Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried by Harold Bloom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This one is a challenging read. It dips you in and out of the Vietnam War without warning and without the glossy, neat coating that some war stories give you. There is no moral, as there wouldn't be in real war story. This is one of the few in your face lessons from the author. In one sense, this is his therapy to process what he saw and did, but in another, it is ours. When I picked this book up I realized that I have only read a few books from the Vietnam War. I have ready many WWII and Cold War books, but not many that tell what appears to be the truth about Vietnam. No, this isn't a deep, historical or philosophical essay. O'Brien leaves the big picture to others and writes what he knows. It was at times gut-wrenching and at times deliberately confused. In other words, it was very, very real.
This is part of my current reading series taking me through my son's reading list for this school year. I know that we will have many conversations about this one. I have already warned him and will warn the rest of you to plan on reading this one during the daylight. Be careful! There are monsters and nightmares in this book.
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