Derek Emerson's Reviews > The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
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's review
Dec 03, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2006-books-read, 2007-books-read, 2005-books-read, 2008-books-read, 2009-books-read, vietnam, 2011-books-read, favorites, 2012-books-read, 2013-books-read, 2015-books-read, 2016-books-read, 2017-books-read
Recommended for: everyone
Read 10 times. Last read September 27, 2016.

I've read this book several times and teach it in a freshman college writing/literature class. It drives my students up a wall and then they love it. O'Brien does a great job of showing the confusion of war in general and Vietnam in particular. But the greatest strength comes in his exploration of truth, simple phrased as "happening truth" and "story truth." What we think of as facts can fall under "happening truth," but what O'Brien successfully challenges us to consider is "story truth," that is our interaction with the facts, that affects truth. If you like your world orderly, O'Brien will mess that up. But he is hard to argue with.

I list this as one of my top ten of all time books (of which I probably have 15 or 20, but who is counting?).
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
Finished Reading
December 3, 2007 – Shelved
December 3, 2007 – Shelved as: 2006-books-read
December 13, 2007 – Shelved as: 2007-books-read
December 29, 2007 – Shelved as: 2005-books-read
February 27, 2008 – Shelved as: 2008-books-read
March 7, 2009 – Shelved as: 2009-books-read
January 17, 2010 – Shelved as: vietnam
February 16, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-books-read
May 3, 2011 – Shelved as: favorites
February 1, 2012 – Shelved as: 2012-books-read
September 30, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013-books-read
September 27, 2015 – Shelved as: 2015-books-read
Started Reading
September 27, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-books-read
September 27, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 14, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017-books-read

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