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

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  343 ratings  ·  50 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...more
Hardcover, 149 pages
Published October 31st 2004 by Chelsea House Publications (first published 2004)
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Yonis
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
Laurie
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
Rauan
Feb 18, 2008 Rauan rated it 2 of 5 stars
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.
Engranon Gradous
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
Israel
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
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
Wanda
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...more
Jared71
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...more
Kristina
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
Liz
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...more
Tedy
Jun 12, 2008 Tedy rated it 5 of 5 stars 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...more
Rugo
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
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
Rebeca
Aug 14, 2010 Rebeca rated it 2 of 5 stars 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...more
Mary
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
Thought provoking study of war and human emotions as basic as love and fear. Powerful read. Thank you, Jason!
Jane
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.
Mackie
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.
Brian
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
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

Natalya
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
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.
Janice
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.
Christine
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.
Kristen
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!!!
Laura
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.
Donna
WOW! This was a book club choice and I really didn't want to read it because I'm not much into war stories. This book explained more about the war to me than anything I've ever seen or read before. I can't help but connect this to our current war in Iraq.
Diana
Brilliant collection of semi-true stories/novel inspired by the Vietnam War. Particularly amazing are the title chapter, as well as one about what makes a true war story true. Moving, and beautifully written.
Bebe Burnside
A moving, powerful book about the Vietnam war. There were times I felt I could hear the gun shots, feel the oppressive darkness, understand the fear the each soldier must have felt.
Andrew
Really good stuff for a book that I had to read for work. I really enjoyed it and my students also seemed to get really worked up over the controversial content.
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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...
Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle (Modern Critical Interpretations) Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages How to Read and Why Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (Bloom's Guides)

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