Annal: 1979 National Book Award for Fiction

Results of the National Book Award in the year 1979.

Book:Going After Cacciato

Going After Cacciato

Tim O'Brien

“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 blend of horror and hallucinatory comedy that marked this strangest of wars. Reality and fantasy merge in this fictional account of one private’s sudden decision to lay down his rifle and begin a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris. Will Cacciato make it all the way? Or will he be yet another casualty of a conflict that seems to have no end?

In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing 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.

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