The Things They Carried

O'Brien, Tim

Published by Houghton Mifflin, 1990
ISBN 10: 039551598X / ISBN 13: 9780395515983
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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
Publication Date: 1990
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 039551598X-2-4

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990. Condition: Very Good. Hard cover. Jacket has some shelf-wear with slight staining to front. Spine fine. Text bright and clean. 273 pages. Seller Inventory # 3934

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Published by Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence, Boston, MA (1990)
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence, Boston, MA, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good, Not Price Clipped. Second printing; some edge wear to boards and dust jacket; otherwise a solid, clean copy in collectible condition. Seller Inventory # 004825

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Book Description HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. HARDCOVER Legendary independent bookstore online since 1994. Reliable customer service and no-hassle return policy. Fiction and Poetry>Literature>A to Z. Book: USED, Good. Dust Jacket: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 17978039551598304. Seller Inventory # 17978039551598304

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P02039551598X

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin,, Boston:, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First printing. Some light foxing on fore edge, else very good in a very good (fading along the spine) first state dust jacket with the folds slightly off-center. Seller Inventory # 52822

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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. Complete number line. 5 3/4 x 8 1/2 Book; binding firm with slight lean to spine and damp stain to top, straight boards have mild bumping to bottom front edge with moderate rubbing to bottom corners; text has minor soiling to edges and to few internal pages. First state dust jacket ($19.95) with no cover design on rear flap and offset to spine has mild bumping and chipping with small paper loss to mostly spine and flap fold ends, 3" scratch to front cover with 1/2" closed tear to top, mild fading to spine with small damp stain to inside only top spine. Under archival quality mylar cover. Photos upon request. Packed well and shipped in a sturdy box. Seller Inventory # 93016AE2Sa

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Published by Houghton Mifflin/ Seymour Lawrence, Boston (1990)
ISBN 10: 039551598X ISBN 13: 9780395515983
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin/ Seymour Lawrence, Boston, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. First Edition. Very Good in Very Good dj, which is price clipped. Seller Inventory # 62484

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