Going After Cacciato

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A CLASSIC FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE THINGS THEY CARRIED

"To call Going After Cacciato a novel about war is like calling Moby-Dick a novel about whales."

So wrote The New York Times of Tim O'Brien's now classic novel of Vietnam. Winner of the 1979 National Book Award, Going After Cacciato captures the peculiar mixture of horror and hallucination that marked this strangest of wars.

In a blend of reality and fantasy, this novel tells the story of a young soldier who one day lays down his rifle and sets off on a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris. In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing from and meeting the demands of battle, Going After Cacciato stands as much more than just a great war novel. Ultimately it's about the forces of fear and heroism that do battle in the hearts of us all.

Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Feb 18, 2009
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780307485502
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Psychological
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Fiction / War & Military
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Arizona Moon describes a fictional no-name operation in Vietnam’s infamous Arizona Territory and Golf’s 1st platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines operating west of the Tu Bon River in Quang Nam Province. The story centers on a squad leader, Corporal Raymond Strader, and a Apache Indian, L/Cpl Noche Gonshayee. Strader has only three days until his thirteen month tour of duty ends, and Gonshayee, whose tribal name is “Moon”, considers all anglos potential enemies. When Strader is sent from the field to begin processing out of the An Hoa combat base, Moon is accused of murdering two members of his squad on a night listening post, and Strader is pulled back into the field to escort the Indian, restrained and with a serious head injury, back to the base. The helicopter transporting them is shot down and the two Marines find themselves evading the NVA in the Ong Tu Mountains.
An NVA unit, moving munitions toward Da Nang in anticipation of the TET Offensive - with orders to avoid contact with American troops - finds themselves butting heads with the platoon of Golf Company as they scramble across the face of the Ong Tu. Among the NVA are two students from a university in Hanoi, volunteers eager to carry supplies and weapons south. One is a student of literature and an avid reader of American pulp fiction, especially that of America’s wild west, and is enamored of the American Indian, sympathizing with their historical plight. The murders attributed to Moon were actually the work of the NVA, and in that contact, a spirit pouch is stolen from the Indian to become the prized possession of the student as his unit tries to run beyond the reach of the Marines.
After surviving the helicopter crash, Strader and Moon find themselves in the path of the fleeing Vietnamese and, secreted on the mountainside, Moon sees his coveted spirit pouch pass by hanging from one the enemy weapon’s bearers. After separating himself from Strader, Moon goes after the NVA in hopes of retrieving the pouch he equates with his honor. Strader discovers he has been duped and pursues the Indian into the mountains.
The platoon brings artillery, Phantom jets, and helicopters into play in an attempt to destroy the NVA unit, but only slow it enough for Moon to catch them and confront the student with his spirit pouch.
Moon recovers his pouch, Strader finds Moon, and together they try fighting their way back to their platoon with the NVA hunting them. With no ammunition and the enemy closing in, the two Marines envision little chance of survival, but a squad from 1st platoon finds them, and together they lead the Vietnamese to where the platoon waits in ambush.
Throughout Arizona Moon the characters exemplify the camaraderie, esprit de corps, and brotherhood of the United States Marine Corps.
A special fiftieth anniversary edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time), featuring a new introduction by Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award finalist The Yellow Birds
 
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time
 
Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.”

An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing—the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit—that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it. Authors as wide-ranging as Norman Mailer, John Irving, Michael Crichton, Tim O’Brien, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, and J. K. Rowling have all found inspiration in Vonnegut’s words. Jonathan Safran Foer has described Vonnegut as “the kind of writer who made people—young people especially—want to write.” George Saunders has declared Vonnegut to be “the great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us . . . a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.”

Fifty years after its initial publication at the height of the Vietnam War, Vonnegut's portrayal of political disillusionment, PTSD, and postwar anxiety feels as relevant, darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as ever, an enduring beacon through our own era’s uncertainties.

“Poignant and hilarious, threaded with compassion and, behind everything, the cataract of a thundering moral statement.”—The Boston Globe
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