A sequence of stories about the Vietnam War, this book also has the unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme. It aims to summarize America's involvement in Vietnam, and her coming to terms with that experience in the years that followed.A sequence of stories about the Vietnam War, this book also has the unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme. It aims to summarize America's involvement in Vietnam, and her coming to terms with that experience in the years that followed.Read Less
I've known O'Brien's work for years, and used it in English courses. I ordered this copy for a friend who served with the Maine Corps at Khe Sanh.
Apr 4, 2014
Excellent war tale
Many times while reading this book, I had to check to make sure this was not non-fiction. It was written so well and so believably. Having grown up during this period it made me understand the other side of the war and the veterans that came back. I didn't think I would like a book of this genre but it was quite fascinating.
Jun 20, 2013
Very well written book that many should read to better understand the Vietnam war, because we sure didn't get the support then that all vets seem to get these days.
Jan 17, 2013
War seen from a different viewpoint
The book is an interesting perspective on the emotions at play in soldiering.The writer leads us to understand people through their possessions rather than their actions. This device more than compensates for a somewhat thin story line.
Jul 21, 2011
A good book
It came in good time and condition. I am not reading this book, it is for my grandson for a school assignment.
Publishers Weekly, 2014-03-31 O'Brien's collection of short stories, which he describes as fiction, is one of the most seminal works about the Vietnam War. It follows grunts trudging through hostile country and describes, as one might surmise from the title, the things they carried. These artifacts-comics, possible love letters, Bibles, photographs, and compasses, as well as the necessary array of military items-reflect the character of each man and the world in which he exists as a soldier. Narrator Cranston provides a fine performance in this audio edition. He has a gravelly, rich voice that's perfect for the material. As he embodies different soldiers, Cranston's voice alternates between melancholic, wistful, disaffected, and resigned. He's less successful, however, when voicing female characters. However, these instances are rare, as O'Brien's text largely focuses on the interior workings of the soldiers on the ground. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-03-01 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. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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