Debbi Mack's Reviews > Going After Cacciato

Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien
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Aug 28, 10


My first Tim O'Brien book was THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, a collection of stories based on his experiences as a soldier in the Vietnam War. I was so taken with his writing I decided to read JULY, JULY next. A novel about a class reunion that I thought might be too much like The Big Chill – but it wasn't.

So, knowing (I thought) what to expect, I picked up GOING AFTER CACCIATO. I guess I was expecting something like Saving Private Ryan, but it's not even close to that. In this book, O'Brien once again drew on his experiences in Vietnam, but unlike THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, this is a novel. And unlike either of the other books, this one delves into the realm of "magical realism."

The story in sum is that Cacciato is a young, seemingly slow, rather goofy soldier that no one in his unit takes seriously. One day, Cacciato simply disappears – walks away from the war. He says he's going to walk west until he reaches Paris, France.

News of Cacciato's plans are met by the troops with a mixture of disbelief, wonder and perplexity. So, what to do? Cacciato is guilty of desertion, so the lieutenant in charge says they have to follow and apprehend him. They end up going after him, catching glimpses of him from time to time, but somehow he keeps eluding them.

The story (while flashing back and forth in time) takes the troops on a kind of spiritual journey, as well as a mission.

Read the entire review at: http://thebookgrrl.blogspot.com/2010/...
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