A superb fictional novel authored by Tim O'Brien in 1978. Based upon the Vietnam War. Cacciato, a slightly mentally retarded soldier, suddenly wanders westward out of Vietnam on a journey to Paris, France. The entire book follows the efforts of Cacciato's squad trying to catch up to him and return him to the war. What sets the novel apart from other gory, chauvinistic war novels is the intertwining of reality and dreams.

The book is not about war so much as it is about what heroism and fear truly are. O'Brien's brilliant diction and imagery convey so much more about the war than the old news archives and political rhetoric do.

Winner of the 1979 National Book Award in Fiction, France's Prix de Meilleur Livre Erranger, and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize.

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