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Reviews of Things They Carried, the (1990)

Review by michael a draper (2010-09-26)
This work covers a platoon of soldiers, their experiences and how their lives are affected by the Vietnam War.

The reader is given insight into the make-up of soldiers on active duty.

We learn that various soldiers carried sewing kits, malaria tablets, a New Testament, Dr. Scholl's foot powder and that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried the letters from his love, Martha, who was a college student back at home.

The author also tells us what the members of the platoon did when not in active combat. The soldiers become more real as when Kowa teaches a rain dance to one soldier or how another soldier adopts an orphan puppy.

The book is made up of stories with the same characters and gave a good visualization of what war was like.

Review by faeregirl08 (2006-11-15)
I am reading this book now in my junior year of high school, and it is one of the best war stories I have read. This book brought to me images of what war really was like through the minds of men how were actually there. From now on, when I hear someone talking about how much they know about war, all I have to tell them is "You go read 'The Things They Carried' and then tell me what you think war is." For anyone out there wanting a good book to read, read this book.

Review by Kidkarysma (2005-04-14)
I first read this book on the insistence of a liberal professor I had during my first year in college. I actually only read the first chapter which is a stand alone short story and later bought the whole book. I was only 18 and in a matter of months at college was learning that I knew nothing about anything.

Reading The Things They Carried taught me that I knew nothing of war. I had seen a lot of war movies, but movies are superficial and can never express depth. Tim O'Brien has found a way of expressing emotions that I didn't even know existed.

I recently reread the whole book (it's been almost nine years) and it's still amazing. Maybe even moreso. O'Brien is one of few great American writers alive today. This book will cut through you and yet, will move you to tears. I feel like I wish I could have been there and yet glad I never had to go to Vietnam.

I recommend this book to anyone that has any interest in politics, humanity, or great writing. I read it for the last, and it's changed all of them.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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