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The Things They Carried

by Tim O'Brien


A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

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.

Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing.

The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: Anthologies & Short StoriesLiterature & Fiction

Reading time: 45 hours

Recommendations


Oh, it’s a beautiful book by a writer who fought in Vietnam. When he came back, he became a writer. A lot of his writing, at least initially, was about Vietnam in thinly veiled autobiographical form, but fiction. That book actually got me back to reading. When you go to college, reading gets kicked out of you a little bit. You have to read all of these things and I didn’t read until my friend Eric, a whitewater rafter with me, handed me this book. He said, “This is great.” I started reading again after that.