Novels – Going after Cacciato (1978)

SORRY! These pages are Under Construction…you can’t do these (yet).

About the Author:

After graduating in political science in 1968 William Timothy

Tim O’Brien in the Army in Vietnam

O’Brien (1946) was drafted into the army. He was opposed to the war in Vietnam in which he served as a foot soldier. In the early seventies he studied at Harvard and worked for the Washington Post. In 1976 he gave up his studies and became a full-time author.

Going after cacciato is O’Brien’s third novel. The other three are If I die in a Combat Zone (1973), Northern Lights (1974) and The Things They carried (1990).

According to the author a novel shows permanent truth more precisely than history does which only gives you facts. Besides, realism only is not enough to express the experience of Vietnam.

About the Novel:

Much of what happens in Going after Cacciato (1978) takes place in the imagination of Paul Berlin, the main character. He imagines he is pursuing a deserter called Cacciato who takes him out of Vietnam and across Asia, to Paris. In the end, Paul too, wonders if he should desert from the army or not.

Going after Cacciato

Going after Cacciato

The novel consists of three sections:

1. The imaginary pursuit of Cacciato.

2. The front-line memories. These chapters are not in chronological order.

3. The Observation Post chapters, in which Paul Berlin is looking around himself as well as inside himself.

The following fragment is from a front-line chapter in which Paul Berlin and thirty-eight other soldiers feel the full labour of the march across the country that connects the paddies to the jungle. Their lieutenant, Sidney Martin, tells them to make haste to be in time for the battle as we will see in the excerpts on the next page…


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