The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
This was a fascinating book to read and is probably the best writing I have ever read concerning the Vietnam War. Yes, the subject matter is the war, and therefore it can be quite disturbing at times, but that is not what the guts of this book is about.
This is written to inform the reader about how the war affected the author and his friends. What were they thinking? What were they feeling? Why did they react the way they did in given situations? What were the reasons for the soldiers having problems in life afterward?
It gets into the head of the soldier in a way I have never experienced. It shows how the defense mechanisms in a man's mind that are used for survival can be seen as making them hard, uncaring, and without feeling. The people who are not in the same position could never understand what happened in that war. They could not feel the depth of fear and confusion and how life becomes a moment to moment survival on a physical, psychological and emotional level.
Writing this blog is difficult. I can't describe the writing without giving examples of why I liked it so much. I don't want to give examples because it will detract from the future readers experience. That is a good word for it. I did not READ this book. I EXPERIENCED this book.
It is an amazing book. I loved it. I recommend it to all.
Mike, it will be in the mail soon. It is definitely worth the time to read.