The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien

This little novel was given to me for Christmas this last year and the person who gave it to me spoke reverently about it, saying it was her favorite novel, ever. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that – I’ve read quite a few novels that moved me far more than this one did. But I did thoroughly enjoy it, especially the poetic opening chapter where the author actually lists the things these American soldiers in Vietnam carried, the chapter entitled, “The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”, and the “timeless” device where the author continues to tell stories about characters long after they have met their demise. I’m no war novel afficionado, but I’d say the author is either a Vietnam vet, or he has killer interviewing and visualization skills. Either way, his book deserves a high number of reviewer stars.

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