- File Size: 791 KB
- Print Length: 259 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books (October 13, 2009)
- Publication Date: October 13, 2009
- Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002TWIVNA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,481 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Things They Carried Kindle Edition
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- Length: 259 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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Top Customer Reviews
The first-person narrator of this book (named, like the author, Tim O'Brien) is a writer and combat veteran of the Vietnam War. The book actually deals with events before and after the war, in addition to depicting the war itself; the time span covers more than 30 years in the lives of O'Brien and his fellow soldiers.
"The Things They Carried" is an intensely "writerly" text. By that I mean that O'Brien and his characters often reflect directly on the activities of storytelling and writing. As a reader, I got the sense that I was being invited into the very process by which the book was created. This is an extraordinary technique, and O'Brien pulls it off brilliantly.
This being a war story, there are some truly disturbing, graphic, and violent scenes. But there are also scenes that are haunting, funny, surreal, or ironic. O'Brien depicts a memorable group of soldiers: the guilt-wracked Lieut. Cross; Kiowa, a Native American and devout, Bible-carrying Baptist; the sadistic but playful Azar; and more.
While this book is a complete and cohesive work of art, many of its component stories could stand alone as independent pieces of literature (in fact, I first encountered the title story in an anthology). But however you classify it, I consider "The Things They Carried" to be a profoundly moving masterpiece.
As a former soldier, and a veteran of Desert Storm, whose father avoided the draft during the Vietnam War, the book taught me that no matter what other people say about the war, no matter what I learn, I can never make any value judgements on an individual level. I was not there, and for better or worse, I am only a specator.
I am currently re-reading the book, which I often use in teaching my creative writing class. I share the story-chapter, "Style" every year with my students. I also find the book essential to learn about the nature of fiction, which O'Brien challenges with every page of this book.
For anyone looking for a book to read on the Vietnam experience, this book makes my short list every time. Not only of "Vietnam" books, but of any book worth reading. This book is simply essential.
When I was in High School and we studied American History, our class always ended with WWII. We never discussed "modern" events -- the 60s, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement.
When I got to college, I made a point of taking a class on the 60s. Still though, I gained a textbook introduction to the Vietnam war -- I never had a true sense of what the horror was, why people protested, why it was such an important historical event. My generation has never faced a war in which we were drafted to fight.
And then I read "The Things they Carried"...
This book was/is an education for me. Visceral, haunting, provoking, gripping -- the stories Tim O'Brien tells rip into you. He puts you on the front line facing the man you just killed -- on the Canadian border deciding that you aren't brave enough to escape to Canada to avoid the draft -- back in Vietnam watching your best buddy slowly sink into a field of mud as sniper fire rains all around you -- back at home with no sense of purpose surrounded by people who don't know how to welcome you home.
This book is the best education on Vietnam this literal child of the 60s ever received.
If, like me, you don't understand what all the fuss is about, read this book and you will...
Tim O'Brien is an outstanding author, he captures your imagination and doesn't let go until his fasinating stories have drained you of any resistance against reading on till the end. I'm not a big reader and certainly NOT into war books. But this book tells so much more about the characters lives and how they were forever impacted by there experiences. I have recommended to some fellow comrades who also served in the Nam to read it. My own personal experiences still haunt me, the memories and nightmares continue..and reliving some of the experiences though somewhat different...the "feel" of Mr. O'Brien's book, has given me a somehow more settled attitude. I highly recommend that anyone who has either been to war, know's or is related to anyone who served in the Nam or any other war...do yourself a big favor ~ READ THIS BOOK! Don't miss it...it's worth every minute spent.
A real winner!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You will "carry" this book with you for a long time. The haunting images of combat and the unflinchingly real human reactions to it, with absolutely no hero-worshiping,... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Weddings and Pageants
This is a book memoir, so I'm not sure why it asks about the plot. Anyone interested in war in general, or Vietnam specifically, should read this book.Published 4 days ago by J. Davita-Rauch
The book is AMAZING!!!
The author paints a picture with his words.
The characters are great and the pacing as well.
This is just a magnificent book. Although I slightly prefer Going After Cacciato, The Things they Carried likewise provides great insight into what war and soldiering are like, and... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Birder6
The writing to me seemed disjointed, didn't flow chronologically. The verb tense kept going back and forth from present day to the past. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Chandra Boulden
Even though this was a summer reading assignment for high school, the book really draws you in and makes you continue to read. Read morePublished 7 days ago by JAMES KERN
In it are snippets of memory, stories as glimpses on the surreal experience of war. I can't discern in it story from fact, but it matters little. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Jon Archibald
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