Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

by

Ben Fountain

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Albert Ratner Character Analysis

Albert is a film producer who has been in contact with Bravo Squad since the Fox News footage of the firefight at the Al-Ansakar Canal came out. He wants to help produce a film about the Bravos and the fight. When he was a young man, Albert went to law school to avoid the Vietnam draft, and he openly opposes how little President Bush and other government officials seem to care about the lives of the soldiers fighting in Iraq. Despite this, Albert believes that the Bravo film will garner support for the war and offer the American public a much-needed morale boost. Throughout the novel, Albert is always on his phone with studios or agents attempting to secure a deal, and he promises to keep fighting for the movie even after Dime shoots down Norm Oglesby's deal. Even though he cares deeply for Bravo, Albert is a shrewd businessman: he implies that he'll still work with Norm after the deal falls through, even though Norm is mean, rude, and power hungry. Over the course of his career, Albert won three Oscars and also produced one of the greatest flops of all time.

Albert Ratner Quotes in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk quotes below are all either spoken by Albert Ratner or refer to Albert Ratner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ecco edition of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk published in 2012.
Chapter 5 Quotes

What's happening now isn't nearly as real as that, eating this meal, holding this fork, lifting this glass, the realest things in the world these days are the things in his head.

Page Number: 53
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

So fuck that, he was done with football after his sophomore year, except the Army is pretty much the same thing, though the violence is, well, what it is, obviously. By factors of thousands.

Page Number: 164
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

Plus the fact that the war's put up some spotty box-office numbers, didn't I say that might be a problem? So we're bucking that too. I know fifty-five hundred sounds pretty lame after the numbers we've been talking about, but for young men like yourselves, young soldiers on Army pay, it's not nothing, right?

Related Characters: Albert Ratner (speaker), Billy Lynn, Sergeant Dime, Norm Oglesby
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:
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Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk PDF

Albert Ratner Character Timeline in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

The timeline below shows where the character Albert Ratner appears in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. The Thing Begins
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...slowly—Major Mac is almost fully deaf. In the limo, Major Mac and a movie producer, Albert Ratner, accompany the eight remaining members of Bravo Squad. Counting Shroom, who is dead, and... (full context)
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...had anything to do with riches. Returning his attention to the car, Billy listens to Albert talk into his cellphone and Crack read the sports pages of the newspaper so that... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Bravo erupts in cheers as Albert explains that Hilary is interested in playing Billy and Dime as one character. Billy is... (full context)
2. A Private in the Infantry
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
...Billy chats with Mango. Next to Mango is A-bort, then Holliday, Lodis, Sykes, Crack, Dime, Albert, and finally, Major Mac. Billy looks at the sky through the open dome and thinks... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Dime calls down to Albert and says that Billy thinks Hilary Swank is weird. Albert says that Hilary is very... (full context)
3. It is Mostly in Your Head But We Have Cures for That
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
...from last night, and the Jack and Cokes in the limo didn't help. Dime tells Albert about Shroom's funeral, which should've been a solemn tribute to Shroom's spirituality but instead was... (full context)
4. The Human Response
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
As Billy and Mango retake their seats, Albert is on the phone again negotiating how to get Hilary Swank to read the script.... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Billy notices that Albert is sitting next to Dime and seems endlessly fascinated by the sergeant. Once, Holliday muttered... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
A man seated behind Albert engages him in conversation about a script he wants to write, and Billy watches a... (full context)
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...for guidance, but he turned out to be unhelpful. Billy considered asking either Dime or Albert, but neither could provide the guidance that he was looking for. Billy desperately wants to... (full context)
5. By Virtue of Which the Many Become the One
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...Bravos that each soldier can have one beer with lunch. Billy sits near Dime and Albert so that he can listen to their conversation and hopefully learn something. Before he starts... (full context)
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...of Lake and his two missing legs, but Dime calls Billy's attention back to lunch. Albert declares that he'll miss Bravo, and Crack urges Albert to visit them in Iraq. Albert... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
When Albert first contacted Bravo, they were confused. When they researched Albert, they discovered that he'd won... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
As Albert hangs up, he explains that accountants run Hollywood these days and promises to secure funding... (full context)
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Dime begins snapping at Bravos for no apparent reason when Albert passes him the phone to read an outlandish text from someone in Hollywood. Dime asks... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...the Bravos snicker, and Billy thinks that people shouldn't talk about what they don't know. Albert suggests that Dime look into acting after he gets out of the military. (full context)
7. We Are All Americans Here
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Family and Brotherhood Theme Icon
...and accruing debt. Dime changes the subject and says that Norm is very interested in Albert and the movie business. Dime and Billy watch Mr. Jones work a crowd, and Billy... (full context)
9. Jamie Lee Curtis Made a Shitty Movie
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
...that the film will get made, which he thinks is a questionable business model. As Albert talks on his phone on one side of Bravo, and Norm conducts his own phone... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...take, but the cameras glitch. While they wait, Billy listens to Dime and Norm discuss Albert and the film. Norm mentions that he thinks Hilary Swank's involvement is "nutty," and he... (full context)
11. This Is Everything There Is
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
...didn't agree. Billy, ashamed, hopes that no Bravos are watching, but he sees Dime and Albert watching and realizes that Dime told Albert about this. (full context)
17. Money Makes Us Real
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Josh delivers Dime and Billy to Albert in a hallway outside of Norm's suite. Albert pointedly encourages Josh to leave and then... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Coughing, Albert says there is one problem: $100,000 per Bravo is a lot of money when they'll... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Albert continues to try to explain how this will all work, saying that they're fighting the... (full context)
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
...his head out of the suite, interrupting Dime as he asks Billy what he thinks. Albert confirms that Dime still wants to talk to Norm, and though Dime agrees to talk,... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...and smells of burnt coffee and cigarettes. Norm and his sons greet Billy, Dime, and Albert, as Mr. Jones perches on a stool and Josh stands awkwardly. The executives introduce themselves... (full context)
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...to Billy and says that Norm likes them so much, he's going to screw them. Albert immediately herds Dime and Billy to a private room. Norm is obviously offended, but Dime... (full context)
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The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Albert chastises Dime and insists he can't talk to Norm like that, but Dime remains petulant.... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Albert escapes to the restroom while Dime calls the rest of Bravo. They all agree the... (full context)
18. The Proud Good-Bye
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
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Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...her back, he daydreams about escaping to the ranch with her. A phone call from Albert interrupts his reverie. Albert wants to know why Dime won't pick up and explains that... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Billy asks Albert how he felt about getting deferment from Vietnam and how he feels about it now.... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
Class, Power, and Money Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
Dime comes over to Billy and asks about Albert. Billy says that Albert is cool, and Dime insists that even if Norm does make... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...just outside to wait for someone to meet them. Faison texts that she's coming, and Albert and Mr. Jones appear out of the stadium. Albert assures the Bravos that he'll continue... (full context)
Fantasy vs. Reality in the Media Theme Icon
The Absurdity of War Theme Icon
Heroism and Humanity Theme Icon
...he wonders how many soldiers will die before they realize that it has to stop. Albert and Josh cheerfully usher Billy into the limo and the limo departs. Dime quietly teases... (full context)