A number of participants have read Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried for the Vietnam War Reading Challenge.

Check out what they had to say:

Heather at Age 30+ A Lifetime of Books says, “Hmm … well … what ARE my thoughts on this book? I can’t seem to pin them down. In a way I hated it. In another way I really appreciated what the author was doing. At times I wanted to cover my ears and not hear the rest of the story. At other times I wanted to smack a character for his stupidity or carelessness or whatever. Parts of it seemed very true while other parts didn’t fit my idea of reality.”

Read the full review.

Scrappy Cat said, “My favorite story was On the Rainy River which told about the author receiving his draft notice and struggling with the decision of whether to report for duty or go to Canada.  Many people believe that going to Canada was the cowardly way out, but I’ve always believed that it took great courage to leave behind your home, family, friends, your entire way of life, knowing you could never return.”

Read the full review.

Sandy at You’ve Gotta Read This!!! said, “But beyond exorcising his personal demons, more importantly O’Brien also gives a voice to every soldier who fought in Vietnam. He explains WHY soldiers had to treat death as a joke. Why imagination was a killer. Why most war stories were 90% baloney.”

Read the full review.

Tina at Tutu’s Two Cents says, “Each story is a stand-alone, but together they form an aggregate of emotions that help us feel.  We may never have had to endure what they did, but we at least know what they felt as they went through the experience, because the very first story lets us understand that among the things they carried, the heaviest were the fear, the hope, the love, the nostalgia, the loneliness that each young man took with him as he went to war.”

Read the full review.

Wendy at Musings of a Bookish Kitty said, “There are also stories about the first kill, about coping with death, how a soldier may do many brave things during a war, but it is what he fails to do or isn’t able to do that gnaws away at him. The author captures the many faces of war: the friendships that form, the horrors, the pressure, pain and strengths of the men.”

Read the full review.

Dog Eared Copy said, “TTTC is metaliterature that allows the reader to intellectually grasp the meaninglessness of the Vietnam War without feeling it in our guts. The stories are illustrations and abstractions of what it was like for Tim O’Brien but the reader is removed from the immediacy of the action.”

Read the full review.


**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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