Synopses & Reviews
"The Things They Carried
is as good as any piece of literature can get." -- Chicago Sun-Times
A New York Times Book of the Century A Pulitzer Prize Finalist A National Book Critics' Circle Award Finalist Winner of the Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France) Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize
"A marvel of storytelling... a vital important book-- a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but to anyone interested in the craft of writing as well." -- New York Times
"This is writing so powerful that it steals your breath. ... The Things They Carried is about more than war, of course. It is about the human heart and emotional baggage and loyalty and love. It is about the difference between 'truth' and 'reality.' It is about death--and life."--Milwaukee Journal
"Rendered with an evocative, quiet precision, not equaled in the imaginative literature of the American war in Vietnam." --Washington Post
"Youve got to read this book…. In a world filled too often with numbness, or shifting values, these stories shine in a strange and opposite direction, moving against the flow, illuminating life's wonder, life's tenuousness, life's importance." -- Dallas Morning News
"A book so searing and immediate you can almost hear the choppers in the background." -- The Boston Globe
A classic, life-changing meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling, with more than two-million copies in print
Depicting the men of Alpha Company—Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim OBrien, who survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three—the stories in The Things They Carried opened our eyes to the nature of war in a way we will never forget. It is taught everywhere, from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing, and in the decades since its publication it has never failed to challenge our perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, and courage, longing, and fear.
"[An] ultimate, indelible image of war in our time, and in time to come." -- Los Angeles Times
This is an American classic.
Since it burst onto the literary scene twenty years ago, The Things They Carried has not stopped changing minds and lives, challenging readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. It is an unparalleled Vietnam testament. It is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. It is a major literary achievement and a book beloved by readers and writers and teachers and students.
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O'Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. These men carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrasted Bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried images of a nightmarish war that haunts our history and echoes into our present.
The Things They Carried is required reading for any American.
About the Author
Tim OBrien received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are the acclaimed novels In the Lake of the Woods, Tomcat in Love, If I Die in a Combat Zone, and July, July. In the Lake of the Woods received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named Time magazine's best novel of the year.