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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: The Things They Carried By Tim O'Brien

The Things They Carried
By Tim O'Brien

Published: December 29, 1998 By Broadway
Pages: 246 Pages
Cover: Tad boring, but, hey, the book is about war. What can you expect?

Summary: They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb. Since its first publication, The Things They Carried has become an unparalleled Vietnam testament, a classic work of American literature, and a profound study of men at war that illuminates the capacity, and the limits, of the human heart and soul.

My Thoughts: My teacher made us walk down two floors to the book room to get this book and back up two floors, all carrying our backpacks and junk as well. TO REPRESENT THE THINGS THAT WE CARRY.

What the f............

Just messing, well, not about the story, about the little almost f-bomb. Anyways, I finished this book twenty minutes ago. I was reading it for class and when I saw the premise, I was going to cry because, YET ANOTHER TERRIBLE BOOK TO READ, I thought. And for the first couple chapters, I thought that, but after Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, this book stuck with me.

I thought it was just about war. About him trudging through the war and fighting and things along that line, but no, it was much more than that. O'Brien had a message and although I only really understood it because we were dissecting it every three minutes in class. Anyways, it's not just about the war, it is about the real meaning of the war through Tim's eyes and through the other characters' eyes. The characters were the best part about the book, however. The main character, Tim, is also our narrator is a real dick and I didn't like him until the last chapter because he was so goddamn confusing about everything he was explaining, but we have other characters who bring a little something to the book. They each have crazy, overpowering personalities that work well together, like a platoon should, but my favorite would have to either be Mary Anne, Rat Kiley or Kiowa. 

In each of them, I saw a little bit of myself and that was great to see, considering, I've never held a gun a day in my life. As much as I disliked Tim, I have to say he is one great writer. His writing was raw, it was intense, sensitive and sweet all at the same time. It is also honest, even though he goes on about how his stories aren't true from the beginning to end.

Tim O' Brien, thanks for sharing this story, even though, in this book. You were an impeccable ass. 

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