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Buffalo Afternoon

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  117 Ratings  ·  18 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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Apr 16, 2013 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
Michael Depalo
Oct 19, 2011 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.
Jan 08, 2012 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
Nov 10, 2011 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
Sep 07, 2011 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.
Oct 30, 2015 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.
Stephanie Pieck
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When we're children, life seems to stretch to infinity. We dream endless possibilities. Then life happens and we grow up. Time speeds up. We put aside our dreams--or many of us do. Or they get pushed so far down inside us that we think they never existed. Single moments, single days or nights, a place, all can etch themselves so indelibly into our psyches that we are seemingly powerless before them.
These are the elements that run through this long, painful, and compelling novel. Peter Bravado de
In a sense, I'm doing as Pete did: looking back and saying- "Hey, what happened?" I also grew up in the 50s, 60s in a place not so far from Brooklyn. I was moved to read "Buffalo Afternoon" because I've always felt irresponsible never knowing what actually happened to those who 'saw action' in Vietnam. Yeah, my cousins were there, but like Pete, they didn't talk about it.
Let me say I found it an agonizing read, even before our protagonist arrives in 'Nam. Third generation Italian, Fathers assur
May 15, 2015 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
Sep 13, 2013 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.
Mar 15, 2011 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
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
A heartbreaking story of a young man before, during and after his tour of duty in Viet Nam.
Ruth Tucker
Very depressing at times. Yet helpful to understand trama of the era.
Oct 04, 2007 marked it as to-read
contemporary:vietnam-----------not read yet
Dec 10, 2008 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!
Sep 21, 2012 rated it did not like it
not to my liking
James Kaufmann
Aug 23, 2015 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.
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Dec 05, 2007
Steven Meyers
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Jun 23, 2017
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Aug 28, 2014
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Feb 26, 2014
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Dec 23, 2008
Denah Campbell
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Sep 10, 2012
Cheryl Johnson
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Jan 03, 2018
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Mar 02, 2012
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Jul 30, 2011
Joe Buckley
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Nov 06, 2017
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