inside all of us dies in a war. Hope innocence maybe just navet? In a sense, we are all struggling in some form or other for a victory that seems to constantly elude us. Suddenly we find ourselves fighting a battle that may provide no real sense of absolution in the end. War is truly ugly. Truth becomes abstracted. Redemption reveals itself as an often unpleasant and complicated process.
Soldiers come home from a war expecting to be free and clear of the thing, only too often to find they are still carrying it around inside them. For those who live through it, the war is never really over, and there may be no such thing as a happy ending.
Based on Gallagher's extraordinarily popular blog, Kaboom is “at turns hilarious, maddening, and terrifying,” providing “raw and insightful snapshots of a conflict many Americans have lost interest in” (Washington Post). Like Anthony Swofford's Jarhead, Gallagher's Kaboom resonates with stoic detachment and timeless insight into a war that we are still trying to understand.
“Mothers, father, sons, and daughters: read this giant-hearted novel.”
—MARIA SEMPLE, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Three minutes and forty-three seconds of intensive warfare with Iraqi insurgents—caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—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 public support for the war. On this rainy Thanksgiving Day, the Bravos are guests of a Dallas football team, slated to be part of the halftime show.
Among the Bravos is nineteen-year-old 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 team’s owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a born-again 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.
Poignant, riotously funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a searing and powerful novel that has cemented Ben Fountain’s reputation as one of the finest writers of his generation.