Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#33 The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien is a collection of stories loosely based on the author's own experiences in Vietnam. I had a hard time putting this book down. I would grab it, thinking I'd get a quick chapter in before doing something else and then end up reading for an hour and forgetting everything else. I'm not usually a big war story person, I'm far too anti-violence/peace-loving. However, this one dealt less with stories of actual fighting or warfare. It deals with a lot of the emotional aftermath of big events or with the boredom and stress felt by the soldiers. The stories jump around a lot and the whole thing is a bit jumbled, sometimes even confusing but it works. To me it felt organic, like I was really sitting there listening to a vet tell his stories.

This book hit home a little for me. I have never experienced war personally but my dad was special forces in Vietnam, POW/MIA and all that. I am the world's biggest daddy's girl and I kept imagining my dad in those situations. It made me think a lot about all that he, and countless others, had to go through. My dad is the most patriotic person you will ever meet and he always instilled in us deep and profound respect for the members of our armed forces. This book only helped to solidify that respect. I couldn't imagine having to go to war like that but I am damn grateful to those who did and those who are still fighting. So, I'll take a second to give a big Thank You to all our servicemen and women.

Obviously, I'm giving this book a big recommendation. Pick it up! Plus, at a mere 230 pages it's a quick and easy, yet compelling read.


Anonymous said...

I would say you got quite a bit read! I love Charlaine Harris, always good for a fun, light read. Only 968 more books to read? Good luck. How do you get your pictures to line up so nice? I cant figure out how to do it. LOL

Reading Rachel said...

Oh it takes quite a good amount of trial, error and frustration. I screwed up one little thing on my August wrap up post and ended up having to delete it and re-write the entire thing. That simple post probably took at least an hour of hair pulling, moving things and head banging until it looked right. I use the preview a lot and play around with placement until it works.

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