The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien
reviewed by Natasha Mertens
War is a terrible conflict that appears in many places throughout history. Life can quickly flash before one's eyes on the battlefield. The characters shown in the book learn this lesson very quickly. The novel The Things They Carried addresses problems that can emerge from war and the atrocities soldiers may witness while serving their countries.
The main character in the story is Tim O'Brien who also serves as the narrator. Tim is different than many of the other people in his home town, even his own family. He is against war, something seen as disgraceful. Despite his efforts to escape it, war pulls him in to its hold. While on the battlefield he must learn to face terrors beyond his imagination which seem both terrible and beautiful in their own horrifying way. The story follows both him and the experiences of Jimmy Cross, Norman Bowker, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Henry Dobbins, and Kiowa who are the members of Alpha Company. Together they face many trials with each other and against each other as they struggle to make it through the war.
The Things They Carried is a book that lures you in and makes you regret having to put it down. It is a well-written book that clearly portrays just how frightening war is. Tim O'Brien uses both vivid and simple language to accurately show the atmosphere in many parts of the book. The Things They Carried is a overall a stunning book and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a book that shows its own unique view on war.