The Things They Carried

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9780002236034: The Things They Carried

The million-copy bestseller, which is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. 'The Things They Carried' is, on its surface, a sequence of award-winning stories about the madness of the Vietnam War; at the same time it has the cumulative power and unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme. But while Vietnam is central to 'The Things They Carried', it is not simply a book about war. It is also a book about the human heart - about the terrible weight of those things we carry through our lives.

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Review:

"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to."

A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried marks a subtle but definitive line of demarcation between Tim O'Brien's earlier works about Vietnam, the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone and the fictional Going After Cacciato, and this sly, almost hallucinatory book that is neither memoir nor novel nor collection of short stories but rather an artful combination of all three. Vietnam is still O'Brien's theme, but in this book he seems less interested in the war itself than in the myriad different perspectives from which he depicts it. Whereas Going After Cacciato played with reality, The Things They Carried plays with truth. The narrator of most of these stories is "Tim"; yet O'Brien freely admits that many of the events he chronicles in this collection never really happened. He never killed a man as "Tim" does in "The Man I Killed," and unlike Tim in "Ambush," he has no daughter named Kathleen. But just because a thing never happened doesn't make it any less true. In "On the Rainy River," the character Tim O'Brien responds to his draft notice by driving north, to the Canadian border where he spends six days in a deserted lodge in the company of an old man named Elroy while he wrestles with the choice between dodging the draft or going to war. The real Tim O'Brien never drove north, never found himself in a fishing boat 20 yards off the Canadian shore with a decision to make. The real Tim O'Brien quietly boarded the bus to Sioux Falls and was inducted into the United States Army. But the truth of "On the Rainy River" lies not in facts but in the genuineness of the experience it depicts: both Tims went to a war they didn't believe in; both considered themselves cowards for doing so. Every story in The Things They Carried speaks another truth that Tim O'Brien learned in Vietnam; it is this blurred line between truth and reality, fact and fiction, that makes his book unforgettable. --Alix Wilber

From the Back Cover:

"The Things They Carried is as good as any piece of literature can get." -- Chicago Sun-Times

A New York Times Book of the Century A Pulitzer Prize Finalist A National Book Critics' Circle Award Finalist Winner of the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (France) Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize

"A marvel of storytelling... a vital important book-- a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but to anyone interested in the craft of writing as well." -- New York Times

"This is writing so powerful that it steals your breath. ... The Things They Carried is about more than war, of course. It is about the human heart and emotional baggage and loyalty and love. It is about the difference between 'truth' and 'reality.' It is about death--and life."--Milwaukee Journal

"Rendered with an evocative, quiet precision, not equaled in the imaginative literature of the American war in Vietnam." --Washington Post

"You ve got to read this book . In a world filled too often with numbness, or shifting values, these stories shine in a strange and opposite direction, moving against the flow, illuminating life's wonder, life's tenuousness, life's importance." -- Dallas Morning News

"A book so searing and immediate you can almost hear the choppers in the background." -- The Boston Globe

"

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Tim O'Brien
Published by HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY. (1990)
ISBN 10: 0002236036 ISBN 13: 9780002236034
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Book Description HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY., 1990. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. little to no wear, pages are clean. The cover and binding are crisp with next no creases. Bookseller Inventory # 2773409530

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O'Brien, Tim
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Book Description Collins, London, 1990. Cloth. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Minor shelfwear. dj has edgewear and has lost its shine. Page edges are yellowing and marked from use but text is clean and unmarked. ". a thrilling and beautiful distillation of everything that has been thought, felt or said about the Vietnam War and it's long afterburn." 255pp. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # MM478

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Book Description Collins, London, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good-. First Edition. Short split top hinge front of DJ, slight edge rubbing. Page numbers in ink on rear end paper. ; 8.58 X 5.59 X 1.26 inches; 255 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 19493

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Book Description HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & COMPANY., BOSTON, 1990. Cloth. Book Condition: Fine. First Edition. Fine in a fine 2nd issue dj. with centered spine. (B). Bookseller Inventory # 27188

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Book Description Collins, London, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Light Foxing To Page Edges. The U.K Edition Has A Four Line Blurb By Michael Herr On The Rear Panel Of The Jacket That Does Not Appear On The American Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 008131

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Book Description Collins, London, 1990. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First U.K. Edition.. A FINE copy of the FIRST U.K. EDITION. FIRST PRINTING. In FINE jacket. SIGNED and DATED by TIM O'BRIEN on the title page. : " The book is a PRESENTATION COPY, and has been inscribed to GREG GATENBY, the Canadian Author/Poet, and former Artistic Director of Toronto's Harbourfront Reading Series { 29 years. }. : " TO GREG. TIM O'BRIEN.28 OCT., 02. The book is from Gatenby's Library and has his signature and date {2002} on the ffep. An interesting ASSOCIATION Copy thus. Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. Signed and Dated By Author. Bookseller Inventory # 011474

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Book Description Collins, London, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: fine. 1st. Signed by the author on the title page. Bound in publisher's original green cloth with the spine stamped in gilt. Dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 9013074

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