A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.
Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing.
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Tim O’Brien uses soldiers’ possessions—their own and those thrust upon them—to frame his short stories about a platoon trying to survive in Vietnam. O’Brien, a Vietnam vet himself, crafts an unblinkingly realistic portrait of war, regularly blurring the line between fiction and autobiography—he even names the book’s main character after himself. His somber, weighty depictions of battlefield horrors and their aftermaths read as if he’s trying to process his own experiences through his writing. The result is an emotionally devastating read that left us in awe of what ordinary people can withstand.
Weapons and good-luck charms carried by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam here represent survival, lost innocence and the war's interminable legacy. ``O'Brien's meditations--on war and memory, on darkness and light--suffuse the entire work with a kind of poetic form, making for a highly original, fully realized novel,'' said PW. 60,000 first printing.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not Quite a Full Load
While it had its moments, it failed to pick me up and carry me away. The book succeeds when it is at its most personal. Unfortunately, the writing seemed somewhat labored and the plot of many the stories meander a little too much for my taste. I was often left with a sense pointlessness. Then again, was this not Vietnam? In which case O'Brien does achieve a small victory.