❰PDF❯ ✪ Going After Cacciato Author Tim O'Brien – Motyourdrive.co.uk

Going After Cacciato chapter 1 Going After Cacciato, meaning Going After Cacciato, genre Going After Cacciato, book cover Going After Cacciato, flies Going After Cacciato, Going After Cacciato 436f37db7c0df Alternate Cover For This ISBN Can Be Found HereWinner Of The National Book Award, Going After Cacciato Captures The Peculiar Mixture Of Horror And Hallucination That Marked This Strangest Of WarsIn 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 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


10 thoughts on “Going After Cacciato

  1. says:

    You VC he demanded of a little girl with braids You dirty VC The girl smiled Shit, man, she said gently You shittin me I met Tim O Brien briefly when he toured for In the Lake of the Woods back in 1994 Along with his signature he wrote on my copy of the book the word Peace I thanked him for his service to his country and I can remembered he paused for a moment, just long enough for me to think I d completely FUBARed the situation Then he stood up and shook my hand looking me in the eye for a little longer than was comfortable There was this bristling energy coming off him and I found myself tongue tied I d planned to talk to him about his importance to Vietnam War literature I stood there wrestling with my mind trying to force it to reengage to pop out of vapor lock He handed the book back to me and I had to move on I do wish that I hadn t stood there like a moron, but I wouldn t have traded that handshake for anything Soldier Tim O Brien Tim O Brien was drafted into the United States Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam until 1970 Cacciato has a dream He will share this dream with anyone who will give him the time to tell it He is convinced that he can leave the war in Vietnam and walk to Paris One day he disappears and the platoon knows he has started to realize his dream Paul Berlin is a dreamer On every report card ever sent home to his parents teachers made a notation about his excessive daydreaming In Vietnam he is focused much closely on minute detail than he is on the scope of the war For example after pickup basketball games he goes through every pass, every shot, every spin move picking it apart, finding the errors, and fixing what went wrong The war is like a fly buzzing in the window just within his peripheral vision, but the real world was existing behind his eyes.In his fantasy world the platoon takes off through the jungle after Cacciato Yes, they were in jungle now Thick dripping jungle Club moss fuzzing on bent branches, hard green bananas dangling from trees that canopied in lush sweeps of green, vaulted forest light in yellow green and blue green and olive green and silver green, the smell of chlorophyll, jungle sounds and jungle depth It was true jungle Soft, humming jungle Everywhere, greenery deep in greenery, earth like sponge Itching jungle, lost jungle A botanist s madhouse Reality mixes in with fantasy as the platoon continues its quest to find Cacciato All the members of the platoon are frustrated to various degrees with the war So here we arenothing to order, no substance Aimless, that s what it is a bunch of kids trying to pin a tail on the Asian donkey But no fuckin tail No fuckin donkey In his mind Paul moves the platoon about like chess pieces on a board Improbable circumstances develop needing improbable solutions for the fantasy quest to continue I identified with Paul maybe too much I have always spent an inordinate amount of time daydreaming and given the unbelievable circumstances that a front line soldier in Vietnam often found himself I would be building cities, developing characters, and living as much as possible in a world of my own creating Paris, to Cacciato and therefore, for Paul, is looked on as the first city among civilization, and when they dream about leaving the war they are dreaming about escaping to the most civilized place on the planet This was a quick read The whole time I m marveling at the ability of Tim O Brien to keep all the balls suspended in the air He made me believe what was fantasy and disbelieve what was real He discusses fear and courage and duty and the blurred lines that define all of them An unusual Vietnam book, but a book that tries to shine a light on a war that made no sense whatsoever A war without clear moral purpose The issue, of course, was courage How to behave Whether to flee or fight or seek an accommodation The issue was not fearlessness The issue was how to act wisely in spite of fear Spiting the deep running biles that was true courage He believe this And he believed the obvious corollary the greater a man s fear, the greater his potential courage If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visithttp www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    ADDIO ALLE ARMI A FAREWELL TO ARMS Era una guerra cos fantastica che dovrebbero farne un film.Una guerra splendida e umida, disse Stink Harris.La guerra uno degli incubi peggiori.Ma se da un incubo ci si pu liberare facendo un sogno per esempio, sognando che dal Vietnam si pu camminare verso ovest, a piedi attraverso il Laos, la Birmania, l India, l Afghanistan, l Iran, la Turchia, e una volta ad Atene, il pi fatto prossima tappa, e meta finale, Parigi La citt delle luci la classica botta di vita, specie dopo l incubo della guerra del Nam allora, questo libro un sogno.Soldati statunitensi della 25 divisione fanteria nella missione Search Destroy dell estate 1966.Cacciato, pi ottuso di una pallottola, uno che va a pesca nei crateri delle bombe, l ha minacciato pi volte E un giorno lo fa non ne pu pi della guerra, del suo delirio, della sua noia e follia, della violenza e del sangue, delle esplosioni e degli spari Un bel giorno Cacciato se ne va, s avvia da solo a piedi dal Vietnam a Parigi la stagione dei monsoni e precorrendo Forrest Gump di un pacco d anni e passi, s incammina per ottomilaseicento miglia, tredicimilaottocento chilometri E cos diventa disertore.Soldati della 1 divisione cavalleria aerea in azione durante la battaglia di Ia Drang.La sua squadra, la terza squadra primo plotone, compagnia Alpha, quinto battaglione del quarantaseiesimo fanteria costretta a inseguirlo, perch Cacciato adesso va fermato, arrestato, riportato alla base non una scampagnata, una missione, sempre guerra.Per , presto diventa una scampagnata E i soldati della squadra diventano altrettanti disertori.Soldati statunitensi della 1st Cavalry Division in combattimento accanto ai loro elicotteri UH 1.E siccome la guerra in Vietnam che coinvolse anche la Cambogia e il Laos fu guerra psichedelica e lisergica per eccellenza, capita che per terra si spalanchino buchi che inghiottono la squadra, il carro e il bufalo, la giovane deliziosa profuga e le due zie pi anziane che piangono in continuazione la morte dell altro bufalo Buchi che si aprono in gallerie nelle quali sembra che si rester intrappolati e prigionieri Ma l entrata anche l uscita, e per tornare a casa bisogna diventare profughi, da questi buchi si pu anche cadere fuori e ritrovarsi in Birmania, o meglio, in Mandalay Cio , Oltre Lo Specchio.Marine statunitensi impegnati nel rastrellamento di un villaggio durante l operazione Georgia nel 1966.E siccome Cacciato un po miraggio e un po Godot, capita di ritrovarlo circondato da monaci buddisti, anche lui in tonaca, per pi simile a frate Tuck che a un vero religioso birmano.Poi lo si vede sulla copertina di una rivista di Nuova Delhi alle sue spalle il treno per Kabul.A Teheran la squadra festeggia il natale tagliando un bell abete nei National Memorial Gardens dello sci , albero che addobbano con medaglie, cordicelle, bombe a mano e candele Conclusi i festeggiamenti natalizi, vedono un esecuzione pubblica e presto rischiano la decapitazione proprio come il giovane soldato decollato in piazza, un altro disertore.Forze USA bombardano col napalm posizioni Viet Cong nel 1965.Tra fantasia e realt , una fuga dalla guerra che un viaggio della mente la guerra un esperienza surreale cui si pu sopravvivere solo abdicando alla razionalit.Dice O Brien difficile separare ci che accaduto da ci che sembrato accadere Ci che sembra accadere diviene a sua volta accaduto, e cos deve essere raccontato.My Lai Ma il protagonista non Cacciato, quello del titolo, quello inseguito il vero protagonista Paul Berlin Il romanzo tutto dal punto di vista del soldato scelto Paul Berlin E per Paul Berlin, il sognatore, tutto reale.Ma, forse, anche no.A prescindere dal mio smisurato interesse per la guerra del Nam, il romanzo di Tim O Brien un gran bel libro, probabilmente il miglior romanzo mai scritto sull argomento Se non altro, il migliore che io abbia mai letto Le sue intenzioni erano benevole Non era un tiranno, non era uno sbirro, non era uno yankee assassino Era innocente Questo avrebbe voluto dire agli abitanti dei villaggi, se avesse conosciuto la lingua, se ci fosse stato il tempo per parlare Gli avrebbe detto che lui non voleva fare del male a nessuno Nemmeno al nemico Lui non aveva nemici Non aveva fatto torto a nessuno Se avesse conosciuto la lingua, gli avrebbe detto quanto detestava veder bruciare i villaggi Detestava veder sconvolgere le risaie Come diventava furioso e triste quando un milione di cose, quando le donne venivano toccate sfacciatamente, quando ai vecchi venivano fatte calare le brache per perquisirli, quando, in un villaggio chiamato Thin Mau, Oscar e Rudy Chassler avevano ammazzato dieci cani per il gusto di farlo Ma io no, avrebbe voluto dirgli Gli altri, forse, ma io no Colpevole forse di essere stato incerto, di essermi lasciato trascinare, di essere stato vittima della gravit e degli obblighi e deglie venti, ma no non colpevole di intenti malvagi.


  3. says:

    Paul Berlin never wanted to be a soldier.He d never really had any professional aspiration, other than to play baseball, but when he s drafted into the Vietnam war, a soldier he becomes.Turns out, he isn t a natural When he enters combat, he suffers panic attacks that cause him to experience a debilitating shame in front of his peers and his commander.In his desire to disassociate from his circumstances, Paul decides to pursue a fellow soldier who s gone AWOL, a young man named Cacciato who, in his childlike enthusiasm, has abandoned the undesirable war for a journey, on foot, to Paris.The trick was to concentrate on better things The trek to Paris All the things seen and felt, all the happy things So Paul heads to Paris in pursuit of Cacciato with his ragtag band of survivors from his squad and his lieutenant, who is suffering from dysentery.Or does he Paris is not a place It is a state of mind.And, unfortunately, none of the roads led to Paris What follows is part dreamscape, part reality, and you get a strong sense, as a reader, of how Tim O Brien himself might have managed to survive his time serving in this complicated war This is a memorable novel, full of a ridiculous amount of meaningful observations about war and freedom, and I absolutely recommend it But, if you re going to read only one Tim O Brien book in your lifetime, I still recommend The Things They Carried Cacciato is O Brien s National Book Award winner, but Carried is O Brien s magnum opus.


  4. says:

    Let me tell you something about Tim O Brien.Tim O Brien can write.I don t mean Tim O Brien can express ideas well, or that Tim O Brien knows how to make cogent points using the written language Hell, I can do that I can wake up hungover, drink a liter of coffee, and crank out an essay with a title like Intertextuality in Victorian Memoir the Solipsism of Affect, or some such mumbo jumbo, and it ll make your average literature professor at The Community College of Seriously Misfortuned Academics swoon.I can also write instructions, technical memoranda, exposition of physical or mathematical theory, love letters, anecdotes, recipes, computer code in any number of out of date languages, journal entries, and sometimes sometimes I can even write a book review.But I can t write like Tim O Brien No way Tim O Brien s got that something you know when you see it That raw talent to transform the semiotic into the spiritual That thunderous, sensuous grasp of prose that catches you unawares at a bus station, on your couch, in an airplane, and suddenly your hands are gripped tight at the edges of the worn paperback, knuckles white, and your eyes are speeding down the page and you re careening through a world so vivid that you would never be able to say that this was not reality itself and believe it.Yes, Tim O Brien can do that On the other hand, Tim O Brien lacks focus.Ah But surely, you say, if any novel can be excused of lacking focus, this is it, no This upside down, down the rabbit hole existential quest for the adumbrative Cacciato, from the death filled lakes of Vietnam to Laos through to India, Iran, Greece and finally, absurdly the streets of Paris Well, maybe.I mean, it s clear from the beginning that none of this pan Asia quest is quite real And as the book progresses, it sort of settles on you that O Brien doesn t intend to ever really let you know what real would even mean After all, surely these soldiers did not just up and leave their posts and march across Asia in hunt of a deserter who thought he could walk to Paris Surely not Rather, we are made to believe that this is some sort of imagining in the mind of the protagonist, Paul Berlin some sort of exploration of the possible and the impossible, of the region between dusk and dawn where death and war confuse the two in categorical terms.But then again, who is the protagonist He is just a figment of O Brien s, isn t he And so now it becomes less clear The reader is as unable to separate real from unreal as Berlin is What is fiction, after all, but an exploration of where the possible meets the impossible I get this far, fine, but I m never very sure what O Brien wants us to do with all this Not that we have to do anything, mind you, but textual involution is no substitute for a plot arc, you know And I have to admit, for about the middle 75 100 pages of this, we were deeply into three star territory But O Brien pulls out of it And you know why I don t know if I ve mentioned this, but O Brien can write And so you emerge from the final page, having been suffused in some mystery that you never quite understood, but thankful for its evocation, and unwilling to trade the experience for something so mundane as clarity.


  5. says:

    In the whole of human history, I am of the extremely small percentage of males that did not fight in a war nor had my life changed as a result of one I am extremely fortunate to have been twice lucky born both where and born when So whether it is a truth seeking need to understand the sadness that countless men and women have had to endure, or it is some atavistic genetic tugging that keeps leading me back to these stories, I am addicted to the threnody of War.Although I will read almost any non fiction book on war that is recommended to me, it is fiction based upon events that really resonates If you ve read Vonnegut, you can chart his growth as an author through his first few books as he is circling around the main event until he finally deals with his experience in the fire bombing of Dresden Slaughterhouse Five is a book that changes the reader because Kurt was changed by war It s not a rational transaction But neither is life Going After Cacciato is a book that has the capacity to re wire the filters of a reader The Vietnam War is the setting, but the individual wars suffered and fought daily by the soldiers is the narrative The action follows a squad of men and their quixotic chase after a fellow soldier gone AWOL with plans to hoof it all the way to Paris from Indochina As readers we become as changed as the soldiers on their journey To explain further would be to ruin the magic consider this great quote on the back cover of my edition, taken from a New York Times review To call Going After Cacciato a novel about war is like calling Moby Dick a novel about whales Virgil C Dice, Jr Ready for action.My father was 26 years old when he was drafted to serve in Vietnam He had just graduated with a masters in music and had planned on a career as a concert pianist He and my mother planned on getting married as soon as he finished his graduate program he petitioned his Congressman to change his enlistment date so they could keep to their plans Dad never shared much about his experiences, but he did tell me that his deferment saved his life the base where he was stationed was overrun a month prior to his arrival In 1997 I made a trip to visit the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C I saw families and friends of fallen soldiers search for their beloved on the wall, watched them make a keep sake of that name with a scrap of paper and rubbed charcoal I took a picture of the book of names to note the fortune of the skip from Robert Floyd Dice to Anthony Dicesare.Several years ago for my father s birthday I wrote him a short story It was a fictional piece loosely based on what few things he told me about his war experience I wasn t surprised when I asked him his opinion of the story that his response was, There sure was a lot of swearing in there I understand his deflection I can t imagine how awful it must be for those people that have suffered from war to revisit it to create art It makes what Tim O Brien has done with this novel and others like him throughout the ages that much amazing.Final note after finishing this book I called my father to ask him why, when he returned from the war, he didn t go back to his music career he became an accountant He said that after that much time away from practicing and focusing on his craft he would never be able to catch up He had a young wife and a family to think about I ll always wonder now how different things would have been for him He was blessed to escape from Vietnam without suffering casualty, but has the world suffered from not hearing his beautiful piano playing


  6. says:

    Two stories unfold simultaneously in Going After Cacciato, one I was riveted by and another I felt alienated by The disjointed nature of the novel didn t come as a shock Tim O Brien s masterpiece The Things They Carried was a compilation of harrowing short stories penned between 1975 and 1990 on the subject of the Vietnam War In this novel, published in 1978, O Brien s attempt to contrast the external experiences of a young army specialist conscripted into the war while taking the reader into his imagination, where the possibilities of walking out of the war all the way to Paris are explored at length, didn t come together for me.The novel begins with twenty year old Spec Four Paul Berlin surrounded by death and bad times while serving his Vietnam combat tour in October 1968 Much of his squad have been killed, three in tunnels, including a disliked lieutenant who insisted on obeying SOP The new leader of Third Squad is Lieutenant Corson, a Korean War veteran though stricken with dysentery, is well liked due to his adherence to informal SOPs, permitting the men to destroy the tunnel networks they find rather than searching them Their medic Doc Peret notifies the LT that a feeble minded soldier known as Cacciato has left, having mentioned to Paul Berlin that he s headed for Paris On foot.Paul Berlin joins Doc, the LT and what s left of Third Squad as they head into the high country in pursuit of Cacciato At point is a pugnacious southerner named Stink Harris The squad s good humor man is Eddie Lazzutti Sergeant Oscar Johnson is loved by virtue of his luck, having survived nine combat tours, though his claims that he s from Detroit are not believed by the other men Harold Murphy is a heavy gunner who wants to turn back almost from the start, even as the squad quickly leaves the war and its dangers behind They make visual contact with Cacciato, who seems committed to walking the 8,600 miles to Paris Humping to Paris, it was one of those crazy things Cacciato might try Paul Berlin remembered how the kid had spent hours thumbing through an old world atlas, studying the maps, asking odd questions How steep were these mountains, how wide was the river, how thick were these jungles It was just too bad A real pity Like winning the Bronze Star for shooting out a dink s front teeth Whistling in the dark, always whistling and smiling his frozen white smile It was silly It had always been silly, even during the good times, but now the silliness was sad It couldn t be done It just wasn t possible, and it was silly and sad.Their mission to retrieve Cacciato apparently over, Third Squad is back in Quang Ngai on the coast of the South China Sea Paul Berlin pulls arduous middle hour guard and to occupy his mind, begins imagining the possibilities what if they pursued Cacciato all the way to Paris Spending six days marching through the jungle, the men hold a vote on whether to return to the war or keep going after Caccicato, facing desertion themselves Harold Murphy disappears in the night, but the others keep going Crossing into Laos, Stink shoots one of two water buffalo carrying a cart with three women in it, a young English speaking refugee named Sarkin Aung Wan and her two aunts.While Lt Corson wants to leave the women, Sarkin Aung Wan becomes compelled by the idea of traveling to Paris She attaches herself to Paul Berlin and promises she can guide the squad to their destination The specialist alternates between flights of fancy to remembrances his past arriving in Chu Lai on June 3 and receiving woefully inadequate survival training, patrolling the villages of the muddy Song Tra Bong, getting lost in the woods as a child while at Indian Guides camp, his father in Fort Dodge, Iowa advising his son that while at war to focus on the good while ignoring the bad Paul Berlin attempts this through his elaborate fantasy world Going After Cacciato is remarkably compelling when it comes to following Paul Berlin through his flesh and blood experiences in Vietnam A lot of novelists are content to go from Plot Point A to Plot Point B, but what makes Tim O Brien worth being studied is the vitality in his fiction There are no straight lines in his stories, which soar and descend like the vital signs on a patient in intensive care In the afterword, O Brien maintains that rather than a war novel, he sees Going After Cacciato as a peace novel Rather than adventure, it is well calibrated toward the experiences of a soldier, taking us into his world and frame of mind How many days you been at war asked Alpha s mail clerk, and Paul Berlin answered that he d been at war seven days now.The clerk laughed Wrong, he said Tomorrow, man, that s your first day at the war And in the morning PFC Paul Berlin boarded a resupply chopper that took him fast over charred pocked mangled country, hopeless country, green skies and speed and tangled grasslands and paddies and places he might die, a million possibilities He couldn t watch He watched his hands He made fists of them, opening and closing the fists His hands, he thought, not quite believing. His hands.Very quickly, the helicopter banked and turned and went down How long you been at the war asked the first man he saw, a wiry soldier with ringworm in his hair.PFC Paul Berlin smiled This is it, he said My first day On page 76 it becomes clear that the walk to Paris exists only in the mind of Paul Berlin and while I could easily relate to why a dream like this would occur to a soldier, I didn t want to read it I wanted to get back to the story where something was at stake I don t like reading dream sequences and here too, I glazed over portions that take place in India or Afghanistan Once the squad hits Paris, I was skipping pages This concept might have been better serviced in a short story and while I recommend the novel for O Brien s electrifying prose, as a novel, I think it half works.


  7. says:

    These were hard lessons, true, but they were lessons of ignorance ignorant men, trite truths What remained was a simple event The facts, the physical things A war like any war No new messages Stories that began and ended without transition No developing drama or tension or direction No order. Tim O Brien, Going After Cacciato At the level of the grunt, the soldier, the dirt and the blood, who wouldn t want to run Who wouldn t fantasize about just dropping everything and leaving the madness of war, the insanity of the Army, the brutality of killing and instead take an 8500 mile trip to Gay Paree It seems a rational choice to choose freedom, happiness, liberty To say cut it, cork it and just run Leave the swamps of uncertainty, death, and fear behind you Become a refugee from the carnage of Vietnam Seek to relocate your tired ass to a place where dumb muthers aren t trying to shoot you Find some piece of Earth where you aren t sleeping in holes, crawling into tunnels, worrying about whether the bullet that gets you will be audible Get the hell out of Dodge.If that was the extent of this novel s vision, it would be a pretty damn good book, but O Brien tweaks it He doesn t go for the easy answers For every tick he gives you a tock He finds ambiguity everywhere, conflict over each hill It isn t a simple moral point to stay or go, to fight or to run War has its own reality It will exhaust you and then follow up This confrontation with fear, death, loyalty, morality, friendship, leading, following, is key The key to this novel is conflict The conflict is key With lyrical beauty, flashbacks, and a magical realism that I ve never experienced in a novel about the Vietnam War, O Brien spins a story that is just that a yarn, a spin, a giant fantasy race, a road movie, a Moby Dick, a Danse Macabre, a metaphysical and very modern dance It is a story of the good, the bad those who run and those who follow It is a literary shadow sculpture built out of the debris of war, the stories and cast offs the living and the dead.___________________ Robert Farwell Edward Jones library Mesa, AZ 2014


  8. says:

    Dreamlike story of a quest and an escape from war, of a soldier in Vietnam who decides he s had enough and begins hiking to Paris, and of the soldiers tasked with bringing him back The horror and absurdity and sheer unreality of war are on full display in this moving novel.


  9. says:

    My first opinion of this book is that I found it disappointing This 336 page book is the first by the extremely talented, Vietnam veteran, Tim O Brien set during the Vietnam War Since O Brien had experienced all the horrors of being an infantry soldier I was expecting a gritty account of a soldier s life.How in the world this brilliant young man becomes an Infantry soldier is puzzling since only the lowest I.Q s were steered into this deadly occupation A soldier with the lowest I.Q could still have a lot of common sense which would make them excellent soldiers, if properly lead, but poor O Brien must ve been a fish out of water to begin with.The story is told by Private Paul Berlin, a new arrival to his infantry company as he muses over his past experiences in Vietnam while relating his present circumstances.Berlin s present storyline is confusing to say the least as a few members of his company are tasked with finding the AWOL soldier, Cacciato, who is heading overland for Paris to escape the horrors of war.The whole company had been traumatized as their buddies have one by one met horrible deaths in battle and Cacciato has apparently gone over the deep end As Berlin relates the current task of finding Cacciato he muses over each and every death in gory, horrific detail.Things become very confusing as they continue their quest into Laos without reporting to their commander where they are going They liberally begin to spend money all along the journey chasing Cacciato to Paris Where is this money coming from This and other peculiarities made me start wondering Are they really dead and don t know it Have the horrors of war made Berlin lose his mind and is he relating his tale while undergoing psychiatric therapy view spoiler As I plowed eagerly through this book to find out what was going on, O Brien ends his story with Paul Berlin awakening from a dream Anybody remember the TV series Dallas and Bobby s dream season I felt a little cheated with this ending to be honest and couldn t help but think is that all there is Most of this novel is set during the present with Berlin s dream sequence, which was WAY too long, leaving me wishing the author had included his audience a lot sooner than the last few pages as to the reality of Berlin s situation hide spoiler


  10. says:

    This book is not for everyone If you have trouble suspending disbelief or issues with magical realism, walk away now or read O Brien s The Things They Carried However, if you can just sit back and enjoy the ride as a master storyteller blurs the lines between reality and fantasy in such a way that there are no hard and fast truths which is the point in most of O Brien work , then you will most likely enjoy the experience Going After Cacciato is less accessible than The Things They Carried because trying to discern the truth of what happens when Cacciato, a young soldier in Vietnam, chooses to go AWOL and walk all the way to Paris is difficult at best A unit is dispatched to hunt Cacciato down, but encounters a number of bizarre twists and turns along the way think Catch 22 meets Alice in Wonderland The narrative is split into three distinct time periods and told from the point of view of Paul Berlin These distinct narratives focus on Berlin s first few months in the war, the hunt for Cacciato, and one night after the hunt for Cacciato is over this occurs while Berlin is on night watch and thinking back to the hunt for Cacciato The problem with making sense of the narrative comes from Paul Berlin himself a young soldier ill equipped to deal with the violence and atrocity of war, he uses his imagination to while away the tedious hours, as well as to re create traumatic events with which he s not ready to cope The point, however, is not what actually happens to Cacciato in fact, upon a second reading, I found myself questioning the conclusion I came to after reading it for the first time , but how Berlin wisely or unwisely chooses to deal with events that are beyond his ability to control.Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder


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