The Things They Carried

O’Brian, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books, 1990.

ISBN: 0767902890 – Paperback edition
246 pp.
$ 14.95

Reader’s Annotation:
The Things They Carried is a compelling and rich testament to the legacy of the Vietnam War, told by a man who witnessed the horrors first hand.

This is the story of Tim O’Brian and the men of Alpha Company. These men were the common men of the Vietnam War. They were not the diplomats, the four star generals, the decision makers; they were the grunts. Their story is presented in short vignettes, composed so that they work as individual witnesses to the Vietnam War. Together they present a testimony, to the mark that war leaves on a country.

They humped letters, can openers, foot powder, M-60s, and M-79s. The soldiers of the Vietnam War carried their lives with them. They carried what they needed to survive, endure, and defend. In addition to what they physically humped across the rice paddies of Vietnam, they also carried their emotional scars. This book is a tribute to those scars. The scars that no one sees, but are often the hardest to heal. This book tells the stories of those scars making the reader question what really made up The Things They Carried.

France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger
Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize
Pulitzer Prize Finalist
National Book Critics Circle Award

Image provided by: http://www.marshall.edu/library/bannedbooks/books/thingstheycarried.asp

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