We, the Drowned by Carsten JensenWe, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen

We, the Drowned

byCarsten JensenTranslated byCharlotte Barslund, Emma Ryder

Paperback | May 22, 2012

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Hailed in Europe as an instant classic, We, the Drowned is the story of the port town of Marstal, Denmark, whose inhabitants sailed the world from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War. The novel tells of ships wrecked and blown up in wars, of places of terror and violence that continue to lure each generation; there are cannibals here, shrunken heads, prophetic dreams, forbidden passions, and miraculous survivals.&nbspThe result is a&nbspbrilliant seafaring novel&nbspin the vein of&nbspConrad and Melville, a&nbspgripping saga encompassing industrial growth, the years of expansion and exploration, the crucible of the first half of the twentieth century, and most of all, the sea.&nbsp
CARSTEN JENSEN has worked as a literary critic and a journalist, reporting from China, Cambodia, Latin America, the Pacific Islands, and Afghanistan. A runaway international bestseller, there are now more than 450,000 copies of We, The Drowned in print.  
Title:We, the DrownedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:688 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.65 inPublished:May 22, 2012Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:054773736X

ISBN - 13:9780547737362

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging read This was a classic case of choosing a book by its cover and I was not disappointed! The writing will suck you in and keep you reading. Great characters, conflict, and the sea - what more can you ask for?
Date published: 2017-06-09

Read from the Book

The Boots Many years ago there lived a man called Laurids Madsen, who went up to Heaven and came down again, thanks to his boots. He didn’t soar as high as the tip of the mast on a full-rigged ship; in fact he got no farther than the main. Once up there, he stood outside the pearly gates and saw Saint Peter — though the guardian of the gateway to the Hereafter merely flashed his bare ass at him. Laurids Madsen should have been dead. But death didn’t want him, and he came back down a changed man. Until the fame he achieved from this heavenly visit, Laurids Madsen was best known for having single-handedly started a war. His father, Rasmus, had been lost at sea when Laurids was six years old. When he turned fourteen he shipped aboard the Anna of Marstal, his native town on the island of Ærø, but the ship was lost in the Baltic only three months later. The crew was rescued by an American brig and from then on Laurids Madsen dreamt of America. He’d passed his navigation exam in Flensburg when he was eighteen and the same year he was shipwrecked again, this time off the coast of Norway near Mandal, where he stood on a rock with the waves slapping on a cold October night, scanning the horizon for salvation. For the next five years he sailed the seven seas. He went south around Cape Horn and heard penguins scream in the pitch-black night. He saw Valparaiso, the west coast of America, and Sydney, where the kangaroos hop and the trees shed bark in winter and not their leaves. He met a girl with eyes like grapes by the name of Sally Brown, and could tell stories about Foretop Street, La Boca, Barbary Coast, and Tiger Bay. He boasted about his first equator crossing, when he’d saluted Neptune and felt the bump as the ship passed the line: his fellow sailors had marked the occasion by forcing him to drink salt water, fish oil, and vinegar; they’d baptized him in tar, lamp soot, and glue; shaved him with a rusty razor with dents in its blade; and tended to his cuts with stinging salt and lime. They made him kiss the ocher-colored cheek of the pockmarked Amphitrite and forced his nose down her bottle of smelling salts, which they’d filled with nail clippings. Laurids Madsen had seen the world. So had many others. But he was the only one to return to Marstal with the peculiar notion that everything there was too small, and to prove his point, he frequently spoke in a foreign tongue he called American, which he’d learned when he sailed with the naval frigate Neversink for a year. “Givin nem belong mi Laurids Madsen,” he said. He had three sons and a daughter with Karoline Grube from Nygade: Rasmus, named after his grandfather, and Esben and Albert. The girl’s name was Else and she was the oldest. Rasmus, Esben, and Else took after their mother, who was short and taciturn, while Albert resembled his father: at the age of four he was already as tall as Esben, who was three years his senior. His favorite pastime was rolling around an English cast-iron cannonball, which was far too heavy for him to lift — not that it stopped him from trying. Stubborn-faced, he’d brace his knees and strain. “Heave away, my jolly boys! Heave away, my bullies!” Laurids shouted in encouragement, as he watched his youngest son struggling with it. The cannonball had come crashing through the roof of their house in Korsgade during the English siege of Marstal in 1808, and it had put Laurids’s mother in such a fright that she promptly gave birth to him right in the middle of the kitchen floor. When little Albert wasn’t busy with the cannonball it lived in the kitchen, where Karoline used it as a mortar for crushing mustard seeds. “It could have been you announcing your arrival, my boy,” Laurids’s father had once said to him, “seeing how big you were when you were born. If the stork had dropped you, you would have gone through the roof like an English cannonball.” “Finggu,” Laurids said, holding up his finger. He wanted to teach the children the American language. Fut meant foot. He pointed to his boot. Maus was mouth. He rubbed his belly when they sat down to eat. He bared his teeth. “Hanggre.” They all understood he was telling them he was hungry. Ma was misis, Pa papa tru. When Laurids was absent, they said “Mother” and “Father” like normal children, except for Albert. He had a special bond with his father. The children had many names, pickaninnies, bullies, and hearties. “Laihim tumas,” Laurids said to Karoline, and pursed his lips as if he was about to kiss her. She blushed and laughed, and then got angry. “Don’t be such a fool, Laurids,” she said.

Table of Contents

contents

i
The Boots 3
The Thrashing Rope 56
Justice 91
The Voyage 118
The Disaster 197

ii
The Breakwater 205
Visions 239
The Boy 301
North Star 376

iii
The Widows 383
The Seagull Killer 436
The Sailor 469
Homecoming 548

iv
The End of the World 567
Acknowledgments 677
Jensen-

Editorial Reviews

The best of these stories - and none is written with less than the sharp edge of honed vision - are memory and prophecy. These tell us not where we were but where we are, and perhaps where we will be. . . . It is an ultimate, indelible image of war in our time, and in time to come" - Los Angeles Times"The Things They Carried is as good as any piece of literature can get . . . It is controlled and wild, deep and tough, perceptive and shrewd." - Chicago Sun Times"In prose that combines the sharp, unsentimental rhythms of Hemingway with gentler, more lyrical descriptions, Mr. O'Brien gives the reader a shockingly visceral sense of what it felt like to tramp through a booby-trapped jungle, carrying 20 pounds of supplies, 14 pounds of ammunition, along with radios, machine guns, assault rifles and grenades. . . . With 'The Things They Carried, Mr. O'Brien has written a vital, important book - a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but to anyone interested in the craft of writing as well." - Michiko Kakutani, New York Times"[B]elongs high on the list of best fiction about any war? .crystallizes the Vietnam experience for everyone [and] exposes the nature of all war stories." - New York Times, "Books of the Century""With The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien adds his second title to the short list of essential fiction about Vietnam. . . . [H]e captures the war's pulsating rhythms and nerve-racking dangers. But he goes much further. By moving beyond the horror of the fighting to examine with sensitivity and insight the nature of courage and fear, by questioning the role that imagination plays in helping to form our memories and our own versions of truth, he places The Things They Carried high up on the list of best fiction about any war." - New York Times Book Review"When Going After Cacciato appeared out of nowhere to win the 1979 National Book Award, it seemed to many, myself included, that no finer fiction had, as of then, been written in the closing half of the 20th century - or was likely to be in the remaining years to come. The Things They Carried disposes of that prediction. . . . Tim O'Brien is the best American writer of his generation." - San Francisco Examiner'The integrity of a novel and the immediacy of an autobiography . . . O'Brien's absorbing narrative moves in circles; events are recalled and retold again and again, giving us a deep sense of the fluidity of truth and the dance of memory.' - The New Yorker"Rendered with an evocative, quiet precision, not equaled in the imaginitive literature of the American war in Vietnam. It is as though a Thucydides had descended from grand politique and strategy to calm dissection of the quotidian efforts of war. . . . O'Brien has it just right." - Washington Post"Powerful . . . Composed in the same lean, vigorous style as his earlier books, The Things They Carried adds up to a captivating account of the experiences of an infantry company in Vietnam. . . . Evocative and haunting, the raw force of confession." - Wall Street Journal"O'Brien has written a book so searing and immediate you can almost hear the choppers in the background. Drenched in irony and purple-haze napalm, the Vietnam narrative has almost been forced to produce a new kind of war literature. The Things They Carried is an extraordinary contribution to that class of fiction. . . . O'Brien's passion and memory may have been his torment all these years, but they have also been his gift. . . . The Things They Carried leaves third-degree burns. Between itsrhythmic brilliance and its exquisite rendering of memory - the slant of sunlight in the midst of war, the look on a man's face as he steps on a mine - this is prose headed for the nerve center of what was Vietnam." - The Boston Globe"Simply marvelous ? A striking sequence of stories that twist and turn and bounce off each other . . . O'Brien has invented a tone of voice precisely suited to this war: it conveys a risky load of sentiment kept in check by both a chaste prose and a fair amount of comedy. . . . Wars seldom produce good short stories, but two or three of these seem as good as any short stories written about any war. . . . Immensely affecting." - Newsweek"The Things They Carried is as good as any piece of literature can get. . . . The line between fiction and fact is beautifully, permanently blurred. It is the perfect approach to this sort of material, and O'Brien does it with vast skill and grace. ? It is controlled and wild, deep and tough, perceptive and shrewd. I salute the man who wrote it." - Chicago Sun-Times"Consummate artistry ? A strongly unified book, a series of glimpses, through different facets, of a single, mysterious, deadly stone . . . O'Brien blends diverse incidents, voices, and genres, indelibly rendering the nightmarish impact of the Vietnam experience." - Andy Solomon, Philadelphia Inquirer"O'Brien has brought us another remarkable piece of work . . . The stories have a specificity of observed physical detail that makes them seem a model of the realist's art. . . . What finally distinguishes The Things They Carried is O'Brien's understanding of the nature of memory." - Miami Herald"This is writing so powerful that it steals your breath. ? It perfectly captures the moral confusion that is the legacy of the Vietnam War. . . . The Things They Carried is about more than war, of course. It is about the human heart and emotional baggage and loyalty and love. It is about the difference between 'truth' and 'reality.' It is about death - and life. It is successful on every level." - Milwaukee Journal"O'Brien's stunning new book of linked stories, The Things They Carried, is about the power of the imagination. . . . I've read all five of O'Brien's books with admiration that sometimes verges on awe. Nobody else can make me feel, as his three Vietnam books have, what I imagine to have been the reality of that war." - USA Today"I've got to make you read this book. ? A certain panic arises in me. In trying to review a book as precious as The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, there is the nightmare fear of saying the wrong thing - of not getting the book's wonder across to you fairly-and of sounding merely zealous, fanatical, and hence to be dismissed. If I can't get you to go out and buy this book, then I've failed you. ? In a world filled too often with numbness, or shifting values, these stories shine in a strange and opposite direction, moving against the flow, illuminating life's wonder, life's tenuousness, life's importance." - Rick Bass, Dallas Morning News"O'Brien has unmistakably forged one of the most persuasive works of any kind to arise out of any war." - Hartford Courant"O'Brien succeeds as well as any writer in conveying the free-fall sensation of fear and the surrealism of combat." - Time"It's a marvelous and chilling book, and something totally new in fiction. A dramatic redefinition of fiction itself, maybe. It will probably be a bestseller and a movie, and deserves to be. It will be nominated for prizes, but I wonder if any prize will do it justice. Maybe a silver star for telling the truth that never happened, passionately, gracefully." - Charlotte Observer"The Things They Carried is more than 'another' book about Vietnam. ? It is a master stroke of form and imagery. . . . The Things They Carried is about life, about men who fought and die, about buddies, and about a lost innocence that might be recaptured through the memory of stories. O'Brien tells us these stories because he must. He tells them as they have never been told before. ? If Cacciato was the book about Vietnam, then this is the book about surviving it." - Richmond Times-Dispatch"Throughout, it is incredibly ordinary, human stuff-that's why this book is extra-ordinary. . . . Each story resonates with its predecessors, yet stands alone. The soft blurs with the hard. The gore and terror of Vietnam jungle warfare accumulate into an enormous mass." - Houston Chronicle"Even more than Cacciato, The Things They Carried is virtually impossible to summarize in conventional terms. If anything, it is a better book. . . . The novel is held together by two things: the haunting clarity of O'Brien's prose and the intensity of his focus. . . . O'Brien's stories are like nobody else's. His blend of poetic realism and comic fantasy remains unique. ? In short, critics really can't account for O'Brien at all. At least in part that's because his Vietnam stories are really about the yearning for peace - aimed at human understanding rather than some 'definitive' understanding of the war. . . . Just by imagining stories that never happened, and embroidering upon some that did, O'Brien can bring it all back. He can feel the terror and the sorrow and the crazy, jagged laughter. He can bring the dead back to life. And bring back the dreaming, too." - Entertainment Weekly"Brilliant. . . O'Brien again shows his literary stuff. . . . An acutely painful reading experience, this collection should be read as a book and not a mere collection of stories. Not since Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five has the American soldier been portrayed with such poignance and sincerity." - Library Journal"One hell of a book . . . You'll rarely read anything as real as this." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch"Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried carries not only the soldiers' intangible burdens-grief, terror, love, longing - but also the weight of memory, the terrible gravity of guilt. It carries them, though, with a lovely, stirring grace, because it is as much about the redemptive power of stories as it is about Vietnam." - Orlando Sentinel"The author of the National Book Award-winning Going After Cacciato offers us fiction in a unique form: a kind of 'faction' presented as a collection of related stories that have the cumulative effect of a unified novel. . . .The prose ranges from staccato soldierly thoughts to raw depictions of violent death to intense personal ruminations by the author that don't appear to be fictional at all. Just when you thought there was nothing left to say about the Vietnam experience . . . there's plenty." - Booklist"Astonishing . . . Richly wrought and filled with war's paradoxes, The Things They Carried will reward a second, or even a third, reading. . . . His ambitious, modernistic fable, Going After Cacciato, raised the American war novel to new artistic realms. The Things They Carried is also astonishing-in a whole new way." - Boston Sunday Herald"Eloquent? In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien expertly fires off tracer rounds, illuminating the art of war in all its horrible and fascinating complexity, detailing the mad and the mundane. . . . The Things They Carried joins the work of Crane and Hemingway and Mailer as great war literature." - Tampa Tribune & Times"The Things They Carried is distinguished by virtue of the novelty and complexity of its presentation. Mr. O'Brien is a superb prose stylist, perhaps the best among Vietnam War novelists. . . . The imaginative retelling of the war is just as real as the war itself, maybe more so, and experiencing these narratives can be powerfully cathartic for writer and reader alike." - Atlanta Journal & Constitution"The search for the great American novel will never end, but it gets a step closer to realization with The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien." - Detroit Free Press"His language is simple - no tricks, no phony subtlety, no 'artistic' twists. The writing is as clear as one of his northern Minnesota lakes. . . . The Things They Carried charts out a lot of emotional territory, gripping the reader from beginning to end. This is one of those books you should read. It is also one of those books you'll be glad you did. . . . This book - and these lives - will live for a long time." - Milwaukee Sentinel"There have been movies. And plays. And books. But there has been nothing like Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. . . . O'Brien's vision is unique. . . . All of us, by holding O'Brien's stories in our hands, can approach Vietnam and truth." - San Diego Union"His characters and his situations are unique and ring true to the point of tears. His prose is simply magnificent. . . . Unforgettable ." - Minneapolis Star Tribune"A powerful yet lyrical work of fiction." - The Associated Press"O'Brien's new master work. .. . Go out and get this book and read it. Read it slowly, and let O'Brien's masterful storytelling and his eloquent philosophizing about the nature of war wash over you. . . . The Things They Carried is a major work of literary imagination." - The Veteran"In The Things They Carried, a matchlessly literary book, O'Brien casts away any least pretense and writes straight from the heart. . . . The Things They Carried is an accomplished, gentle, lovely book." - Kansas City Star"O'Brien's meditations - on war and memory, on darkness and light - suffuse the entire work with a kind of poetic form, making for a highly original, fully realized novel. . . . Beautifully honest . . . The book is persuasive in its desperate hope that stories can save us." - Publishers Weekly"The best of these stories - and none is written with less than the sharp edge of honed vision - are memory and prophecy. These tell us not where we were but where we are, and perhaps where we will be. . . . It is an ultimate, indelible image of war in our time, and in time to come" - Los Angeles Times"The Things They Carriedis as good as any piece of literature can get . . . It is controlled and wild, deep and tough, perceptive and shrewd." - Chicago Sun Times"In prose that combines the sharp, unsentimental rhythms of Hemingway with gentler, more lyrical descriptions, Mr. O'Brien gives the reader a shockingly visceral sense of what it felt like to tramp through a booby-trapped jungle, carrying 20 pounds of supplies, 14 pounds of ammunition, along with radios, machine guns, assault rifles and grenades. . . . With 'The Things They Carried, Mr. O'Brien has written a vital, important book - a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but to anyone interested in the craft of writing as well." - Michiko Kakutani,New York Times"[B]elongs high on the list of best fiction about any war? .crystallizes the Vietnam experience for everyone [and] exposes the nature of all war stories." - New York Times,"Books of the Century""WithThe Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien adds his second title to the short list of essential fiction about Vietnam. . . . [H]e captures the war's pulsating rhythms and nerve-racking dangers. But he goes much further. By moving beyond the horror of the fighting to examine with sensitivity and insight the nature of courage and fear, by questioning the role that imagination plays in helping to form our memories and our own versions of truth, he placesThe Things They Carried high up on the list of best fiction about any war." - New York Times Book Review"WhenGoing After Cacciatoappeared out of nowhere to win the 1979 National Book Award, it seemed to many, myself included, that no finer fiction had, as of then, been written in the closing half of the 20th century - or was likely to be in the remaining years to come.The Things They Carried disposes of that prediction. . . . Tim O'Brien is the best American writer of his generation." - San Francisco Examiner'The integrity of a novel and the immediacy of an autobiography . . . O'Brien's absorbing narrative moves in circles; events are recalled and retold again and again, giving us a deep sense of the fluidity of truth and the dance of memory.' - The New Yorker"Rendered with an evocative, quiet precision, not equaled in the imaginitive literature of the American war in Vietnam. It is as though a Thucydides had descended from grandpolitique and strategy to calm dissection of the quotidian efforts of war. . . . O'Brien has it just right." - Washington Post"Powerful . . . Composed in the same lean, vigorous style as his earlier books,The Things They Carriedadds up to a captivating account of the experiences of an infantry company in Vietnam. . . . Evocative and haunting, the raw force of confession." - Wall Street Journal"O'Brien has written a book so searing and immediate you can almost hear the choppers in the background. Drenched in irony and purple-haze napalm, the Vietnam narrative has almost been forced to produce a new kind of war literature.The Things They Carriedis an extraordinary contribution to that class of fiction. . . . O'Brien's passion and memory may have been his torment all these years, but they have also been his gift. . . .The Things They Carriedleaves third-degree burns. Between its rhythmic brilliance and its exquisite rendering of memory - the slant of sunlight in the midst of war, the look on a man's face as he steps on a mine - this is prose headed for the nerve center of what was Vietnam." - The Boston Globe"Simply marvelous ? A striking sequence of stories that twist and turn and bounce off each other . . . O'Brien has invented a tone of voice precisely suited to this war: it conveys a risky load of sentiment kept in check by both a chaste prose and a fair amount of comedy. . . . Wars seldom produce good short stories, but two or three of these seem as good as any short stories written about any war. . . . Immensely affecting." - Newsweek"The Things They Carried is as good as any piece of literature can get. . . . The line between fiction and fact is beautifully, permanently blurred. It is the perfect approach to this sort of material, and O'Brien does it with vast skill and grace. ? It is controlled and wild, deep and tough, perceptive and shrewd. I salute the man who wrote it." - Chicago Sun-Times"Consummate artistry ? A strongly unified book, a series of glimpses, through different facets, of a single, mysterious, deadly stone . . . O'Brien blends diverse incidents, voices, and genres, indelibly rendering the nightmarish impact of the Vietnam experience." - Andy Solomon,Philadelphia Inquirer"O'Brien has brought us another remarkable piece of work . . . The stories have a specificity of observed physical detail that makes them seem a model of the realist's art. . . . What finally distinguishesThe Things They Carried is O'Brien's understanding of the nature of memory." - Miami Herald"This is writing so powerful that it steals your breath. ? It perfectly captures the moral confusion that is the legacy of the Vietnam War. . . .The Things They Carried is about more than war, of course. It is about the human heart and emotional baggage and loyalty and love. It is about the difference between 'truth' and 'reality.' It is about death - and life. It is successful on every level." - Milwaukee Journal"O'Brien's stunning new book of linked stories,The Things They Carried, is about the power of the imagination. . . . I've read all five of O'Brien's books with admiration that sometimes verges on awe. Nobody else can make me feel, as his three Vietnam books have, what I imagine to have been the reality of that war." - USA Today"I've got to make you read this book. ? A certain panic arises in me. In trying to review a book as precious asThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, there is the nightmare fear of saying the wrong thing - of not getting the book's wonder across to you fairly-and of sounding merely zealous, fanatical, and hence to be dismissed. If I can't get you to go out and buy this book, then I've failed you. ? In a world filled too often with numbness, or shifting values, these stories shine in a strange and opposite direction, moving against the flow, illuminating life's wonder, life's tenuousness, life's importance." - Rick Bass,Dallas Morning News"O'Brien has unmistakably forged one of the most persuasive works of any kind to arise out of any war." - Hartford Courant"O'Brien succeeds as well as any writer in conveying the free-fall sensation of fear and the surrealism of combat." - Time"It's a marvelous and chilling book, and something totally new in fiction. A dramatic redefinition of fiction itself, maybe. It will probably be a bestseller and a movie, and deserves to be. It will be nominated for prizes, but I wonder if any prize will do it justice. Maybe a silver star for telling the truth that never happened, passionately, gracefully." - Charlotte Observer"The Things They Carried is more than 'another' book about Vietnam. ? It is a master stroke of form and imagery. . . .The Things They Carried is about life, about men who fought and die, about buddies, and about a lost innocence that might be recaptured through the memory of stories. O'Brien tells us these stories because he must. He tells them as they have never been told before. ? IfCacciato was the book about Vietnam, then this is the book about surviving it." - Richmond Times-Dispatch"Throughout, it is incredibly ordinary, human stuff-that's why this book is extra-ordinary. . . . Each story resonates with its predecessors, yet stands alone. The soft blurs with the hard. The gore and terror of Vietnam jungle warfare accumulate into an enormous mass." - Houston Chronicle"Even more thanCacciato,The Things They Carried is virtually impossible to summarize in conventional terms. If anything, it is a better book. . . . The novel is held together by two things: the haunting clarity of O'Brien's prose and the intensity of his focus. . . . O'Brien's stories are like nobody else's. His blend of poetic realism and comic fantasy remains unique. ? In short, critics really can't account for O'Brien at all. At least in part that's because his Vietnam stories are really about the yearning for peace - aimed at humanunderstanding rather than some 'definitive' understanding of the war. . . . Just by imagining stories that never happened, and embroidering upon some that did, O'Brien can bring it all back. He can feel the terror and the sorrow and the crazy, jagged laughter. He can bring the dead back to life. And bring back the dreaming, too." - Entertainment Weekly"Brilliant. . . O'Brien again shows his literary stuff. . . . An acutely painful reading experience, this collection should be read as a book and not a mere collection of stories. Not since Kurt Vonnegut'sSlaughterhouse Five has the American soldier been portrayed with such poignance and sincerity." - Library Journal"One hell of a book . . . You'll rarely read anything as real as this." - St. Louis Post-Dispatch"Tim O'Brien'sThe Things They Carried carries not only the soldiers' intangible burdens-grief, terror, love, longing - but also the weight of memory, the terrible gravity of guilt. It carries them, though, with a lovely, stirring grace, because it is as much about the redemptive power of stories as it is about Vietnam." - Orlando Sentinel"The author of the National Book Award-winningGoing After Cacciato offers us fiction in a unique form: a kind of 'faction' presented as a collection of related stories that have the cumulative effect of a unified novel. . . .The prose ranges from staccato soldierly thoughts to raw depictions of violent death to intense personal ruminations by the author that don't appear to be fictional at all. Just when you thought there was nothing left to say about the Vietnam experience . . . there's plenty." - Booklist"Astonishing . . . Richly wrought and filled with war's paradoxes,The Things They Carried will reward a second, or even a third, reading. . . . His ambitious, modernistic fable,Going After Cacciato, raised the American war novel to new artistic realms. The Things They Carried is also astonishing-in a whole new way." - Boston Sunday Herald"Eloquent? InThe Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien expertly fires off tracer rounds, illuminating the art of war in all its horrible and fascinating complexity, detailing the mad and the mundane. . . .The Things They Carried joins the work of Crane and Hemingway and Mailer as great war literature." - Tampa Tribune & Times"The Things They Carried is distinguished by virtue of the novelty and complexity of its presentation. Mr. O'Brien is a superb prose stylist, perhaps the best among Vietnam War novelists. . . . The imaginative retelling of the war is just as real as the war itself, maybe more so, and experiencing these narratives can be powerfully cathartic for writer and reader alike." - Atlanta Journal & Constitution"The search for the great American novel will never end, but it gets a step closer to realization withThe Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien." - Detroit Free Press"His language is simple - no tricks, no phony subtlety, no 'artistic' twists. The writing is as clear as one of his northern Minnesota lakes. . . . The Things They Carried charts out a lot of emotional territory, gripping the reader from beginning to end. This is one of those books you should read. It is also one of those books you'll be glad you did. . . . This book - and these lives - will live for a long time." - Milwaukee Sentinel"There have been movies. And plays. And books. But there has been nothing like Tim O'Brien'sThe Things They Carried. . . . O'Brien's vision is unique. . . . All of us, by holding O'Brien's stories in our hands, can approach Vietnam and truth." - San Diego Union"His characters and his situations are unique and ring true to the point of tears. His prose is simply magnificent. . . . Unforgettable ." - Minneapolis Star Tribune"A powerful yet lyrical work of fiction." - The Associated Press"O'Brien's new master work. .. . Go out and get this book and read it. Read it slowly, and let O'Brien's masterful storytelling and his eloquent philosophizing about the nature of war wash over you. . . .The Things They Carried is a major work of literary imagination." - The Veteran"InThe Things They Carried, a matchlessly literary book, O'Brien casts away any least pretense and writes straight from the heart. . . .The Things They Carried is an accomplished, gentle, lovely book." - Kansas City Star"O'Brien's meditations - on war and memory, on darkness and light - suffuse the entire work with a kind of poetic form, making for a highly original, fully realized novel. . . . Beautifully honest . . . The book is persuasive in its desperate hope that stories can save us." - Publishers Weekly"