The students at Homer Flex chose to participate in The Big Read and read Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.” This book is about O’Brien’s experiences in Vietnam, the good and the bad, and takes a dip into his past and untold stories. This is one of the best nonfiction novels I have read.
O’Brien doesn’t write what the war was about, but tells the heartfelt tales of what happens in war, from the physical burdens the soldiers carry to the mental ones, whether it’s stepping on a booby trap or dealing with the death of a friend. O’Brien has a distinctive writing style that foreshadows a story, and then a couple of chapters later, he’ll jump back and go into more depth on it; this writing style may be confusing at first, but it gets very easy to understand the further one reads into the novel. “The Things They Carried” captured my attention right at the beginning and quickly pulled me into every war story that was told.
On March 1, Tim O’Brien was in Homer and spoke at the Mariner Theater; I attended his book talk on “The Things They Carried” and while I was there, I was caught off guard with his stories. Tim O’Brien is an excellent speaker as well as a fantastic author. I highly recommend this book to readers looking for a touching novel that will reach out to them and will impact their opinion on life, war and the things soldiers carry.