“In battle, in a war, a soldier sees only a tiny fragment of what is available to be seen. The soldier is not a photographic machine. He is not a camera. He registers, so to speak, only those few items that he is predisposed to register and not a single thing more. Do you understand this? So I am saying to you that after a battle each soldier will have different stories to tell, vastly different stories, and that when a was is ended it is as if there have been a million wars, or as many wars as there were soldiers.”This was my second time reading a work by Tim O'Brien, the first time being a few years ago when I read [b:The Things They Carried|133518|The Things They Carried|Tim O'Brien|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1297915473s/133518.jpg|1235619]. I loved that book (I mean, I still love it). It was assigned reading for my junior-year English class, and I thought I would hate it because I'd never been a fan of war literature. However, I was soon to learn that Tim O'Brien is not the typical war-lit writer. In fact, The New York Times said of Going After Cacciato, "To call Going After Cacciato a novel about war is like calling Moby-Dick a novel about whales." And I think this quote could easily apply to The Things They Carried as well. It was a book that took place during war, but the story is really is more about humanity. More than that, it also changed the way I think about storytelling. That said, I thought Going After Cacciato was a great book, but it didn't move me the same way The Things They Carried did. Anyway, let's explain the story a bit. Going After Cacciato is about a young soldier in the Vietnam war, who decides to get up and leave in the middle of the war and walk all the way to Paris. As the title of the novel implies, a group of his fellow soldiers decide to go after him. Of course, what follows is a crazy journey.The best part of this book is Tim O'Brien's writing. I just can't get over how well he writes. It's just so powerful, so simple and yet so complex, so full of emotion and imagery. He really puts you right into the story, and he makes you see things in a different light.On top of that, I love how surreal this story is. There's a certain, almost dreamlike quality to it, where at times it's not quite clear what's real and what isn't. However, as I've said, this book ultimately wasn't as meaningful to me as The Things They Carried was. I'm not sure what it was about this book ... I think maybe what I liked more about The Things They Carried was that it was made up of shorter stories that all connected in some way, and each of those stories was concise and had a strong impact. And even though there are different little stories throughout Going After Cacciato, it does still follow a more conventional storyline. And it's not like that's a bad thing, but I felt that it wasn't quite as compatible with O'Brien's style. I don't know, maybe that's just me. Basically, I thought the focus of this book wandered a bit and there were parts where I was a little bored. However, O'Brien never fails to captivate me with his writing and with the strong imagery he creates.