The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

Paperback

By (author) Tim O'Brien

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  • Publisher: Flamingo
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 20mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 25 July 1991
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0006543944
  • ISBN 13: 9780006543947
  • Sales rank: 12,969

Product description

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.

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Author information

Tim O'Brien was born in Minnesota and graduated from Macalester College in St Paul. He established himself as one of the leading writers of his generation in 1973 when he published 'If I Die In A Combat Zone', the compelling account of his own tour of duty in Vietnam and is widely regarded as the finest novelist the Vietnam War has produced.

Editorial reviews

It's being called a novel, but it is more a hybrid: short-stories/essays/confessions about the Vietnam War - the subject that O'Brien reasonably comes back to with every book. Some of these stories/memoirs are very good in their starkness and factualness: the title piece, about what a foot soldier actually has on him (weights included) at any given time, lends a palpability that makes the emotional freight (fear, horror, guilt) correspond superbly. Maybe the most moving piece here is "On The Rainy River," about a draftee's ambivalence about going, and how he decided to go: "I would go to war - I would kill and maybe die - because I was embarrassed not to." But so much else is so structurally coy that real effects are muted and disadvantaged: O'Brien is writing a book more about earnestness than about war, and the peekaboos of this isn't really me but of course it truly is serve no true purpose. They make this an annoyingly arty book, hiding more than not behind Hemingwayesque time-signatures and puerile repetitions about war (and memory and everything else, for that matter) being hell and heaven both. A disappointment. (Kirkus Reviews)