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The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried


Tim O'Brien

The Things They Carried Resources


Tim O'Brien's Home Page

O'Brien's home page has a bibliography and a ton of good links. Note that it's not run by O'Brien himself, but by someone who claims to have access to him. (Also note the unintentionally hilarious editorial comments from the webmaster that are strewn throughout the page.)

Vietnam War Glossary

This is a comprehensive glossary of Vietnam War jargon and terminology. If you were wondering what a Bouncing Betty, M-60, or Freedom Bird was, this is your site.

Time Photo Essay

Time magazine published a photo essay that shows what American soldiers in Iraq "carry." It's fascinating stuff, and references O'Brien.

The Things They Carried Index

A super useful index to the book, assuming you have the correct edition.

Military History of the Vietnam War

PBS presents a site dedicated to the military history of the Vietnam War. It includes detailed descriptions of weaponry and strategies used on the battlefield.

Movie or TV Productions

A Soldier's Sweetheart (1998)

A made-for-TV movie adaptation of "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong," starring Skeet Ulrich and Jack Bauer. (Whoops, sorry. Kiefer Sutherland.)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Released in 1979, this classic movie about the Vietnam War is obviously not an adaptation of O'Brien's work, but it's worth watching anyway to really enrich your understanding of O'Brien's world.

Historical Documents

NY Times Interview

An interview O'Brien gave to The New York Times right after the publication of The Things They Carried, in which he discusses his storytelling style.

Time Magazine Review

Time's original review of the novel in 1990.

NY Times Review

The original review of the novel by The New York Times.


Tim O'Brien Reading

Tim O'Brien reads from "The Lives of the Dead." The man apparently never takes off his hat. We think he might be bald.


"The Things They Carried"

Dylan Baker readers the title story aloud. From Public Radio International's Selected Shorts podcast.

'Things They Carried' Back From Vietnam

NPR's Terry Gross interviews Tim O'Brien on Fresh Air. (May 31, 2010)

'The Things They Carried' 20 Years On

NPR's Talk of the Nation discusses The Things They Carried 20 years after the book was published. (March 24, 2010)


Tim the Soldier

Here's a picture of Tim back when he was a soldier in Vietnam.

Tim the Soldier

Here's another picture of O'Brien while in Vietnam.

Tim the Writer

And here's a picture of the man now. He's always wearing a baseball hat. We swear.

Map of Quang Ngai

Here's a map of Quang Ngai, the province that O'Brien marched through as a soldier.

American Soldiers in Quang Ngai

And, by the way, that's a communist flag they're holding up (presumably because they found it, not because they were flying it).

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