Tuesday, November 14, 2006

117. "Going After Cacciato" ~ Tim O'Brien

Spec Four Paul Berlin dreams of home while hoofing it through Vietnam rice paddies and villages. His father told him that he would see some awful things during war, but he should look for the beautiful things, too.

O'Brien continues to impress me with his descriptive details, the beautiful things amid the awfulness of the context. Psychological trauma is the theme for the Vietnam war; however, in this book it is not as easy to choose the right side.

Cacciato, one of Berlin's squad members, goes AWOL, planning on getting to Paris via a dangerous trek across Asia. The squad tracks him, sometimes to bring him back for justice, sometimes because they are all becoming mentally AWOL as well.

The Things They Carried will always be my favorite O'Brien book, but this novel runs a close second.

4.0 out of 5.0 Shit-Holes.


Anonymous said...

Some years ago, I went through a brief but feverish O'Brien phase after reading The Things They Carried, but I never got around to Cacciato. Thanks for reminding me to work it back into my queue.

Anskov said...

I re-read this book for my comprehensive exams two years ago (was it that long ago? guh!). I think of it as a kind of Vietnam Alice in Wonderland - I love it.

Kristin Dodge said...

That's the perfect way to describe it, Anskov. Miss you, by the way. Every time I use one of my Japanese "Mr. Poopie" stickers, I think of you... in a good way.