The Things They Carried: Book review

review photo-2

Thrift shopping is an underrated hobby, an activity I have participated in, but certainly not made a regular outing.

Until now.

After visiting my cousin, and hitting up thrift and antique shops all over her side of Georgia, I’ve decided Thrift shopping is my new hobby; especially when it comes to books. I found 9 books for $5.

It’s important to tell you, in my mind there is a list of all the books I must acquire. One of the books made the list after reading excerpts from it during a writing class in college. It’s impact was so great that I wrote a rhetorical analysis on it. And promptly added it on my list.

Flash forward a few months to the Georgia thrift shop. I stood there, meticulously reading over every spine on the shelf so I didn’t pass by any gems, and it happened, my finger slid across the title that not only lived on my list, but had climbed to the top spot. Everything faded to gray-scale except those bright orange words that read The Things They Carried. 

revised things they carried

Any individual alive surely understands the power of words. I doubt there is a person who has never been punched in the gut with words so ugly, so true, so lovely, or so devastating that their breath evaporates.

Words strung together become sentences that reveal knowledge and truth and ideas and lies and heartaches and…beauty. Definitely beauty.

When used correctly, words have the ability to be one of the most evocative tools known to man. We communicate, educate, share, care, love, hate, berate, equate nothing with something, and make a little thing everything.

Tim O’Brien understands the power words wield, and uses his understanding to beautifully illustrate the truths he faced while in Vietnam.

Do you love learning about wars and history? This book is for you.

Do you prefer non-fiction to fiction? This book is for you. (Yes, I know this is a fictional story), (Yes, I still think this book is for you).

Do you love the art of writing? This book is for you.

What O’Brien gives us with The Things They Carried, is a soul squeezing glimpse into Vietnam, an experience that engages all our senses and plunges us into the caverns of hell right along side the boys and men who fought. You will find yourself wondering what is real and what is fiction, then decide it doesn’t really matter because all of it speaks truth about something.

Everyone should read this book.


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