The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien


Rating: 2.5 Stars

First lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey.


The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.

A sequence of stories about the Vietnam War, this book also has the unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme. It aims to summarize America’s involvement in Vietnam, and her coming to terms with that experience in the years that followed.


It is difficult to rate this book overall. There were some chapters I really liked and it had some great moments where you really connected with the characters and what was happening to them, when the war came alive.

I would go to the war – I would kill and maybe die – because I was embarrassed not to.

In other chapters, however, it was really difficult to follow what was happening. It was mainly because the style was so weird. There were jumps in time and everything just felt really disconnected.

Smiling, he kicked the boy’s head, watched the flies scatter, and said, It’s like with that old TV show – Paladin. Have gun, will travel.

Henry Dobbins thought about it.

Yeah, well, he finally said. I don’t see no moral.

There it is, man.

Fuck off.

So overall, this book just wasn’t for me. It’s not my kind of style. I would have preferred a more straightforward story, to be honest.


Overall, the book was too disconnected for my taste.


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