Review: The Things They Carried

Hello readers!

For a long time I thought The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, was a novel, and I still see it referred to that way occasionally. More accurately, it is a collection of stories, interlinked in ways both obvious and subtle, which, okay, in the end kind of reads like a novel. The title story is often anthologized in literature and creative writing texts, but like the others, gains power and resonance from being part of the collection.

Like Hemingway, O’Brien strips away excess verbiage, allowing the reader to complete the picture but with no cushion to soften the power of the images, some of which cannot be easily put out of mind. Each story has the immersive immediacy of a film, or perhaps a recurring, troublesome memory. After finishing one, I sometimes had to process it for a day or two before starting another.

The Things They Carried feels like a singular achievement, earning its place in the canon of literature about Vietnam, and unlike any other fiction or non-fiction book about that conflict that I have ever read. I highly recommend you read it too. But there’s a chance  it might change you.


You can purchase The Things They Carried online or call the store to reserve a copy!

Happy reading!

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