Jason Sure, it's comparable. I don't think it holds together as well as O'Brien's book because the individual stories here are pretty uneven. The great stories though--"Prayer in the Furnace" in particular--certainly rise to O'Brien's level while others are less successful.
Jonathan Scobie It immediately sprung to mind when I heard a review of Klay's book on radio. I'm only halfway through Redeployment, so I should withhold my judgement, but its better than I expected. "Money as a Weapons System" even strays effectively into Joseph Heller territory. However, I do not feel it will measure up to The Things They Carried, which is the greatest literary response to the Vietnam War I have read (including Dispatches, Nam, The Short-timers), and is up there with All Quiet on the Western Front and Catch-22 as a 'great war novel'. I call it a 'novel', because it is sophisticated enough to elevate the short story collection to a holistic response to its subject, even more so than Joyce's Dubliners. O'Brien plays with ideas of narrative truth throughout by integrating characters and repeating situations in a way which makes a convincing case for the diffuse form of an anthology to be the only valid response to that war. Individually, "On The Rainy River" is not only a great story about courage, but the most definitive account of America's Vietnam War trauma since "The Deer Hunter". "The Lives of the Dead" also articulates the true nature of grief and how best to cope with our mortality. In terms of gender, Klay so far appears to handle the sex/death dyad pretty conventionally, unlike O'Brien's brilliant satire of both masculinity and Apocalypse Now in "The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong".
Terri S. I was fond of The Things They Carried (read about 6 weeks ago for the first time), but I actually thought the Klay is as good if not better.
Gina Mackintosh To me, yes. I thought of "The Things They Carried" the minute I started this book and was reminded of it throughout.
Jackie Definitely the heir to THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. Very similar in theme and tone but for a different war.