miaaa's Reviews > The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
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's review
Mar 16, 09

it was amazing
bookshelves: favourites
Recommended to miaaa by: Windy Ariestanty
Recommended for: erie a.k.a moto moto, cak nanto, jenderal james
Read in March, 2009

The things they carried were largely determined by necessity
The things they carried were partly a function of rank, partly of field specialty
The things they carried varied by mission
The things they carried were determined to some extent by superstition
They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die in a war


First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, joined the war because his mates did so. Had no military ambition, and preferred to value his men as human beings rather than as units he was trained to treat.

Tim O'Brian, enlisted to a war that he did not want be involved with. He admitted that he's a coward as he went to the war.

Bob 'Rat' Kiley, a medic amongst them and the coolest one. He eventually lost it during the fortnight of night life, and shot himself through the foot.

Norman Baker, a good soldier who's able to live up the war however unable to survive the life after the war. Classic case of postwar casualties.

Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen, even in a war you need clowns and they're the best hehe

Ted Lavender, a dreamy soldier always equipped with tranquilizers to cope with realities.
Convos when Lavender was shot in the head,
Mitchell Sanders: 'Hey Lavender, how's the war today?'
Someone: 'Mellow'
Sanders: 'Well that's good. That's real, real good. Stay cool now.'
Someone: 'Hey, no sweat, I'm mellow.'
Sanders: 'Just ease on back, then. Don't need no pills. We got this incredible chopper on call, this once in a lifetime mind-trip.'
Someone: 'Oh, yeah-mellow!'
Sanders: 'There it is, my man, this chopper gonna take you up high and cool...'
Someone: 'Roger that, I'm ready to fly."

No joking here all they did was keeping the dead alive with stories, to cope with loosing one of their league.

Mitchell Sanders, always had a story to share, a yo-yo to play, and words to say in the right circumstances. You could say I'm a big fan of him

Curt Lemon, a young soldier who hates dentist -well who don't to be honest- and passed out before he touched any of his teeth. He couldn't take it and forced the dentist to yank one of the teeth in the middle of the night.

Henry Dobbins, a superb soldier with an extraordinary eccentric good-luck charm wrapping his neck.

Kiowa, an Indian who taught a rain dance to Rat Kiley and Dave Jensen.
...the three of them whooping and leaping around barefoot while a bunch of villagers looked on with a mixture of fascination and giggly horror. Afterward, Rat said, "So where's the rain?" and Kiowa said, "The earth is slow, but the buffalo is patient," and Rat thought about it and said, "Yeah, but where's the rain?"

Azar, the one who always had a wrong word in a wrong time and at a wrong circumstance. A friend, who I have a great time discussing this book with, spot on this issue by stating, "Do you remember when Azar excuses his action of blowing up the puppy by saying, 'What's everyone so upset about?...I mean, Christ, I'm just a boy'? For me, that speech emphasizes two key points. First, the war IS being fought by young people who often have little idea of what they are doing; second, that some of these young people think that their ignorance can excuse their horrible actions! At 19 years of age - even at 17 or 18 years - Azar should have a stronger moral sense of right and wrong. What he says is no excuse for blowing up a defenceless animal. But in war, it seems, soldiers (young or otherwise) think they can do practically anything and get away with it, both in a legal and moral sense. Where is their humanity?"


Buku yang ditulis dengan cara yang unik. Perlu beberapa kali mengecek apa benar buku ini bukan memoar seorang veteran perang Vietnam.

Bagi yang belum baca buku ini, disarankan untuk baca sambil memutar lagu soundtrack serial TV Tour of Duty -para jadulers pasti tau serial ini hehe-, Paint It Black. Versi Rolling Stones keren yang versi Incubus juga oke! :D
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Reading Progress

03/10/2009 page 19
7.72% "for the most part they carried themselves with poise, a kind of dignity."
03/11/2009 page 61
24.8% "The problem was that a draft board did not let you choose your war - Tim"
03/13/2009 page 116
47.15% "The war can really change the sweet Mary Anne into a war goddess?"

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by nanto (new) - added it

nanto Mi, bukunya dah sampe ke Hippo. Dia juga kemaren nemu yang terjemahan buku ini di lapak di Jalan Dewi Sartika.

miaaa lah mana repiu mu cak? cuma skimming yah makanya ndak direpiu hihihi

message 3: by nanto (new) - added it

nanto baca kok. cuma setengah. ampe halaman berapa. lupa *malu*

miaaa hahaha novel sih yah dirimu perasaan susah ngelarin buku fiksi :p
wah pengen baca juga tuh edisi indonesianya :D

message 5: by nanto (new) - added it

nanto sempet stuck pas bagian yang kayaknya dia terlalu kayak "ngabsen" benda-benda apa yang dibawa prajurit itu. sampe lupa sisi pribadi ato emosional dari benda2 itu.

Unik sih buku itu, memperhatikan sisi perang yang jarang diperhatikan penulis lain.

intinya mah, gak tega sama buku lain juga yang ngantri. lagian si Hippo kayaknya lagi banyak nganggur bacaan :D lemparin aja ke dia, ntar baca reviewnya aja *ngeles on*

miaaa hahaha ide yg cerdas, sepertinya setelah berhibernasi sekian lama emang hippo kita itu butuh dilemparin banyak buku buat dibaca :D

Hippo dari Hongkong ngomongin gue yah? si durjanawan satu itu emang gak tanggung jawab
buku blom beres dibaca dah dilemparin ke gue :-p

message 8: by Leli (new)

Leli gw nunggu lemparan makanan aja ah..

bagus bgt ya mi bukunya?

miaaa hihi kapan2 deh miz dilemparin makananannya.
buku ini bagiku bagus banget karena aku gak suka perang tapi aku suka bagaimana dia menggambarkan para prajurit yang ikut -entah secara sukarela atau karena terpaksa- berperang ini :D

Lamski Kikita long review :-P i hate war books so much...i could never really read one (same for movies) maybe coz i lived through one and do not want memories popping up.

miaaa it's not a review I think, I just summarised up the content of the books especially the wicked characters hehe

message 12: by Jay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jay Kim impressive spoiler! especially, 'They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die in a war'. make me think like each one of soldiers are hero

miaaa maybe they are .. or maybe not. I once remember a football legend from Liverpool football club said that 'You're only a legend (i.e hero) in someone else's mind'

in a bigger picture, we need to see what was the war for at first? I think what O'Brien tried to suggest here that people have reasons to enlist themselves :D

message 14: by Sandi (new)

Sandi I think more than the horror the fight to keep your humanity is probably hardest. Read "The Matterhorn" -- I've heard many who were there say this book tells it best. After reading that it's a miracle there was any humanity left. But there was, and that's the most remarkable thing about our military. Thank them all every chance you get.

Nguyen to be honest i could not smile while reading the book but you make me laugh out loud when repeating Rat's question: "Yeah, but where's the rain?"

miaaa Sandi, I guess human is naturally a fighter

Nguyen, that part really had me laughing rolling on the floor *literally* :D

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