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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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Military novels typically consist of cheesy morals and blunt writing. The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, strives to do more than that. Not only is this novel well written, it consists of vivid ­imagery that compels the reader to continue reading. Every word draws you in and it takes time to get unhooked. You should definitely find a comfortable spot if you choose to experience O'Brien's physical and mental struggles.

The action takes place in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970, where the author saw the war firsthand. He describes the roles of many soldiers as well as their grueling experiences.

With great detail, the action scenes are described with brilliant remembrances. The author's words will make you feel like you just took a trip to your local theatre. O'Brien jumps around putting events in no particular order. Although it can be a little difficult to follow, the story falls into place as you draw toward the end.

The story takes a depressing and dark tone with each chapter. It seems as if the author tries to make your mood die out with each reading session. Not only does the theme bring you down, but it also makes you feel sympathy for the characters as well as the author. Your eyes will most definitely be more open to the nature of war. If you don't want to be left sad, I suggest you don't read this. However, if you value good literature, I highly recommend O'Brien's work.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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