Customer Reviews for

The Things They Carried

Average Rating 4
( 620 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(328)

4 Star

(166)

3 Star

(65)

2 Star

(32)

1 Star

(29)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

The Things I Think

The author, Tim O'Brien who is also the protagonist, begins his novel by describing an event that occurred in the middle of his war experience in Vietnam. In "The Things They Carried" Tim O'Brien describes what his fellow soldiers in the Alpha Company took with them on ...
The author, Tim O'Brien who is also the protagonist, begins his novel by describing an event that occurred in the middle of his war experience in Vietnam. In "The Things They Carried" Tim O'Brien describes what his fellow soldiers in the Alpha Company took with them on their missions both mentally and physically. Many things they brought with them are intangible, while others are physical objects, including matches, morphine, M-16 rifles, and M&M's which he seems to focus on the amounts of each of them.

Throughout the novel, he mentions many characters multiple times in various stories which are often partially true and meta-fiction. The first member of the Alpha Company to die is Ted Lavender,a low-ranking soldier who they refer to as a "Grunt." Lavender is a man who has found tranquilizers and marijuana the only way to relieve his anxiety and fix his problems. He is shot in the head on his way back from going to the bathroom, and when his leader, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, finds out of his death he blames himself for Lavender's unnecessary and tragic death. When Lavender is shot, Cross is deep in his thoughts of his college crush, Martha. O'Brien writes about how Cross's "love" for Martha was the cause of Lavender's death and he still holds his guilt years after the war has ended. O'Brien continues on describing the events he was involved in, and then goes into each of them describing how his fellow comrades and sometimes himself reacts, and attempts to overcome them. He uses somewhat real stories to describe how tough it is for a man to be in a situation like what he was in, meta-fiction suggesting that no real story can describe what it was like. These problems that were presented to O'Brien and his fellow soldiers in the Vietnam War changed all of their lives. The war changed them to such a point that every day, every moment of their lives yet to come will never be like before the war. O'Brien tells of others and how they have attempted to overcome their problems which are the same or similar to his. He seems to attempt to use their methods in hopes that they will fix his problems and he will be able to return to his life before he was given no choice but to head to war. O'Brien was led into a room with no way out, he is stuck carrying what he was carrying at the end of his experience in Vietnam and he is striving to find a way to get it off of his shoulders and find a better mental state. This novel could be thought of as a way that Tim O'Brien used to share his thoughts and feelings of the war and his post traumatic stress disorder.

Overall, this is an excellent novel. It is a great "thinker" book and is not a typical easy read for a High School student like myself. It is very fun to read, but it is also very difficult to read which would be one, if not my only dislike of this book. This book would be great to read because it gives you an excellent point of view from a veterans perspective; this novel shows a true veteran and what it is like to be one. An overall rating of five stars, a great book that brings satisfaction and difficulty at the same time.

posted by 2264573 on November 24, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

In the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O¿Brien indicates th

In the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien indicates the abhorrent events during the Vietnam War in the 19th century. Tim O’Brien illustrates the experiences of the young soldiers were forced to fight in the war. In the beginning of the novel, O’Brien portrays ...
In the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien indicates the abhorrent events during the Vietnam War in the 19th century. Tim O’Brien illustrates the experiences of the young soldiers were forced to fight in the war. In the beginning of the novel, O’Brien portrays the significance of what the soldiers carried demonstrating their personal emotions towards the war. O’Brien met many soldiers who they eventually later became important people to his life; Ted Lavender, Kiowa, Mitchell Sanders, Jimmy Cross, Lieutent Cross, Henry Dobbins and Rat Kiley. Throughout the novel, O’Brien utilizes vivid details, abhorrent imagery and distinct tone in order to convey an approach towards the fear of death and desire of survival in the soldiers’ viewpoint. As O’Brien and his fellow comrades stranded in a menace country, the fellow soldiers experience their first appalling death in Song Tra Bong. In addition, O’Brien and the boys get timid because their enemies attacked them and did not know what to do. However, in the end, O’Brien gets furious with Bobby because he made him get a stroke for his bullet wound. In conclusion, Tim lived his life in war, by witnessing repulsive deaths and experiencing physical emotions, which changed his whole life forever. What I think is most important about this story is how O’Brien illustrates the difference between telling moral stories and immoral stories. I recommend this book to everybody who enjoys reading war stories and obnoxious images of death because in this novel illustrates everything you can image about war in the 19th century.

posted by gloriaxoxox on December 17, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Great subject

    Could have been organized better tocreate more empathy with each charachter.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    What is all the rave about

    I did not find this book a good read. I like for a book to grab me and keep me turning the pages, this one did not. As a Viet Nam vet, I know where he and the guys in the book are coming from, but find some of the things they do a bit hard to believe. I know a lot of people like Mr.. O'Brians books but, well I guess I am different.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2008

    Okay Book, But Not Great

    I think 'The things they carried' started out pretty good and was very interesting. After about the 30th page the book took a major turn for the worse. It went from 'okay' to super slow and boring in my mind. The whole point of me reading a book is to like it and learn from it but it is safe to say that i didn't learn one single thing from this book. I felt as if in every story he would later come out and say it wasn't true which would started to make me believe that this whole book was kind of just like a whole bunch of little stories mixed in with each other. Although some 'Little' stories were more elaborate than others i felt like the majority of them were short and under developed. Overall I would give this book a two star rating because of the depth and the fact that i wasn't that interested in it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    I felt the book was poorly organized. And honestly I found it bo

    I felt the book was poorly organized. And honestly I found it boring because I couldn't relate to any of the events that were occurring. It seemed like there was no rising action/climax. However, someone who is into war and army stories may enjoy this book more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    To Nate

    Dark is a dog

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2011

    Decent read

    I had to read this for summer reading and in the beginning I thought that it might be good. Although when I reached about half way through the book I started to lose interest in the book and it was very hard to finish it because it just got worse and worse as it went on. I would not recommend this book for anyone.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2003

    High School Junior in a Contemp. Fiction Class

    I really feel cheated by this book. It is not really very interesting, and the fact that some stories may or may not be true further detracts from the packsge. The book was an asignment,and yes not usually what we were use to, but come on 40 pages describing papers, canopeners, and pantyhose did not really make me want to read any further. I did however finish the book after several cups of coffee. After wading through the majority of the book I feel riped off at the end. Why the sudden addition of characters? Was he really shot twice? How much was true and how much was made up? I also felt that some of the vulgarities and animal torment could have been left out especially is some of the stories were not even true. I alos found some os the references to drugs unnesasary almost tacked on.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2002

    Who cares what they Carried?

    I began this story with an open mind. Before I even picked up this book I had already read reviews on how it was a completely different and new style of writing which intrigued me. Well there is no doubt it?s a new style of writing but its one that should be trashed. The whole book is filled with a jumble of mixed up short stories, some of which have no reason to even be in the book. It?s almost like the author, Tim O?Brien, was required to fill up blank space in his book. Now I will give Mr. O?Brien some credit for bits of descriptive writing but as for the way he decided to put the story together I can?t disagree with him more. I also will add that I may not be able to relate to the story as well as some given the fact that I didn?t live during the Vietnam War and therefore can not relate to the story. But it would be one thing if I were reading through that had actually occurred. But the idea that each story in the book was based off fake characters and a fake platoon disappointed me and made me feel kind of mad that someone could make up stories about the Vietnam War that never happened. In all I think the book itself was a disappointment. I, myself, would not recommend this book and would rather people spend there time reading something interesting or doing something productive instead of wasting there time reading a book on boring made up Vietnam stories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2