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!
MY BOOK BEGINNING
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.
YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS
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MY FRIDAY 56
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.