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The Things They Carried Paperback – January 1, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 7,798 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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“The best of these stories—and none is written with less than the sharp edge of honed vision—are memory and prophecy. These tell us not where we were but where we are, and perhaps where we will be. . . . It is an ultimate, indelible image of war in our time, and in time to come.” Los Angeles Times “In prose that combines the sharp, unsentimental rhythms of Hemingway with gentler, more lyrical descriptions, Mr. O'Brien gives the reader a shockingly visceral sense of what it felt like to tramp through a booby-trapped jungle, carrying 20 pounds of supplies, 14 pounds of ammunition, along with radios, machine guns, assault rifles and grenades. . . . With The Things They Carried, Mr. O'Brien has written a vital, important book—a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but to anyone interested in the craft of writing as well.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times “Belongs high on the list of best fiction about any war . . . crystallizes the Vietnam experience for everyone [and] exposes the nature of all war stories.” —New York Times, “Books of the Century” “With The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien adds his second title to the short list of essential fiction about Vietnam. . . . [H]e captures the war's pulsating rhythms and nerve-racking dangers. But he goes much further. By moving beyond the horror of the fighting to examine with sensitivity and insight the nature of courage and fear, by questioning the role that imagination plays in helping to form our memories and our own versions of truth, he places The Things They Carried high up on the list of best fiction about any war.”  New York Times Book Review “When Going After Cacciato appeared out of nowhere to win the 1979 National Book Award, it seemed to many, myself included, that no finer fiction had, as of then, been written in the closing half of the 20th century—or was likely to be in the remaining years to come. The Things They Carried disposes of that prediction . . . Tim O'Brien is the best American writer of his generation.”  —San Francisco Examiner “The integrity of a novel and the immediacy of an autobiography . . . O’Brien’s absorbing narrative moves in circles; events are recalled and retold again and again, giving us a deep sense of the fluidity of truth and the dance of memory.” The New Yorker “Rendered with an evocative, quiet precision, not equaled in the imaginative literature of the American war in Vietnam. It is as though a Thucydides had descended from grand politique and strategy to calm dissection of the quotidian efforts of war. . . . O'Brien has it just right.”  —Washington Post “Powerful . . . Composed in the same lean, vigorous style as his earlier books, The Things They Carried adds up to a captivating account of the experiences of an infantry company in Vietnam. . . . Evocative and haunting, the raw force of confession.” —Wall Street Journal “O'Brien has written a book so searing and immediate you can almost hear the choppers in the background. Drenched in irony and purple-haze napalm, the Vietnam narrative has almost been forced to produce a new kind of war literature. The Things They Carried is an extraordinary contribution to that class of fiction. . . . O'Brien's passion and memory may have been his torment all these years, but they have also been his gift. . . . The Things They Carried leaves third-degree burns. Between its rhythmic brilliance and its exquisite rendering of memory--the slan -- No Source

From the Back Cover

"The best American writer of his generation." -- San Francisco Examiner

A New York Times Book of the Century

A Pulitzer Prize Finalist

A National Book Critics' Circle Award Finalist

Winner of the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France)

Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize

Now with over two million copies in print, The Things They Carried is a classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene. Itis a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

"The Things They Carried is as good as any piece of literature can get." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"This is writing so powerful that it steals your breath. ... The Things They Carried is about more than war, of course. It is about the human heart and emotional baggage and loyalty and love. It is about the difference between 'truth' and 'reality.' It is about death--and life."--Milwaukee Journal

"Rendered with an evocative, quiet precision, not equaled in the imaginative literature of the American war in Vietnam." --Washington Post

 

"You’ve got to read this book… In a world filled too often with numbness, or shifting values, these stories shine in a strange and opposite direction, moving against the flow, illuminating life's wonder, life's tenuousness, life's importance." -- Dallas Morning News

"A book so searing and immediate you can almost hear the choppers in the background. . . This is prose headed for the nerve center of what was Vietnam." -- The Boston Globe

"[An] ultimate, indelible image of war in our time, and in time to come." -- Los Angeles Times

 

Tim O’Brien received the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are In the Lake of the Woods, Tomcat in Love, If I Die in a Combat Zone, and July, July.

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0618706410
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner Books (January 1, 2009)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 233 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0544309766
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0544309760
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 880L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.62 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,798 ratings

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TIM O'BRIEN received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction for Going After Cacciato. His other works include the acclaimed novels The Things They Carried and July, July. In the Lake of the Woods received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named the best novel of 1994 by Time. O'Brien lives in Austin, Texas.

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