I'm skimming across the surface of my own history… thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying to save Timmy's life with a story. (The Lives of the Dead)
As the last line of the book, you know this one's important. O'Brien is implying that by bringing people back to life with a story, he's saving his own life. Yeah, he brings Linda and Curt Lemon and Kiowa back, but by saving them, he's also able to save himself. That doesn't mean it's a selfish goal, entirely. He really is bringing those people back. Their memories will live on in this book. But maybe stories are the only reason he's been able to deal with all this death without going completely crazy.