Tag Archives: Vietnam

My Uncustomary Book Review!

31 Oct

I recently found a website called “The Uncustomary Book Review,” which reviews books in a whole new way (hence, the title).

Reviewers on the site tell what first attracted them to the book they’re writing about, pick a few favorite quotes, mention new words they learned about while reading the book, and lastly, they briefly discuss some of the thoughts they had while reading.

The idea really charmed me and I’m now happy to report that my first book review is live on the site!

You can find my review of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien here.

The title may ring a bell for you since I recently blogged about the book.

I assure you, it’s quite a different kind of review.

Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments (here or there).

The Things They Carried

23 Oct

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Because of the stories: Each chapter a stand-alone, yet strung together to form a longer story.

Because of the storytelling, the way the story snippets are laid out: Mentioned in passing at first, then  padded a bit more, and finally the full-blown start-to-finish of them.

Because it’s a true story of Vietnam.

Because it might not have actually happened the way it’s written, because some of it might not have happened at all, but some of it’s definitely true, and even if none of it’s true, it’s still a true war story.

Here’s an excerpt:

Often in a true war story there is not even a point, or else the point doesn’t hit you until twenty years later, in your sleep, and you wake up and shake your wife and start telling the story to her, except when you get to the end you’ve forgotten the point again. And then for a long time you lie there watching the story happen in your head. You listen to your wife’s breathing. The war’s over. You close your eyes. You smile and think, Christ, what’s the point?