The Things They Carried

O'Brien, Tim

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1990
ISBN 10: 039551598X / ISBN 13: 9780395515983
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First printing. Inscribed on title page. Black cloth spine, black boards, gilt titles and facsimile signature to front board. By the author of If I Die in a Combat Zone and Going After Cacciato. Book very good with light spotting to top edge, faint warp to text block. DJ, with $19.95 price and date code of 0390, very good plus with rubbing, folding off-center. 273 pp. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Heroic young men carry the emotional weight of their lives to war in Vietnam in a patchwork account of a modern journey into the heart of darkness

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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Things They Carried
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 1990
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition.

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ISBN 10: 039551598X ISBN 13: 9780395515983
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, that’ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2923169287

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, that’ll have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included. Seller Inventory # 2931208701

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin. Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Seller Inventory # 2935518535

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Book Description Condition: Good. Ships From Saint Louis Missouri Shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. Cover may have edge wear, creases or bends. All pages are intact. Dust cover may be missing or if present may have moderate wear. Pages may include some writing and highlighting. May be Ex-lib. copy. May NOT include discs, or access code or other supplemental material. Seller Inventory # 2UEEY3002GDZ

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Printing. Seller Inventory # 42339

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cdrom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!. Seller Inventory # S_230598219

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