A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried is unique in it’s ability both to evoke emotional response and empathy for its characters and to reveal the complex, awful and terrifying experience that is war. O’Brien tells the story of his unit in Viet Nam, blending stories of before, during and after their time in the war zone into a gripping and realistic account of how war affects those involved. O’Brien is a Viet Nam veteran and by inserting himself into the story, he blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction. The author challenges the reader to think about what is real and not real, how stories are altered and passed on based on the tellers perception of truth and reality and how stories can help heal souls wounded in times of trauma.
This is a thought-provoking, creative, elegantly written work–infused with realism and truth about the nature of war and its effects on those we call upon to fight–revealing that the things they carry are sometimes carried only during war and sometimes carried with them for forever. A powerful, unforgettable story, The Things They Carried will remain with you long after finishing the final sentence.