Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried (Bloom's Guides)” as Want to Read:
Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried (Bloom's Guides)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried (Bloom's Guides)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  402 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
- Comprehensive reading and study guides for some of the world's most important literary masterpieces
- Concise critical excerpts provide a scholarly overview of each work
- "The Story Behind the Story" details the conditions under which the work was written
- Each book includes a biographical sketch of the author, a descriptive list of characters, an extensive summary and an
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published October 31st 2004 by Chelsea House Publications (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 646)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 09, 2010 Yonis added it
The " The things they carried " by Tim O'Brien is an electrifying read , if war stories weather real or fiction are in your interest it's a good book to pick up and read. I liked this book in many ways; I enjoyed the authors detail and description of the war and the scenery, he gave you a clue of everything and detailed it so well that you could see the blood gore or feel the sadness and madness the soldiers expressed. I felt confused and wonder when Mark Fossie brought his hometown sweetheart t ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Laurie rated it liked it
Shelves: ebooks
This book was a disappointment for me in spite of all the rave reviews it has gotten. The stories were well told but i got angry by the true stories versus untrue, the story-truths and the happening truths and the author repeated himself alot. I am in great conflict on my feelings for this one as the stories were in fact good and i am ashamed for not being able to consider this a brillant war story since the writer is obviously a Vet and i have no doubt his war experiences have haunted him deepl ...more
Isabella Lococo
Jun 08, 2015 Isabella Lococo rated it liked it
"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien is a book about love, courage and hope. In the novel, the narrator describes the things all the men of the company carry (hence the title.) Each of these things are more in the physical sense- mosquito repellent, marijuana, pocket knives and chewing gum, all of which can be used to defend and forget while battling out at war. The story revolves mainly around two characters, Jimmy Cross, lieutenant of the Alpha Company and Martha, the girl he is madly in ...more
This book is about a young man who went to Vietnam. It real shows the war in a new light. EX, it talks more about the soldiers in the war than the war itself like when they talk about a commander had his girl friend shipped in and then after a couple of week lost her mind and began kill a lot of people there and then comparing Vietnam to a drug. They go through chapter explaining the weapons and gear and the weight of them. It also skips aloud a lot EX, the first chapter they are in Vietnam and ...more
Susanne Carter
May 18, 2014 Susanne Carter rated it it was amazing
This review and additional information about Tim O'Brien is available on my blog:

The Things They Carried is a semi-autobiographical collection of interconnected short stories, some of them loosely structured fragments and vignettes, that represent O’Brien’s reflections on the Vietnam War experience written at the age of 43. The Things They Carried was first published in 1990, twenty years after Tim O’Brien returned home from the Vietnam War. In 2010 a 20-year anniversa
Feb 18, 2008 Rauan rated it it was ok
Recommended to Rauan by: Nate Liederbach
O'Brien's smart. O'Brien's a good writer. technically. but this book is all smoke, mirrors and mirrors and smoke. smoked mirrors. mirrored smoke.

i got so upset reading this book (upset at the way it's constructed. upset as the intention. the games O'Brien plays). so upset i must recommend it as a must-read.
Oct 02, 2010 Engranon rated it really liked it
This one is a challenging read. It dips you in and out of the Vietnam War without warning and without the glossy, neat coating that some war stories give you. There is no moral, as there wouldn't be in real war story. This is one of the few in your face lessons from the author. In one sense, this is his therapy to process what he saw and did, but in another, it is ours. When I picked this book up I realized that I have only read a few books from the Vietnam War. I have ready many WWII and Cold W ...more
Jun 22, 2010 Israel added it
I like the book "The Things They Carried" because it opened my mind on how i view war. War is not a place of jokes, if you go it is for the right reasons. After reading this book, it explained to me the ways war can effect someone, espically the new weak soldiers. Effects such as, going crazy, killing friends, change of personality, and becoming addicted to killing. I liked the way the author made up many war stories and explained them with complete details. With the use of the details I was abl ...more
JoJo B
Mar 08, 2011 JoJo B rated it really liked it
The Things They Carried is a very interesting book. Personally, I looked forward to reading about the bizarre stories that the soldiers had to tell rather then reading about how the war affected them. Through this book, I learned a lot of things about people in general and I learned that there is a difference from what is TRUE and what is REAL. I learned that a real story, according to this book, does not need all information as long as the story is consistent to the events. Rather then a true s ...more
Jul 09, 2010 Wanda rated it it was amazing
This book is an unforgettable masterpiece. Run to your library or book store if you have not had the pleasure of reading this meditation on the nature of war. Check it out, buy it, savor it and join me in this sensual journey into hell. Warning though – beautiful as it is – it is not for the fainthearted.
I have been so blown away by O’Brien’s writing skill that I approach this review with some trepidation, because no matter what I write, it pales in comparison to what I am writing about. O’Brien
Aug 12, 2010 Jared71 rated it really liked it
I was not able to finish the book on time, but I read about 158 pages. The book of "The Things They Carried" was a very fabulous book, but might be very confusing. The writer Tim O'Brien has made the Vietnam war an astonishing way of making it realistic as possible. Putting details to the book had really hit you and made you have a part in the book. This book made you think throughout the whole story.

Making this book kind of realistic has thought you how the Vietnam was very brutal. Throughout
Nov 16, 2012 Kristina rated it really liked it
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is phenomenal war story about the soldiers of the Vietnam War. O’Brien depicts what the men have to carry with them throughout the war. He shows that the soldiers not only carry what is on their backs, but they carry fear, passion, excitement, anger and sadness with them along their journey in the war. O’Brien also shares his story about being a soldier and how it affected him before he went into the war and after he left the war. He not only gives his stor ...more
Jun 04, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it
Would actually give 3.5 stars if available.

The first half was absolutely gripping. Things I can't forget:

1) O'Brien's description of "real war stories."
2) Kiowa's death
3) The description of bravery as a simple result of not wanting to be humiliated.
4) When the old man took O'Brien across the water to Canada...all of the images that went through O'Brien's head.
5) The guy who exploded into the tree...(I am terrible at remembering character's names)
6) The girl who joined the Green Berets
7) And mos
Jun 12, 2008 Tedy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: panglima perang
Recommended to Tedy by: my bebe
menceritakan sisi suka dan duka tentang perang apa adanya. karena yang menulis buku ini adalah mantan tentara itu sendiri yang masih memperoleh kesempatan selamat dari perang dan terus melanjutkan hidup untuk mengabadikan apa yang dialaminya dalam perang dalam sebuah buku.

agar kita semua mengetahui bahwa sesungguhnya mereka itu (para tentara) tidak menginginkan perang. mereka menginginkan kedamaian bersama keluarga mereka. akan tetapi negaralah yang kejam (yang dipimpin oleh presiden maupun perd
Oct 05, 2011 Rugo added it
The Things They Carried is about five men who are courageously fighting in the Vietnam War, and their stories about what they were fighting for, or why they’re there, and occasionally what they carried. More in the sense of what they carried in their heads though, what they were thinking during that time. There isn’t much of a plot except the fact that’s it’s a story, a true war story. As they explore the roughly diverse geography of the land, they also explored their feelings and deep within th ...more
Xu Li
May 19, 2008 Xu Li rated it liked it
The long and unforgettable violence makes me think of the Vietnam War. The chaos that it created especially for Vietnam. American soldiers packed their bags to go fight in the foreign land. They carried many things that characterized the charaters. American and Vietnam soldiers fought until the end. This book reminds me of my visit to Washington D.C. because i saw the Vietnam memorial, but I didnt remember much about it. Recently,I did an extra credit on the Vietam War. I saw pictures of victims ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Rebeca rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: high schoolers
no mi tipi de lectura pero solo leyendolo con Mark (Tarea de verano) para intercambiar opiniones y saber si reslmente lo esta leyendo bien.......

Lo recomiendo a los chicos de la Prepa para que asi "no" se decidan enlistarse en el ejercito,,,todo libro de guerra narra lo mismo,,que es la angustia,deseperacion y casi locura y muchas veces total locura que pasan los soldados en la guerra,,y cuando los pocos que sobreviven vuelven a la vida civil,,sufriendo fisica y mentalmente las atrocidades que p
Apr 18, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
LOVED this book...although given the grimm nature of the story I feel odd using the word LOVE. This was a fantastic reflection of a Viet Nam Vet survivor. It was gory and graphic in its imagery, but it felt real. These were kids fighting a war that they had to make "sense" out of in order to justify their participation. (small spoiler) The image of the boys/men tossing the smoke grenades back and forth "for fun" and accidentally stepping on a land mine just as the sun broke through the branches ...more
Mary Anne
Mar 23, 2014 Mary Anne rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking study of war and human emotions as basic as love and fear. Powerful read. Thank you, Jason!
Jan 02, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing
One of the best war stories that I have read. It makes you feel the boredom the muck the terror and the dislocation of war. He really gets you into the mind of 20 year old boys placed in an impossible situation. Highly recommended. NOt sure why I hadn't read this sooner. I'll read more O'Brien.
May 28, 2008 Mackie rated it it was amazing
I found this book harrowing, disturbing, breathtaking, and enlightening. All of the things a book about Vietnam should be. It made me laugh at moments when it should, and made me cry even through my laughter. It could be a tough read for those who need constant adventure, as it is not what you woudld expect a book about war to be, but for those who can follow the paths of the words and find the adventure woven in, it is a must read.
May 21, 2008 Brian rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book expecting to dislike it, as it seemed like a corny war novel like any other. Though the content was indeed as expected, the way Tim O'Brien wrote it was definitely worth examining. The syntactical structure (yeah, I just used that in a sentence) is definitely enough to earn the rating that I gave it; the parallelism and symbolism run rampant throughout the novel.
Javier Balderas
Apr 26, 2013 Javier Balderas rated it it was amazing
The novel has the type of intriguing story.If you are into a story of many stories you will enjoy the writing of Tim O Brian .This book might be only for the the really war set of mind.This has a seance of Patroon.The way the writer makes most of the mind think of not only him but the crew he is with.The stories has what one will and unexpected things in the story

Dec 23, 2013 Natalya rated it it was ok
I see that a lot of people really like that book. I dont know, but im finding out that i am not much of a reader about war stories. To me this book was very confusing, because it seemed to me that he cept on going to the same story again just with different words.I gave this book 2 stars, because there were some touching stories and it really touched my heart.
Hanley5545 Hanley
Oct 06, 2010 Hanley5545 Hanley rated it really liked it
This is my second book by O'Brien. Harrowing and well written....more a poem than a novel...but reminded me of a comment from a classmate on mine '65 who then went to Vietnam and later said to me...tersely..."you really had to be there to be there" and that's all he ever said.
also read years ago In the Lake of the Woods....similar themes....great novel as well.
Sep 18, 2012 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the very best and most powerful books I have ever read. The horror and the absurdity of the Vietnam war came shining through, but the endlessness of the war in the lives of veterans is perhaps the most horrifying aspect of all. They carry forever the brutality and senselessness of this war for us all.
Feb 26, 2013 Janice rated it really liked it
Powerful, beautiful writing. O'Brien describes the horrors of war in a way that it's difficult to tell the difference between reality, memory and dream. Yet I think he gets at the real feeling of the experience. I usually avoid and can't handle stories or movies that are violent. But this book was somehow beautiful.
Jan 27, 2008 Nuzhat rated it it was ok
Very easy read. Because I read this for a book club which focuses on international locations and cultures, I was a bit disappointed to have an American experience of the Vietnam War. I kept turning pages just to see if any interaction would occur between soliders and locals that didn't end in death.
Nov 18, 2012 Kristen rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the best book I read this year. It's a soldier's memories - story after story, present and past, some which the narrator admits are true, others he says are made up. The ending (the story of Linda) brought tears to my eyes. This to me is a must read!!!
Jun 23, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Told as part biography, part short story collection of the principle's VietNam War experiences. Some of the stories are told and retold from different perspectives. Is is horrible and beautiful, there is love and hatred and the best and worst of human nature.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 21 22 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Defiance of the Patriots
  • The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty
  • The Crown Rose
  • 501 Latin Verbs
  • The Bedford Reader
  • 98 Reasons for Being
  • Selected Letters
  • Segu (Ségou, #1)
  • Bantam New College Latin and English Dictionary
  • 501 German Verbs
  • The Bedford Handbook
  • Aspects of the Theory of Syntax
  • The Canterbury Tales: A Selection
  • Literary Theory: An Anthology
  • Collected Poems, 1948-1984
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors
  • Soldier Boys
  • North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad
Bloom is a literary critic, and currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies.
More about Harold Bloom...

Share This Book