Thursday, November 10, 2022

Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien -- Veterans' Day BOOK BEGINNINGS


Welcome to Book Beginnings on Fridays, where we share the opening sentence (or so) of the books we are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy or you want to highlight, even if you are not reading it right now. 

Since it is Veterans' Day weekend (or Armistice Day for many of you), I thought I'd feature a war book this week, one I just finished reading. And say thank you to all our veterans on this Veterans' Day!  


It was a bad time. Billie Boy Watkins was dead, and so was Frenchie Tucker. 

-- from Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. Well, that is a grim opening, but one to be expected for a book about the Vietnam War. 

O'Brien won the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. I'm working my way through the National winners, which is why I finally read this. War books are not my usual cup of tea. This one was not quite what I expected. It is about the war, all about the war. But the premise is different, even whimsical. Private Cacciato goes AWOL and tells his buddies he's heading to Paris. On foot. The Lieutenant sends Cacciato's squad on a mission to find him. So they go after Cacciato, following him to Paris. The story about the war hangs on the story of their journey. No war book will be a favorite for me, but I liked this one much more than I thought I would. 


Please leave a link to your Book Beginning post in the box below. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you post on social media. 

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The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


From Going After Cacciato:
Or was there a chance, even one in a million, that it might truly be done? He walked on and considered this, figuring the odds, speculating on how Cacciato might lead them through the steep country, beyond the mountains, deeper, and how in the end they might reach Paris.


  1. Ah, an old fave of mine. Read it in high school and later in college. Enjoy!

    1. I had put it off because I thought it would have more battle scenes, which are not my thing. But it is just an excellent story about being in the war. Really good.

  2. Interesting and timely book. Have a great weekend!

  3. I agree with you. The opening is pretty grim, but it seems like an interesting book. Have a great weekend!

  4. The beginning is sad, but it also catches your attention.

  5. Sounds like an interesting book - quite emotional.

    Have a great weekend!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My post:

  6. I read THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by the same author. It was very impactful.

    1. That one is also on my TBR shelf, lingering for the same reasons. But I will get to it.

  7. Well, it certainly catches your attention and makes you wonder what on earth has gone on. It makes it sound like the start immediately opens with a traumatic situation and really makes you feel for the main char :( x

  8. Great choice for yesterday. Happy weekend!


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