Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Review: Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien

Going After Cacciato Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When is a war story more than a war story? This is a writing tour de force by Vietnam vet and author Tim O'Brien which makes for a challenging and satisfying read if one goes with its flow and immerses oneself in it.

In moments of relative quiet and calm while on nightime guard duty by the seashore, the story's main character, a young American grunt foot soldier, Paul Berlin, attempts to make sense of the chaos and trauma he experiences during his tour of duty in Vietnam. His flights of fantasy manifest as the story of a group of soldiers following a deserter all the way to Paris.

O'Brien's writing explores imagination, how we tell stories in order to make sense of confusion, chaos, and its aftermath, both to ourselves and ultimately to those back home whom we love who thankfully never experienced the horror, or had to deal with the trauma.

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Monday, 22 January 2018

Not, start a fire–a scene from a restaurant

Libra, libretto, liberty, Story Cube
cube libra, labour day,
Impatient as Billy Joel is played
I drink my coffee ponderously
Looking towards the doorway
Deciding whether or not
on balance to wait or to stay.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Referenced song lyrics



Sunday, 21 January 2018


The doleful old soul sat slumped in his chair
Until transformed by the skirling of the pipes and drums
Reeling and rising
Erasing the rheumy fog of the old man’s eyes
His stick began to tap the familiar beat of a long ago strathspey
The naissance of his lifelong love.

© Sheila Ash, 21 January 2018

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