Review: THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

Diary of an Eccentric recently read and reviewed The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien for the Vietnam War Reading Challenge.  Here’s an excerpt:

“Wow.  So I guess it boils down to this:  War is ugly, and there is a bit of both truth and fiction in these stories.  Sometimes the true facts are unemotional and distant, while a fictional account that truthfully portrays war is more emotional and more alive.”

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!**

Review: THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

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!**

Join the Read-a-Long for THE THINGS THEY CARRIED at Sophisticated Dorkiness!

Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness is holding a read-a-long for Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried during the month of July.  It’s a very easy read-a-long; she plans to read the book by July 26 and put up a post with a Mister Linky on that day.

The Things They Carried is on my list for the Vietnam War Reading Challenge, so I decided to participate.  I hope some of you will join me as well.

All the information is here.

Review: THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

Not Enough Books recently read and reviewed The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien for the Vietnam War Reading Challenge.

Check out this excerpt:

There were some stories I liked more than others, yet I still liked them all.   I like this book because the author says it’s fiction, yet the main character is named Tim.  The stories read like it’s a memoir or some other non-fiction book.  You can picture the stories happening.   I liked that the characters were the same from story to story.

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!**

Review: THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, we’d like to provide a few snippets from recent reviews of the book by our 2010 Vietnam War Reading Challenge participants.  You can click on the blog names for the full reviews.

Jules’ Book Reviews said:

One interesting thing about this collection was although it was a book of short stories, the same characters kept re-surfacing through out the book. I really liked this aspect of the book, because it allowed the reader to be able to see a wider range of events, over a large span of time, but still have the same familiar characters and be able to watch them develop, or see how they react to the different situations they were faced with.

Bermudaonion said:

The Things They Carried is a very moving book and as I read it, I wondered why the world can’t find a way to end wars.  This is the kind of book that it’s almost hard to say that I enjoyed – I think maybe saying it affected me is probably more accurate.

Bookfoolery and Babble said:

As the book progresses, the reader gets to know the characters. Although The Things They Carried was originally written as a series of short stories, it’s not jumpy or rough. It reads like a novel, in my opinion; the characters are consistent throughout. As in reality, some die and are replaced; and, the book jumps forward and backward in time. But even the dead remain in the minds of their friends and in that way often continue to make appearances.


**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!**

20th Anniversary of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

The Wall Street Journal reports that Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, published in the 1970s, is one of the most inspirational and enduring books from the Vietnam War literature category.  The book has become a classic, selling more than 2 million copies.

In honor of the 20th anniversary, a new hard cover edition will be released.  O’Brien has said that the book came together after he struggled with another novel, and he decided to simply combine aspects of memoir and fiction into The Things They Carried.

The Wall Street Journal says the book has been optioned for film several times, though it has never been made into a full length feature.  Read the rest of the story, if you want to see how the book influenced a recent Oscar Nominee for Original Screenplay.

***

Heather informed me that Tim O’Brien will be on tour for the 20th Anniversary edition of his book, The Things They Carried.

Here’s a short list of his appearances:

1.  New York City, Barnes and Noble, Union Square on March 22

2.  Philadelphia, Free Library of Philadelphia on March 23

3.  Washington, DC, Politics and Prose book store on March 24

4.  Kean University in New Jersey on April 14

5.  Cromaine (Michigan) Library, Big Read appearance, Hartland, Michigan on May 18

6.  Whittier College, Whittier, California (just outside LA), commencement speech and honorary doctorate on May 28

Also: According to Shelf Awareness on March 24 Tim O’Brien will be on NPR’s Talk of the Nation to discuss the 20th-anniversary editions of The Things They Carried.

Review: THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien

Michele at A Reader’s Respite recently sent in a link to her review of another Tim O’Brien book, The Things They Carried.  Here’s a little of what she had to say about the book:

All facets of the war are examined within these pages: the brutal death of a close friend, the suicides that came later, the political insanity, the day-to-day drudgery. The elegant combination of these facets don’t provide any answers or larger moral story. There is, however, the distinct impression that a catharsis may have been reached for O’Brien and that, in and of itself, makes the book worth your time.

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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