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book cover of The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

(1990)
A collection of stories by

 
 
Awards
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to."

A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried marks a subtle but definitive line of demarcation between Tim O'Brien's earlier works about Vietnam, the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone and the fictional Going After Cacciato, and this sly, almost hallucinatory book that is neither memoir nor novel nor collection of short stories but rather an artful combination of all three. Vietnam is still O'Brien's theme, but in this book he seems less interested in the war itself than in the myriad different perspectives from which he depicts it. Whereas Going After Cacciato played with reality, The Things They Carried plays with truth. The narrator of most of these stories is "Tim"; yet O'Brien freely admits that many of the events he chronicles in this collection never really happened. He never killed a man as "Tim" does in "The Man I Killed," and unlike Tim in "Ambush," he has no daughter named Kathleen. But just because a thing never happened doesn't make it any less true. In "On the Rainy River," the character Tim O'Brien responds to his draft notice by driving north, to the Canadian border where he spends six days in a deserted lodge in the company of an old man named Elroy while he wrestles with the choice between dodging the draft or going to war. The real Tim O'Brien never drove north, never found himself in a fishing boat 20 yards off the Canadian shore with a decision to make. The real Tim O'Brien quietly boarded the bus to Sioux Falls and was inducted into the United States Army. But the truth of "On the Rainy River" lies not in facts but in the genuineness of the experience it depicts: both Tims went to a war they didn't believe in; both considered themselves cowards for doing so. Every story in The Things They Carried speaks another truth that Tim O'Brien learned in Vietnam; it is this blurred line between truth and reality, fact and fiction, that makes his book unforgettable. --Alix Wilber

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Used availability for Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried

Hardback Editions

October 2017 : USA Library Binding

Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4328-4694-9 / 978-1-4328-4694-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2010 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-547-39117-X / 978-0-547-39117-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2009 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-60686-506-4 / 978-1-60686-506-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 1999 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Things They Carried (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-8335-7486-8 / 978-0-8335-7486-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Turtleback Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2009 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4420-0703-6 / 978-1-4420-0703-1 (USA edition)
Publisher:
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 2004 : Hardback

Title: The Things They Carried (5-pack) (Words matter)
Author(s): Tim O'Brien, Roald Dahl, John Steinbeck, Mary-Ellen Lang Collura, Brian Moore, Rukshana Smith, Roddy Doyle
ISBN: 9162267949 / 978-9162267940
Publisher: Sanoma Utbildning
Availability: Amazon UK   


2003 : USA Hardback

Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4025-6541-0 / 978-1-4025-6541-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


December 1998 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-7807-0360-X / 978-0-7807-0360-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


May 1990 : UK Hardback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-00-223603-6 / 978-0-00-223603-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1990 : Canada Hardback
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Title: Things They Carried
Author(s): T O'Brien
ISBN: 0-7710-6828-X / 978-0-7710-6828-7 (Canada edition)
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


March 1990 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-395-51598-X / 978-0-395-51598-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

October 2017 : USA Paperback

Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4328-4810-0 / 978-1-4328-4810-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Large Print Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 1991 : UK Paperback
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Title: The Things They Carried (Flamingo)
Author(s): Tim Obrien
ISBN: 0-00-654394-4 / 978-0-00-654394-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Flamingo
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2009 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-618-70641-0 / 978-0-544-30976-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1998 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-7679-0289-0 / 978-0-7679-0289-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Broadway
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 1998 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-606-17083-9 / 978-0-606-17083-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Demco Media
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 1991 : UK Paperback
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Title: Things They Carried (Contemporary American Fiction)
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 0-14-014773-X / 978-0-14-014773-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

April 2014 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4915-1251-2 / 978-1-4915-1251-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2013 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4558-5159-0 / 978-1-4558-5159-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2013 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4558-5163-9 / 978-1-4558-5163-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2013 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4558-5167-1 / 978-1-4558-5167-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 2013 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4692-3620-6 / 978-1-4692-3620-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 2013 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


October 2013 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


October 2013 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


November 2003 : USA Audio CD
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4025-7369-3 / 978-1-4025-7369-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


January 2003 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-4025-7447-9 / 978-1-4025-7447-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books LLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


February 1991 : USA Audio Cassette
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 1-55994-361-0 / 978-1-55994-361-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harper Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

September 2015 : UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Things They Carried (Flamingo)
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   


October 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: The Things They Carried
Author(s): Tim O'Brien
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA