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
Very good war book
Tim does a very good job on explaining the Vietnam war. He makes you feel like you were in the war. The book is an experience.
I don’t care if the story is fact or fiction—it’s the poor, disjointed writing that ruins the book for me. The beginning was strong but after the first 75 pages or so, it just goes downhill and never makes it back.
I read this in college and still own it to this day. Thoroughly enjoyed it. It does of good job of bringing you down to the level of what it meant to be a soldier. They carried a lot of physical things and that’s how the book starts out, listing everything they had to carry and it’s weight but then plays into all the emotional aspects of what they ended up carrying with them and how it weighed and took a much harder toll.