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The Things They Carried.

Vietnam War Literature] O'Brien, Tim.

Published by McClelland and Stewart, Toronto, 1990
ISBN 10: 039551598X / ISBN 13: 9780395515983
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Things They Carried.

Publisher: McClelland and Stewart, Toronto

Publication Date: 1990


A Fine copy in a Fine, price clipped dust jacket with a small snag to the bottom edge of the spine heel. While this collection of stories involving a single platoon in Vietnam is referred to as a work of fiction it is difficult to determine where the line between fact and imagination begins and ends. "The Things They Carried" is considered one of the two best portrayals of the war experience in Vietnam along with Michael Herr's "Dispatches." "Things" is simply a tour-de-force of exquisite writing about the time, the place, and the men who experienced that particular conflict. If you were going to read only one book dealing with the Vietnam War experience,"The Things They Carried" should be that book. Catalog 61 First Printing of the First Canadian Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 23490

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Synopsis: One of the first questions people ask about The Things They Carried is this: Is it a novel, or a collection of short stories? The title page refers to the book simply as "a work of fiction," defying the conscientious reader's need to categorize this masterpiece. It is both: a collection of interrelated short pieces which ultimately reads with the dramatic force and tension of a novel. Yet each one of the twenty-two short pieces is written with such care, emotional content, and prosaic precision that it could stand on its own.

The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O'Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have. We hear the voices of the men and build images upon their dialogue. The way they tell stories about others, we hear them telling stories about themselves.

With the creative verve of the greatest fiction and the intimacy of a searing autobiography, The Things They Carried  is a testament to the men who risked their lives in America's most controversial war. It is also a mirror held up to the frailty of humanity. Ultimately The Things They Carried and its myriad protagonists call to order the courage, determination, and luck we all need to survive.

Product Description: This modern classic and New York Times bestseller was a finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award and has become a staple of American classrooms. Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried?s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book?s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word. The soldiers in this collection of stories carried M-16 rifles, M-60 machine guns, and M-79 grenade launchers. They carried plastic explosives, hand grenades, flak jackets, and landmines. But they also carried letters from home, illustrated Bibles, and pictures of their loved ones. Some of them carried extra food or comic books or drugs. Every man carried what he needed to survive, and those who did carried their shattering stories away from the jungle and back to a nation that would never understand. This audiobook also includes an exclusive recording ?The Vietnam in Me,? a recount of the author?s trip back to Vietnam in 1994, revisiting his experience there as a soldier 25 years before, read by Tim O?Brien himself. The Things They Carried was produced by Audible Studios in partnership with Playtone, the production company headed by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and the creator of the award-winning mini-series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific.

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