Poignant, charming, devastating, horrifying, saddening, and frustrating, O’Brien has concisely said what so many others have attempted and failed to do. He’s found a voice in this desert of human experience, and he’s chronicled moments of humanity throughout conflict for all of us to see in The Thing They Carried audiobook.
The Thing They Carried audiobook carries stories about Vietnam War and even more
The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head.
The Thing They Carried audiobook includes 20 different short stories about Vietnam War with different colors: “The Things They Carried”, “Love”, “Spin”, “On the Rainy River”, “Enemies and Friends”, “How to Tell a True War Story”, “The Dentist”, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”, “Stockings”, “Church”, “The Man I Killed”, “Style”, “Speaking of Courage”, “Notes”, “In the Field”, “Good Form”, “Field Trip”, “The Ghost Soldiers”, “Night Life”, “The Lives of the Dead”.
These connected stories in The Thing They Carried audiobook are about young men in their late teens and early twenties doing their best to carry the weight of a brutal war on their shoulders. They don’t only carry equipment. Some are burdened with shame, others with cowardice, others with aggressiveness, others with bravery, others with fear, others with righteousness, some with hatred, and yet others with uncertainty. The burden of futility must be the most difficult to bear of all their emotions. Perhaps futility isn’t the best term to use. They are aware that they have no choice but to stay where they are and do what they are doing. They all bear the burden of being stranded unless they are willing to risk their lives to be flown out.
The Thing They Carried audiobook is about being stuck in the middle of a traffic jam, driving blind in a night so dark that there is no difference between seeing with your eyes open and seeing with your eyes closed. It’s the uncertainty of not knowing if you have enough petrol, if a tire will blow, if the vehicle will overheat, if it will be blown up into the woods or sank in a sewage field. It’s about being one of many small cars with two legs carrying huge loads, unsure if you’ll ever see home again.
The beauty of The Thing They Carried audiobook rests not in the war stories at its heart, but in the undulating, overlapping entanglements that constitute people’s lives, in the process of recapturing our history via narrative, bringing the various parts of our sometimes fractured selves forward into the present. The combination of O’Brien’s lyrical poetry with the brutality of Vietnam images is a true shock, devastating yet incredibly beautiful in its own way, and the power of words is a surprise.
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