Book Review: The Things They Carried


Jack Densmore

The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brien. O’Brien is a writer, and Vietnam war veteran.

The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brien is a great book that describes the lives of soldiers in the Vietnam War, and their lives afterward. The book has a strong set of characters that give the story more life. The novel receives a 5/5.

The story tells their struggles in dealing with the war, and their losses. The overall theme of the book is how war affects the lives of soldiers, and it answers this theme clearly. It’s setting, mostly Vietnam, gives a great understanding of why life is hard for these soldiers. They’re constantly in deep jungle and don’t know when they’ll be ambushed by their enemies.

The story mostly follows the main character Tim O’ Brien, and his evolution as a soldier. Before the war, he didn’t even want to go when he was drafted, but as the story progresses he becomes more of a soldier, and as the underlying theme describes, his innocence is taken away because of war. This is also the result of many of the other characters.

The writing style of the author is sort of in the way of short stories combined to make one massive piece. He jumps back and forth from time period to time period, but doesn’t leave any questions behind, and moves the stories in an order that is logical to the reader. It’s a unique way to write a story other than chronological order. Another unique thing Tim O’ Brien does is insert himself into the story, but also adds fiction to his own character. It makes the reader question whether the story is true or not, but it is possible that O’ Brien puts personal memories and adapts them into his story, as he was a Vietnam veteran.

The Things They Carried is a great book and definitely worth the read. If you’re into war stories as much as I am, you’ll love this book. It gives great insight into the minds of soldiers, and offers a new look on war that not many people know about.