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The Things They Carried


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 ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Things They Carried

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  • Classically relevant Jun 24, 2010
    by CommonwealthClubmember

    My book club read this novel recently and we loved it. It gave us some harsh insight into the experiences of many Vietnam vets. It's one of my top reads ever. A Vietnam combat vet, a former Red Cross worker from Vietnam, and a woman who works with vets all came to the book club and expressed the same feelings about the book. Beautifully written about the ugly truth.

  • May 14, 2010
    by justnegative

    (better a volunteer army) Poor soul was wrong person, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. But his life's effort to come to terms with that makes good reading.

  • War Literature of the 20th Century Aug 13, 2009
    by siwash49rl

    Excellent read for students that need some exposure to 20th Century Literature from the Vietnam War years. I like the way that the book is divided into chapters that can be used as individual short stories

  • A deeper look into the war. Jul 23, 2009
    by RMCII

    O'Brien's novel, based on his experiences in Viet Nam is particularly poignant in light of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unpopular and deeply questionable goals of fighting in Viet Nam stand both in contrast and in consanance with the current conflicts. Ultimately the disillusionment that comes with the attendant death and destruction of war reaches a personal level that supercedes the aims and goals of any war. O'Brien is able to capture this essence of the fighting man who is facing death on a daily basis which on the individual level negates the lofty rhetoric of patriotism and sacrifice for God and country. In the end they fight and fought for each other. Using his considerable literary skills O'Brien is able to compose his narratives in such a manner as to leave the reader wondering where his experiences begin and where the use of his "literary licence" is inserted. In fact this is one of the main themes of the book. O'Brien's personal quest to heal his war wounds relies heavily on his abilty to ascribe meaning to his experiences.
    This is an excellent book, especially for those who remember the Viet Nam War and for those who have a vested interest in it.

  • Masterful Apr 21, 2009
    by Richard

    Will always be the greatest work on the Vietnam War. An incredible story I have read many times in my life. This book must be on your shelf, period. Everyone needs to experience the thrills & chills of reading this book.

See all reviews of The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

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