9780767902892

The Things They Carried

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780767902892

  • ISBN10:

    0767902890

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 4/1/1999
  • Publisher: Broadway
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Summary

One of the first questions people ask aboutThe Things They Carriedis this: Is it a novel, or a collection of short stories? The title page refers to the book simply as "a work of fiction," defying the conscientious reader's need to categorize this masterpiece. It is both: a collection of interrelated short pieces which ultimately reads with the dramatic force and tension of a novel. Yet each one of the twenty-two short pieces is written with such care, emotional content, and prosaic precision that it could stand on its own. The Things They Carrieddepicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O'Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have. We hear the voices of the men and build images upon their dialogue. The way they tell stories about others, we hear them telling stories about themselves. With the creative verve of the greatest fiction and the intimacy of a searing autobiography,The Things They Carried is a testament to the men who risked their lives in America's most controversial war. It is also a mirror held up to the frailty of humanity. UltimatelyThe Things They Carriedand its myriad protagonists call to order the courage, determination, and luck we all need to survive.

Author Biography

A native of Worthington, Minnesota, Tim O'Brien graduated in 1968 from Macalester College in St. Paul. He served as a foot soldier in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970, after which he pursued graduate studies in Government at Harvard University, then later worked as a national affairs reporter for the Washington Post. He now lives in Massachusetts. <br><br>Other books by Tim O'Brien include <b>If I Die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home, Going After Cacciato, Northern Lights, The Nuclear Age</b>, and <b>In the Lake of the Woods</b>. <b>Going After Cacciato</b> won the National Book Award in 1979. <b>In the Lake of the Woods</b> won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the society of American Historians and was selected as the best novel of 1994 by <i>Time</i> magazine. His latest novel, <b>Tomcat in Love</b> (1998), is published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House.

Table of Contents

The Things They Carried
1(26)
Love
27(6)
Spin
33(8)
On the Rainy River
41(24)
Enemies
65(4)
Friends
69(4)
How to Tell a True War Story
73(20)
The Dentist
93(6)
Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong
99(28)
Stockings
127(4)
Church
131(6)
The Man I Killed
137(8)
Ambush
145(6)
Style
151(4)
Speaking of Courage
155(20)
Notes
175(8)
In the Field
183(18)
Good Form
201(4)
Field Trip
205(10)
The Ghost Soldiers
215(30)
Night Life
245(8)
The Lives of the Dead
253

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