*** The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (1990)

I’ve read this book many times, taught at least portions of it a few times, and have heard O’Brien speak about his writing.  This is the best Vietnam book I’ve ever read.  It’s a collection a stories or vignettes that loosely connect, though they don’t connect consecutively because the time periods range from pre war to war to post war and the characters span most of a platoon.  It’s just so good, I can’t praise it enough.  O’Brien presents this a fiction, though it’s obviously based on his war experience.  Most important, he says that as long as we feel what he wants us to feel, then it doen’t matter if it’s fiction or memoir.  (fiction)

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