Billy Lynn and the other surviving soldiers in his Bravo team are touring US cities as tools in a campaign to create more support for the war in Iraq after they were caught on national tv in a heroic fight again insurgents.
They are all very much aware of the fact they're being used and try to benefit in monetary terms by getting a movie contract as well as having some girl fun before they have to return to duty and serve out their term.
We follow Billy's thoughts and actions - how he concomitally resents and appreciates people's reactions to the soldiers. Strong feelings are held by most about the subject but he and his friends know that nobody will ever truly understand their situation so they just lip-ad and make their own little injokes about it all.
It is a book with much food for thought about young soldiers in situations way over their heads and who have a responsibility and see things that no 19 year olds - or anybody else for that matter - should experience; about how the ordinary people see war and how removed they really are from reality when it comes to a war they themselves pay for over the taxes and which many have supported - or opposed.
It is extremely well written and really my only main criticism is that I can't tell where Billy Lynn and the author start and end and it becomes a problem as Billy is portrayed as a young man who - although a sensible and brave one - spends most of his time goofing around with his mates and thinking about girls and the next shot of whiskey and it is a bit difficult to reconcile him with the well-formulated and thought-out arguments or thoughts and observations that we are constantly confronted with in the book which surely has been put forward in that form by somebody older and better educated. But that criticism aside well worth a read