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In Tim O'Brien's novel Going After Cacciato the theater of war becomes the theater of the absurd as a private deserts his post in Vietnam, intent on walking 8,000 miles to Paris for the peace talks. The remaining members of his squad are sent after him, but what happens then is anybody's guess: "The facts were simple: They went after Cacciato, they chased him into the mountains, they tried hard. They cornered him on a small grassy hill. They surrounded the hill. They waited through the night. And at dawn they shot the sky full of flares and then they moved in.... That was the end of it. The last known fact. What remained were possibilities."
It is these possibilities that make O'Brien's National Book Award-winning novel so extraordinary. Told from the perspective of squad member Paul Berlin, the search for Cacciato soon enters the realm of the surreal as the men find themselves following an elusive trail of chocolate M&M's through the jungles of Indochina, across India, Iran, Greece, and Yugoslavia to the streets of Paris. The details of this hallucinatory journey alternate with feverish memories of the war--men maimed by landmines, killed in tunnels, engaged in casual acts of brutality that would be unthinkable anywhere else. Reminiscent of Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Going After Cacciato dishes up a brilliant mix of ferocious comedy and bleak horror that serves to illuminate both the complex psychology of men in battle and the overarching insanity of war. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Going after Cacciato' is not simply a war story, nor is it simply anti-war rhetoric. Somehow it is both these things, and so much more. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Mitchell Gooley
I didn't think a book about being a soldier in Viet Nam could top Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried," a book I have read several times and have used to teach writing... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Manzanita
It's not The Things They Carried, but it's not bad per say. I would've preferred something more straightforward. In The Lake of the Woods is better.Published 4 months ago by Ziln
Tim O'Brien is an incredible writer. Readers of this book must also read THE THINGS THEY CARRIED.Published 4 months ago by Mari Heltne
Disjointed plot, keeps switching between reality and fantasy, I hated it. Couldn't wait to finish because I wanted to read something I enjoy. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ron R. Mason
Incredibly confusing at first, but a good read.
May want to pour all your attention on the reading, as you may for a second lose track of what's going on. Read more
Raucous, haunting, powerful, vivid. O'Brien at his best. An adventurous ride!Published 6 months ago by Katey Schultz