Friday, April 20, 2012

"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

Finished a few days ago reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and felt it a pretty remarkable book.

It's a hard one to categorize, though, as O'Brien was in Vietnam and writes stories from the war, but also labels the book a work of fiction. Really, it's a fascinating blend of fiction and non-fiction with the author seemingly trying to make sense of his war experience through the writing.

What comes out for myself as a reader is an incredibly lyrical book (remarkably written opening section detailed what the soldiers carried) showing just how arbitrary life and death can be in combat and how removed war is from the rest of life.

It's certainly not a happy book, but one that really seems to provide a thoughtful meditation on combat and again (and as echoed in a Brandon Sneed blog post on the book), has some crazy good storytelling in it.