Going After Cacciato

O'Brian, Tim. Going After Cacciato. New York: Dell Publishing, 1978. Fed up with the pointlessness of the Viet Nam war, Cacciato has gone AWOL, and it is up to Paul Berlin and the rest of his platoon to bring him home. The catch: Cacciato is heading for Paris, and maybe his platoon doesn't really want to catch him. Going After Cacciato is a mix of fantasy and ugly reality as Paul Berlin chases Cacciato across thousands of miles of dangerous possibilities. But is the trek a true escape for Cacciato, or is it justĀ a mental excercise Berlin uses to stay sane in a mad war? Some people have called Cacciato "magical realism," but I prefer to think of it as a stimulating test of imaginative capabilities, and a willingness to believe.