Northern Lights

Northern Lights

by Tim O'Brien
3.8 7


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Northern Lights by Tim O'Brien


Originally published in 1975, Tim O'Brien's debut novel demonstrates the emotional complexity and enthralling narrative tension that later earned him the National Book Award. At its core is the relationship between two brothers: one who went to Vietnam and one who stayed at home. As the two brothers struggle against an unexpected blizzard in Minnesota's remote north woods, what they discover about themselves and each other will change both of them for ever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780767904414
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1999
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 526,592
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

TIM O’BRIEN received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction for Going After Cacciato. His other works include the Pulitzer finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, The Things They Carried; the acclaimed novels Tomcat in Love and Northern Lights; and the national bestselling memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone. His novel In the Lake of the Woods received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named the best novel of 1994 by Time. In 2010 he received the Katherine Anne Porter Award for a distinguished lifetime body of work and in 2012 he received the Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing in 2013.

Date of Birth:

October 1, 1946

Place of Birth:

Austin, Minnesota


B.A., Macalester College, 1968; Graduate study at Harvard University

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3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tim O'Brien writes an outsanding novel, and gives an even better insight into how two brothers could be total strangers. While one went to fight in Vietnam, the other stayed home and made a suitable life for himself. He does an amazing job portraying the personalities of the two brothers and how their lives have affected them. One is boisterous and won't stop talking, while the other is a soft-spoken, Reserved person who seems to have no sense of adventure. It takes a badly timed road trip to some ski races, and the idea of the two to ski back home, for them to fully understand each other. This book would be best suited for those with a sibling, either older or younger, of the same gender. Whether it be two brothers or two sisters, the message is the same, that no matter how well you might know someone, experiences in one's life changes that person into someone new. O'Brien also reminds us that no matter how much a brother or sister changes, there are still that same sibling who will wrestle with you one mnute and then be having fun the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A small lithe girl with feathered wings sprintedin and stopped breathlessly under the tree branch Nightshade was perched on.
Maddavie More than 1 year ago
O'Brien does not have a good working knowledge of the setting that controls the story. The area and circumstances of north eastern Minnesota are largely inaccurate. Although the story is compelling, I found myself distracted by the poor grasp of the setting and the actions of the characters. This novel reminds me of some of Hemingway's poorer efforts (Islands in the Stream, Across the River and into the Trees).
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