Mitchell's Reviews > The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
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's review
Apr 30, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in April, 2007

I just finished reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brienand after plugging through my last book, it was great to find something that I just couldn't put down.

Even though this book was also on the Best American Fiction of the Last 25 Years List, that isn't why I picked it up. My friend Marty actually lent me the book more than a year ago. It has just taken me this long to get to it. And I should have known that it was going to be a good one, as Marty and I usually agree on these things.

To me, this quote from the book says it better than I could:

"A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waster, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie ..."

And that sums up this book extremely well. It's not about Vietnam or war, even though it is. It is a rare true war story. And I just couldn't put it down.

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