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The Things They Carried

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The Things They Carried by Tim O’ Brian is a very truthful, powerful, piece of literature that seems to catch your attention as soon as you’re done with the first chapter. Tim touches on every point of war and shows the soldier as human being and not people who are expendable for the greater good. He shows the responsibilities of being a Sergeant and having to look after a team, and also the feeling you get after taking a life or seeing a comrades life being taken from them in combat.

In the book he tell stories of things that had a major impact on his life in the war, and even before he went into the war and how he got there. In each story he shares, he uses so much good imagery it is almost like you're there and you can hear everything from the gunshots, to the motor strikes to the team just talking in a fox hole. I believe it is his choice of diction that makes the story truly intriguing. Through the story he often refers back to the present where he constantly questions why he still rights war stories. His daughter even asked him if he killed someone. He does not understand why he constantly reminisced about the war yet he still tells his stories. This book; if you’re interested in war, the truth, gore, hurt, and listening to stories from other people, it is definitely for you.

The chapter that I really liked was call “Enemies”. Basically what happens in this chapter is, two members of his squad get into a fistfight over a knife that one soldier (Dave) said the other soldier (Lee) stole from him. The fight gets so bad that Dave ends up breaking Lee’s nose and he has to be choppered over to the nearest infirmary base. In the next two days, he gets sent back to his squad and sees Dave again but doesn't do anything to him. Dave starts to get paranoid, thinking that Lee has it out for him and that he is going to try and kill him. It gets worse, he starts not being able to sleep at night, not being able to focus in life or death situations all because he fears that Lee is going to get payback. Dave goes crazy and breaks his own nose with his pistol and tells Lee that they’re even now. Lee laughs and what I read next a smile on my face. It’s crazy how different soldiers are but how human they are at the same time and Tim really touches on every single aspect, especially the loss of a comrade and having to send that letter home. If I gave this book a rating out of 6 stars I would give it 5 stars due to the fact that it was shorter than I would have liked yet everything else is really amazing. It is almost as if this book sends your emotions on a rollercoaster, you laugh, wonder, feel sorrow and can’t wait to hear what the next story is going to be. All and all it was a good book and I would not mind reading it a couple of times or even recommending it to others.




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