This modern classic and New York Times bestseller was a finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award and has become a staple of American classrooms. Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word. The soldiers in this collection of stories carried M-16 rifles, M-60 machine guns, and M-79 grenade launchers. They carried plastic explosives, hand grenades, flak jackets, and landmines. But they also carried letters from home, illustrated Bibles, and pictures of their loved ones. Some of them carried extra food or comic books or drugs. Every man carried what he needed to survive, and those who did carried their shattering stories away from the jungle and back to a nation that would never understand. This audiobook also includes an exclusive recording “The Vietnam in Me,” a recount of the author’s trip back to Vietnam in 1994, revisiting his experience there as a soldier 25 years before, read by Tim O’Brien himself. The Things They Carried was produced by Audible Studios in partnership with Playtone, the production company headed by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, and the creator of the award-winning mini-series Band of Brothers, John Adams, and The Pacific.
Release Date: Nov 01, 2003
Publisher: Recorded Books
More Popular Titles by Tim O'Brien
Meet the Author
Tim O'Brien matriculated at Macalester College. Graduation in
1968 found him with a BA in political science and a draft
O'Brien was against the war but reported for service and was sent to Vietnam with what has been called the "unlucky" Americal division due to its involvement in the My Lai massacre in 1968, an event which figures prominently in In the Lake of the Woods. He was assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Company, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry, as an infantry foot soldier. O'Brien's tour of duty was 1969-70.
After Vietnam he became a graduate student at Harvard. No doubt he was one of very few Vietnam veterans there at that time, much less Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) holders. Having the opportunity to do an internship at the Washington Post, he eventually left Harvard to become a newspaper reporter. O'Brien's career as a reporter gave way to his fiction writing after publication of his memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Send Me Home.
Tim O'Brien is now a visiting professor and endowed chair at Texas State University - San Marcos (formerly Southwest Texas State University) where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program.
Meet the Narrator
Picoult was born and raised in Nesconset on Long Island, New
York. Her first story, at age 5 was "The Lobster Which
Misunderstood." She studied writing at Princeton University,
graduating in 1987, and had two short stories published by
Seventeen magazine while still in college. Immediately after
graduation, she took on a series of miscellaneous jobs, from
editing at a textbook publishing company to teaching eighth grade
English classes. Soon after, she attended Harvard University to
earn her master's degree in education.
Picoult's novels tend to center on human emotion and complex human relationships. Most of her books' storylines incorporate a criminal or civil case which lasts throughout the book's narrative, concluding shortly before the book ends. In books that don't follow this pattern, an attorney character is still often included. At the end of nearly all of her books, there is an unexpected twist.
She became the writer of DC Comics' Wonder Woman (vol. 3) series following the departure of fellow writer Allan Heinberg. Her first issue (#6) was released on March 28, 2007, and her last was issue #10 (released on June 27, 2007).
She is married to Tim Van Leer whom she met while in college. They, their three children, Sammy, Kyle, and Jake, and a handful of pets, live in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Nineteen Minutes, Picoult's novel about the aftermath of a school shooting in a small town, has become her first book to debut on #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Her newest novel is House Rules, a book about a child with autism who is convicted of murder. This book is not claimed the debut as much as others.
The only book in the theater is My Sister's Keeper
I have been fortunate enough to contact Picoult. She does read and respond to all her emails, so if you are a devoted fan or just want to talk to her, contact her at email@example.com.
Oct 11, 2007
I first bought The Things They Carried at the Bruised Apple, a used bookstore and coffee shop in downtown Peekskill, New York, back in 1991 when I was fifteen years old. By the time I graduated from high school a few years later I'd read it so often that the pages, already brittle, were nearly worn... more...
37 people liked this review.
Feb 16, 2009
Powerful writing about being a soldier in Vietnam. I, personally, had a friend once who was a marine there when he was 19. He lost both legs above the knees when he stepped on a land mine. "The guy next to me died" he told me. "I killed him". He couldn't see it any other way... H... more...
19 people liked this review.
Jul 07, 2008
Technically speaking, The Things They Carried is extremely well-written. O'Brien is a good, tight writer who knows how to weave a story. But even while I admire his style and technique, I am put off by the emptiness and moral vacuum he leaves when his machine guns and grenades finish ripping open ... more...
9 people liked this review.
Nov 03, 2007
The writing is solid enough, but most of the time it feels like it's on rails..."I am about to use a metaphor...the metaphor is happening RIGHT NOW...this is what the metaphor meant..." There's a whole section where he rationalizes his inclusion of the previous section. Also, the book is b... more...
9 people liked this review.
May 29, 2007
I just finished reading this book with my 10th grade English students. It is always the class favorite, so I save it for the end of the year. I'm glad I have the occasion to reread it periodically--immersing myself in the details of a soldier's life seems like the least I can do these days.
8 people liked this review.
Jan 15, 2008
I read only parts of this collection back in college and it's only now that I'm reading the rest. I've been haunted by the title story ever since I first read it, and it's still powerful today. I think I read somewhere that it's one of the most anthologized short stories of American fiction. Prob... more...
6 people liked this review.
Aug 03, 2011
Honestly what can you say about a book that is not only so enticing that you miss your stop not once but five times (yeah that's right I sat on the bus and went round in loops) , but also so moving that you need to pull away just to gather yourself. After finishing this book, I feel that the author ... more...
5 people liked this review.
Jul 16, 2008
A fictionalized version of O'Brian's time in Vietnam, TTTC is a series of short stories that isn't about killing Charlie or "wondering who the real enemy is" or any of the usual Vietnam cliches, and it's not about the futility or the glory of war. It's about the mundane, it's about walkin... more...
5 people liked this review.
Aug 04, 2008
Oh dear. Another victim of war book. It's time we stop this nonsense; War sucks. No kidding. I read some other readers' comments on this book. "What a marvel, what a great writer." Sorry; many of these folks obviously have never had a bad day in their lives, and are living for the vic... more...
4 people liked this review.
Aug 04, 2008
The immensely powerful lessons and themes at the core of each of these seemingly simple, but carefully constructed stories is what takes this collection from 4 into solid 5-star range for me. Each one encloses a fragile heart that beats with emotional truth. Each is tightly focused on a brief mome... more...
3 people liked this review.