Going After Cacciato

Going After Cacciato

A Novel

Book - 1978
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"To call Going After Cacciato a novel about war is like calling Moby Dick a novel about whales." So wrote The New York Times of Tim O'Brein's now classic novel of Vietnam. Winner of the 1979 National Book Award, Going After Cacciato captures the peculiar blend of horror and hallucinatory comedy that marked this the strangest of wars. Reality and fantasy merge in this fictional account of one private's sudden discussion to lay down his rifle and begin a quixotic journey from the of Indochina to the streets of Paris. Will Cacciato make it all the way? Or will he be yet another casualty of a conflict that seems to have no end? In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing and meeting the demands of the battle, Going After Cacciato stands as much more than just a great war novel. Ultimately it's about the forces of fear and heroism that do battle in the hearts of us all.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press/S. Lawrence, c1978.
ISBN: 9780440029489
0440029481
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 338 p. ; 24 cm. $8.95.

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lukasevansherman
Jun 14, 2014

As good, perhaps even better than his classic "The Things They Carried." Like that book, O'Brien is interested in the stories of the soldiers and how they cope and survive in a shitty war, not in politics or half-assed, Hemingway-esque philosophizing about men in war. After a soldier ditches his unit to walk to Paris, some of his buddies try to track him down, which gives it a somewhat more unusual feel than most war books. Other good Vietnam books: "Tree of Smoke," "Dispatches," "Matterhorn," "Dog Soldiers," "Kill Anything That Moves."

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lianness
Sep 12, 2013

O'Brien deftly conveys the feelings of a combat soldier. Sometimes the fantasy gets a bit too fantastical but by the end is tied together seamlessly. Great book that could be applied to Iraq and Afghan war soldiers too.

g
GrumpyDave
Dec 11, 2010

1979 National Book Award - Fiction

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ndp21f
Nov 22, 2010

They were dangerous. No one was ever killed by a land mine or booby trap unless it was along a trail. Exposed, always watched, the trails were the obvious spots for ambush. Still, there were many times when it was better to face these dangers than to face the wet of a paddy or the itch of deep brush. There were times when a fast march along a trail, however perilous, was preferable to a slow march through hostile country. There were times when mission required the use of trails. And there were times when it simply stopped mattering.

n
ndp21f
Nov 22, 2010

He had nothing against Cacciato. The whole thing was silly, of course, immature and dumb, but even so, he had nothing against the kid. It was just too bad. A waste among infinitely wider wastes.

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