"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'Brien's now classic novel of Vietnam. Winner of the 1979 National Book Award, Going After Cacciato captures the peculiar mixture of horror and hallucination that marked this strangest of wars. In a blend of reality and fantasy, this novel tells the story of a young soldier who one day lays down his rifle and sets off on a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris.
In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing from and meeting the demands of 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.
"As a fictional portrait of this war, Going After Cacciato is hard to fault, and will be hard to better." (John Updike, The New Yorker)
"Simply put, the best novel written about the war. I do not know... any writer, journalist, or novelist who does not concede that position to O'Brien's Going After Cacciato." (Miami Herald)
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Absolutely, because, despite its being a war story, the style is lyrical and the plot is intriguing..
This is a clever twist on a basic situation--desertion. What happens if the pursuers desert too? Plus it distorts reality just enough to drape the story in a gauze of magic.
His voice became so emotional that it was drippy.
I'd like to talk with Cacciato's Vietnamese girlfriend-wife. Maybe hearing her relaity would help to untangle the story of the actual desertion.
Tim O'Brien is a wonderful writer about war and soldiers trying to make sense of a particular morass.He adds magic to what must have been the grimest of realities.