Tim O’Brien has written severalshort stories that have been setaround his wartime experiences.Anyone that has ever read one ofthese books or short stories, withtheir war time theme’s arecaptivated by the style of writing,and compelled to examineO’Brien’s works.Tim O’Brien “The Things TheyCarried”, and “How to Tell a TrueWar Story.” In both of these storiesthe characters are spoken about indepth, and give the reader a realsense of who they are asindividuals. These characters areyoung men who would in their ownminds never have dreamed abouthow they would act, perform, ordischarge their duties in a time ofwar. Certainly soldiers would havenever known how their deeds wouldbe exploited in movies and novelsof war in later years. “DRAG ME TO MY DEATH OR TO A SAFE PLACE IN HER HEART”
OTHER BOOKS BY TIM O’BRIEN “How to Tell a True War Story”, and “The Things They Carried” are both very well worked stories. Both received rave reviews from critics and reader in the 1990’s. These stories won awards after being run in periodicals like Esquire, Ploughshares, and Atlantic Monthly. The stories were called a must read by New York Times Books Reviewer, Robert Harris. They are some of the best known views and writings of the Vietnam War. Anyone reading about O’Brien and his works is privileged enough to know that war is hell, and O’Brien has turned his characters into awesome creations of art in these moving tales he shares with the starving readers. Criticism on the behalf of Tim O’Brien from any reviewer of his works is hard to find, and is most likely non-existent.
GO GET’EM BOYSTim O’Brien’s short stories give the reader the inside view of War in Vietnam. The writings thatO’Brien has put forth will be read for years. A young student of literature may write an essay one dayfor their Professor, and that student will feel as though they have some connection to the VietnamWar through the writings of this great author. The glimpses into O’Brien’s characters no matter howvivid or brief, leave the reader connected to the truths or imagined truths of all these stories.
O’BRIEN GRADUATED IN 1968 WITH A A TRUE FAN OF LITERATUREPOLITICAL SCIENCE DEGREE FROM MCALESTERCOLLEGE, THEN WAS DRAFTED INTO THE US ARMY AND OF GREAT BASEBALL TEAMS THEN AND NOW
Tim O’Brien’s short stories give the readerthe inside view of War in Vietnam. Thewritings that O’Brien has put forth will be readfor years. A young student of literature maywrite an essay one day for their Professor,and that student will feel as though they havesome connection to the Vietnam War throughthe writings of this great author. The glimpsesinto O’Brien’s characters no matter how vividor brief, leave the reader connected to thetruths or imagined truths of all these stories.Diane Andrews Henningfeld said that TimO’Brien was already a successful writer bythe time he wrote “How to tell a True WarStory” in 1987. (Vol 15 p125) Henningfeldalso said that O’Brien’s work is more aboutthe quest for truth, the use of the imaginationin telling the truth, and the art of storytelling increating the truth than it is about the VietnamWar. (Vol 15 p125) I would also add that heinserts a bit of affection for the Vietnam erainto his stories no matter how sick it seems.O’Brien’s storytelling has been critiqued formany years, an early review byD.J.R.Bruckner in his New York TimesReview, said that “In his new work the magicis in the storytellers’ prestidigitation as thestories pass from character to character andvoice to voice, and the realism seemsHomeric.” (Vol 15 p124) I believe O’Brienwants his reader to connect with the Vietnamera. O’Brien’s characters tell small truthsthrough him and about him.
THINGS THEY CARRIEDThe characters from both stories are men that O’Brien heard stories about, orcame across in Vietnam, or were part of his platoon in Vietnam. This lighterwould be one of the things that one of those soldier would have carried inVietnam.
WORKS CITED Harris, Robert R. "Too Embarrassed Not to Kill." The New York Times 11 Mar. 1990, The Books Review: Print. Calloway, Catherine. "How to tell a true war story Metifiction in The Things They Carried." http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/Vietnam/callowaythings.html . June 1995. Web. 2 May 2012. Akers, Tim, and Jerry Moore, eds. Short Stories for Students. Volume 5. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 1999. Print. Pages 326-334. Ullmann, Carol, ed. Short Stories for Students. Volume 15. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2002. Print. Pages 124- 130. Michiko, Kakutani. "Books of The Times; Slogging Surreally in the Vietnamese Jungle." The New York Times. http:??www.nytimes.com/1990/03/06/books/books-of-the-times- slogging-sureally-in-the-vietnamese-jungle, 6 Mar. 1990. Web. 1 May 2012.