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Buffalo Afternoon

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Buffalo Afternoon is the story of three generations of the Bravado family—Italian American, working-class, determined, proud, troubled. At the heart of this enthralling novel is Pete, a Vietnam vet whose fate is shaped by his grandfather's beliefs about America and reshaped by a cataclysm of American history. Reading group guide included.
Paperback, 560 pages
Published February 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 206)
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Chrissie
Jul 07, 2013 Chrissie rated it really liked it
The different chapters switch between different times and places, but they are all about Pete, as a child and as a Vietnam veteran. The first chapter is beautiful - in its description of rice paddies, water buffalo and village life there in Vietnam. Then in chapter two it is after the war. Look at these lines from this chapter:

"When you go over there, no one tells you. You are going to have to live with these memories the rest of your life. This is one blackboard, man, that doesn't erase."

"I ha
...more
Michael Depalo
Oct 19, 2011 Michael Depalo rated it it was amazing
I read about the author while reading her obituary in the Los Angeles Times several weeks ago. The article said she had written a critically acclaimed book about Vietnam. People thought she could not write a book about the war in Vietnam.....she certainly did, and it was a wonderful read. It was an emotional roller coaster throughout the book.
Andrea
Jan 08, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
I recommend this book to all who did not live through the 60s and 70s or did not intimately know any Vietnam veterans. It is a phenomenally good book, and, because of its broad scope, a hugely informative one.
Nancy Mcdaniel
Jan 31, 2012 Nancy Mcdaniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
This book was really astonishing; I can't believe that I didn't know about it before. It should be required reading for anyone whose responsibility it is to "wage war". Also for anyone who was in Vietnam or knew anyone who served. And for anyone who loves a vet of any war. It is beautifully written and lyrical in many places. But the atrocities - on both sides - and details of the war were very difficult to read. I felt like I was there. I ached for all these good (and not so good) men. And Pete ...more
Albertine67
May 27, 2015 Albertine67 rated it really liked it
I have been an admirer of Susan Fromberg Schaeffer's work since I was a teenager and came across one of her novels, and always felt it a shame that she isn't better known. II came across a second hand copy of Buffalo Afternoon completely by chance, and put everything else aside to read it. She is a remarkable stylist and every character is complex and develops in unexpected ways. The part of the book set in Vietnam is often quite difficult to read given the (necessary) violence and trauma depict ...more
Caroline
Nov 20, 2015 Caroline rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Amazing book. The writing was captivating - unsentimental, yet conjuring up so many images and emotions. I have no idea how this got on my reading list and didn't know anything about the author, but I now want to read her other novels.
Jill
Oct 02, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it
A beautifully written account of Brooklynite & Vietnam Vet, Pete Bravado. The Vietnam scenes are achingly & brutally frank. Susan F. Schaeffer recently died: her NYTimes obit mentioned this book as a definitive Vietnam novel.
Peggy
Sep 13, 2013 Peggy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vietnam
Serving in Vietnam, Pete witnesses a buddy carried to the medevac, calling for his leg. Pete hands him his leg and stands dumbfounded as the friend clutches it, as he's loaded into the helicopter. Pete witnesses an ARVN smash a new baby, headfirst into a tree. And he watches a truck explode, leaving two friends nothing but skeletons from the hips down.
Needless to say, the imagery is vivid, sometimes hallucinogenic. The kid from Brooklyn, thrust into the Apocalyptic nightmare of jungle warfare.
...more
Alfred
Mar 15, 2011 Alfred rated it really liked it
I read this book back in high school 03, this was the first novel I had read from beginning to end. It was recommended to me by a teacher after I told her, "Books just don't keep me interested". My love for reality in war was quickly picked up by my teacher and she handed me this book in its original Teal cover. The story from beginning to end is a great portrayal of the times back during Vietnam. This follows the story of a young troubled man from young adulthood to a hardened Vietnam vet. The ...more
Ruth Tucker
Very depressing at times. Yet helpful to understand trama of the era.
James Kaufmann
Sep 25, 2015 James Kaufmann rated it it was amazing
This gripping novel proves that a compelling war story can be told by someone who wasn't in the war portrayed.
Diane
Dec 11, 2008 Diane rated it it was amazing
The BEST war story that I have encountered. Excellent character development. Hard to put this one down! A great find for reading clubs!
Ashruska
Aug 28, 2010 Ashruska rated it really liked it
A heartbreaking story of a young man before, during and after his tour of duty in Viet Nam.
Peter
Mar 07, 2007 Peter rated it did not like it
Could not finish this, one of the worst books that I ever started.
Kim
Oct 04, 2007 Kim marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
contemporary:vietnam-----------not read yet
Becky
May 27, 2015 Becky rated it did not like it
not to my liking
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Nov 29, 2015
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