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1. The Things They Carried
2. If I Die in a Combat Zone : Box
3. July, July
4. In the Lake of the Woods
5. Going After Cacciato
6. Tomcat in Love
7. The Nuclear Age
8. Northern Lights
9. A Trauma Artist: Tim O'Brien and
10. United States Authors Series:
11. In the Shoes of a Soldier: Communication
12. Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion
13. Tim O'Brien in the Classroom:
14. The Putt at the End of the World
15. Postmodern Counternarratives:
16. The Amusement Park Guide: Fun
17. Approaches to Teaching the Works
18. Wege aus dem Krieg: Strategien
19. Understanding Tim O'Brien (Understanding
20. Soldiers Once and Still: Ernest

1. The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 256 Pages (2009-10-13)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0618706410
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Tim O'Brien's modern classic that reset our understanding of fiction, nonfiction, and the way they can work together, as well as our understanding of the Vietnam war and its consequences, The Things They Carried now has well over a million copies in print.Amazon.com Review
"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief,terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles hadtheir own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. Theycarried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Menkilled, and died, because they were embarrassed not to."

A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book CriticsCircle Award, The Things They Carried marks a subtle but definitiveline of demarcation between Tim O'Brien's earlier works about Vietnam, thememoir If I Die in a Combat Zone and the fictional Going After Cacciato,and this sly, almost hallucinatorybook that is neither memoir nor novel nor collection of short stories butrather an artful combination of all three. Vietnam is still O'Brien'stheme, but in this book he seems less interested in the war itself than inthe myriad different perspectives from which he depicts it. WhereasGoing After Cacciato played with reality, The Things TheyCarried plays with truth. The narrator of most of these stories is"Tim"; yet O'Brien freely admits that many of the events he chronicles inthis collection never really happened. He never killed a man as "Tim" doesin "The Man I Killed," and unlike Tim in "Ambush," he has no daughter namedKathleen. But just because a thing never happened doesn't make it any lesstrue. In "On the Rainy River," the character Tim O'Brien responds to hisdraft notice by driving north, to the Canadian border where he spends sixdays in a deserted lodge in the company of an old man named Elroy while hewrestles with the choice between dodging the draft or going to war. Thereal Tim O'Brien never drove north, never found himself in a fishing boat20 yards off the Canadian shore with a decision to make. The real TimO'Brien quietly boarded the bus to Sioux Falls and was inducted into theUnited States Army. But the truth of "On the Rainy River" lies not in factsbut in the genuineness of the experience it depicts: both Tims went to awar they didn't believe in; both considered themselves cowards for doingso. Every story in The Things They Carried speaks another truth that TimO'Brien learned in Vietnam; it is this blurred line between truth andreality, fact and fiction, that makes his book unforgettable. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (828)

4-0 out of 5 stars wat?
hes coco, dont get most of stuff
eazy read

3-0 out of 5 stars Vietnam
I'm not real big on war stories, however this was a good story.I think one book about wars is enough for me.

3-0 out of 5 stars "Things, like a walk in the park." Song lyrics
This story brought to mind Truman Capote's nonfiction novel, "In Cold Blood," due to the mixture of fiction and realism.

"The Things They Carried," tells of a platoon of soldiers and their experiences in Vietnam.

It gives an interesting insight into the make-up of soldiers on active duty and serves as a comparison to today's army fighting in Afghanistan.

The story tells what various soldiers carry in the field. We learn of the special equipment andthat one man carried a sewing kit, another had a New Testament, still another carried Dr. Scholl's foot powder and that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried the letters from his love, Martha, a college student at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. In a sad manner, we also discover that Jimmy was madly in love with Martha but that she didn't share his love.

The author also gives the reader a view to what activities the soldiers did when not in the field. We see a soldier named Kiowa teaching a rain dance to Rat Kelly and another soldier adopted a puppy. This made the soldiers seem more real.

The book is made up of linked stories that is more like a journal of Tim O'Brien's Vietnam experience.To me, it felt more like a lesson in history than a novel and what appealed to me was the uniqueness and descriptions of men who are my age, went through in the war.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stories That Keep People Alive
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien almost defies description and classification.Part memoir, part novel, part short story, part essay, part non-fiction, and part reflections on writing and telling stories, The Things They Carried takes the reader into the Vietnam war through the eyes of the narrator, who also happens to be named "Tim O'Brien."

Throughout the novel, O'Brien jumps back and forth between "present day" and his years in Vietnam, telling the stories of the people, the country, and the war in which he participated.Much like the real-life author, the narrator O'Brien is a modern day author, generally writing about war, especially the war in Vietnam.The stories within the novel generally focus on the lives of Alpha platoon, the platoon that O'Brien the narrator served with.

O'Brien the author constantly blends the "real" with the "not real" causing the reader to constantly wonder what is "reality" - this is a large reason why O'Brien has used his own name for the "fictional" character, and why that "fictional" character has written all the same books that the "real life" O'Brien has written.The narrator consistently will relate a story from the war, a story that will seize the reader's attention and make them feel as if they were there - that they can feel the mud, hear the mortar, or taste the c rations, only to learn a few pages later that the story is not real.But, the reader did feel, and hear, and taste the surroundings, is this not real?And that is exactly what O'Brien the author is attempting to accomplish in this modern classic: he will challenge you throughout the novel to think about the role of stories and the way they bend, and blend with, reality.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Things They're Still Carrying....
As a rule I DO NOT read books about war. The reason for this is I am a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom myself and it is a time in my life I would rather forget about. Reading war books just reminds me of what I do not want to be reminded of. No, I did not kill anyone nor did I see anyone killed. We did have people in my Unit and my Division that did not make it home and I am eternally thankful that I and my husband spent a year over there and emerged physically unscathed. Emotionally, that is another story entirely and why I mention it here is because I am glad I did give The Things They Carried a go because I could relate to Tim O'Brien and many of the things he felt as a Soldier in a war zone.

The Things They Carried is really a collection of war stories and recollections from Tim O'Brien who served in the Vietnam War. He tells stories about the members of his platoon and how they interacted with each other in an environment that is constant stress. He recalls members of his unit and how they died-Lavender, Lemon, Kiowa (who was sucked into a mud pit-what a horrible way to go..). It is not the story that comes through though. It is the feelings associated with the stories. He talks about his inner turmoil in first learning he was going to `Nam and how Soldiers over there make a mockery of death as a coping mechanism. He talks of how desensitized you become to what is happening around you and to the people around you and also to the local population. He touches on the struggle when you return and how hard it is because those around you haven't been there and they just don't get it and how some eventually decide they cannot cope. I think this book is especially relevant now with the war going on in Iraq/Afghanistan because we have Soldiers and Veterans now that are going through the same thing Soldiers went through 35 years ago.

Is it the best book I've read? No. Is it a book that has gone beyond entertainment value and touched something deeper inside? Yes. I definitely recommend it. ... Read more

2. If I Die in a Combat Zone : Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 224 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$6.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767904435
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Before writing his award-winning Going After Cacciato, Tim O'Brien gave us this intensely personal account of his year as a foot soldier in Vietnam. The author takes us with him to experience combat from behind an infantryman's rifle, to walk the minefields of My Lai, to crawl into the ghostly tunnels, and to explore the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war gone terribly wrong. Beautifully written and searingly heartfelt, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a masterwork of its genre.Amazon.com Review
Over time, Tim O'Brien has used both art and artifice to shape hisfictional accounts of Vietnam. Award-winning novels such asGoing After Cacciato and The Things TheyCarried offer up a surreal view of the war: a soldier who decides towalk to Paris, leaving only a trail of M&M's in his wake; a young man whoimports his high-school girlfriend to his base camp high in the jungledmountains, only to lose her to a shadowy squad of Special Forces GreenBerets and to "that mix of unnamed terror and unnamed pleasure" that wasVietnam. O'Brien's first account of the war, however, was written in theraw, unfiltered months following his return from Southeast Asia in 1969.If I Die in a Combat Zone has all of the eloquence and attention tolanguage and detail that are a mark of the author's work; what is different about it is its straightforward, unembellished depiction of his personalexperience of hell.

"When you are ordered to march through areas such as Pinkville--GI slangfor Song My, parent village of My Lai ... you do some thinking. Youhallucinate. You look ahead a few paces and wonder what your legs willresemble if there is more to the earth in that spot than silicates andnitrogen. Will the pain be unbearable? Will you scream or fall silent? Willyou be afraid to look at your own body, afraid of the sight of your own redflesh and white bone? You wonder if the medic remembered his morphine."

O'Brien paints an unvarnished portrait of the infantry soldier's life thatis at once mundane and terrifying--the endless days of patrollingpunctuated by firefights that end as suddenly and inconclusively as theybegin; the mind-numbing brutality of burned villages and trampled ricepatties; the terror of tunnels, minefields, and the ever-present threat ofdeath. Powerful as these scenes are, perhaps the most memorable chapter inthe book concerns his decision to desert just a few weeks before he wassent to Vietnam. "The AWOL bag was ready to go, but I wasn't.... I burned theletters to my family. I read the others and burned them, too. It was over.I simply couldn't bring myself to flee. Family, the home town, friends,history, tradition, fear, confusion, exile: I could not run." Tim O'Brienwent into the war opposing it and came out knowing exactly why. If I Diein a Combat Zone is more than just a memoir of a disastrous war; it isalso a meditation on heroism and cowardice, on the mutability of truth andmorality in a war zone and, most of all, on the simple, human capacity toendure the unendurable. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

3-0 out of 5 stars a memoir emblematic of Vietnam ambivalence
Tim O'brien was an average American college kid from Minnesota upon being drafted in 1968.He had a deep seeded conflict about the Vietnam War's morality and his part in it.There are some amazingly articulate passages in the first segment of "If I die in a Combat Zone" about the inner struggle most Vietnam soldiers went through before they were shipped out.O'brien was certainly no Berkley radical but like most people of his generation, felt the war was misguided and morally ambiguous.He had no desire to fight for his county in a war that seemed ill-fated, but did feel a degree of guilt about avoiding the draft.He went so far as to entertain notions of desertion and dodging the draft through escape to Canada and even Europe.These ideas were quite far-fetched and were a product of O'brien's active imagination and introspective nature.He was extremely fond of philosophy and literature; he looked for the answers to his moral dilemma in the pages of books but they could not provide any real solution.
O'brien's eventual compliance with the army is an excellent portrayal of how most Americans went to war in Vietnam.The conflict between the guilt of serving in an immoral war and another type of guilt in disgracing his family and community through draft dodging caused quite an inner struggle.Like so many baby boomers, O'brien's father had served in WWII and his grandfather in WWI.The burden of service to one's country was something not to be scoffed at in O'brien's mind, even if it meant fighting in a war that most thought was out of control.
He ships out to basic at Fort Lewis in Washington State near the end of 1968.His experience at boot went roughly at first as the sensitive and intelligent O'brien was not very comfortable with Army routine and the destruction of privacy.He began to dislike the mindless nature he witnessed in most of his sadistic drill instructors and was somewhat of a loner.The initial shock wears off and O'brien settles into Army regimen making a few close friends who shared his unfavorable opinion of the Army.The reader begins to feel O'brien's talent for dark humor as his depictions of the Drill Instructors have a subversive and sarcastic angle.O'brien finishes Basic and AIT, still harboring a far- fetched notion of going AWOL to Canada or Europe.The feelings of guilt and duty to his family and country eventually win out and he disposes of those ideas before finally shipping out to Vietnam in March of 1969.
He joins the 5th Battallion, 46th Infantry regiment, 23rd Americal Division in II Corps of Vietnam.O'brien becomes the Radio man for the company commander as Alpha patrols the rice paddies, fields ,villages and jungle groves near My Lai.They referred to the area as "Pinkville" which was a known staging ground for the VC.It was also the sight of the infamous massacre which occurred a year earlier in which Lt. Calley gunned down hundreds of unarmed civilians.O'brien touches on these topics and describes several scenes where villagers are abused and interrogated because of the obvious support to the VC.His war is the typical hit and run with the VC, not the intense jungle combat of I Corps but the minefields and random VC ambushes certainly inflict some serious damage to Alpha company. O'brien profiles a few of his company commanders showing that brave and competent men served in Vietnam along with bumblers and idiots. He also writes about the virtual non-existence of courage in Vietnam as nearly every man just wants to survive. After 6 months in the field, O'brien obtains a job at Battalion HQ beforing completing his tour, which ends his time as a foot soldier.He his story finishes with the bitter- sweet plane ride home to Minnesota in early 1970.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed - Not worth the price
I think this is an average book, although quite honest from the Author. I have heard a lot of Tim O'Brien but this is the first book I read of his. It is much more an anti-war book then a war book. In this account anyway, I find the Author's arrogance towards other soldiers who he calls GI's although I hadn't heard that term in reference to someone in the Army since WWII.

He comes from a family where he had people serving during the war, WWII that is. But his self interest and cowardice, his own description of himself in Nam, got the best of me. I can see all the acclaim once placed on this book because of its anti-war stance at the time and for many years thereafter. When you start out an intellectual in boot camp and describe how much better you are than everyone around you kinds of drags on a two tour in Nam vet. I can't say that what he describes as his Vietnam didn't happen but in my years there from 66, 67 & 68 didnt see an ounce of it. Disappointed indeed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Deserved more thought
I have not read anything else of O'Brien's but I will.I am intrigued.This book was apparently written in the time between his combat experience and coming home.It perfectly reflects the angst many of us went through, though many of us didn't have to plan the trip to Toronto and probably would not have at any rate.Just like Tim.Maybe he's written a more thoughtful book about the war and his experience.I'll check it out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and honest account of VN service and misgivings
If I Die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home - Tim O'Brien

Students of the Viet Nam War will soon realize that books detailing first person accounts of in country military service are very numerous. I have read several of these and find them a refreshing remedy to the memoirs of generals and politicians. Each type of book certainly has it's place in our attempts to come to grips with the tangle of Viet Nam. Nonetheless the personal experience of young soldiers elicits for this reader a myriad of disconcerting thoughts regarding misguided patriotism and unmitigated heroism.

The author shares his deep reservations concerning Viet Nam and warfare in general. He ruminates about the values instilled by a small Minnesota town upbringing contrasted with the possible necessity of taken a persons life in a foreign country for a doubtful objective. After some misgivings he answers his draft notice. After basic training and assurance that his billet will be Viet Nam his qualms resurface. During AMT (Advanced Military Training) he makes elaborated plans to escape to Canada.Be warned the author's introspection is a recurrent theme in this book so if you're looking for nonstop combat accounts you may be disappointed.

Tim ended up in Viet Nam and volunteered for one of the two most dangerous jobs in a rifle platoons that of radio operator - the other being the "point" man. OK he was in the rear but what a target. The enemy knows that taking out the radioman was key to preventing air and artillery support and as a bonus the officers are always near by.

The author has an admirable skill in detailing the absurdities inherent in our futile crusade in that sad country. Mr. O'Brien has written, in my opinion, one of the better Viet Nam books of this type.

5-0 out of 5 stars "I want to go to Vietnam; Just to kill ol' Charlie Cong..."
This is O'Brien's first book, written as the Vietnam War (American version) still raged, and I consider it his best. The authenticity of the American soldier's experience in the war permeates the book, and he did not need to embellish the stories with some of the "magic realism" that he used in later works. I also gave "The Things They Carried" a solid 5-stars but felt that the quality of some of the stories in that work was uneven; particularly such stories as "The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong."The title to this book, as well as my subject line to my review are derived from the song fragments that the drill instructors made you sing in basic training. As O'Brien says, if you want to understand how the massacre at My Lai happened, you need to look at the "training" of the soldiers who went to the war. O'Brien has several excellent chapters on the "training," which is primarily composed of psychological methods to de-humanize the one-time civilian and transform him (when it was males who were drafted) into an automaton who follows orders blindly.

For the vast majority of readers who were not in the war, I think it helps to realize that O'Brien's own experience represented a slender, but the most essential aspect of the war. The vast majority of the soldiers who were there, which peaked at more than half a million per year, were not in the infantry. At most, 15% had experiences like O'Brien. Furthermore, he was there during the waning days of American ground combat, 1969-70, and within a year virtually all such operations would cease, though the war would drag on for another four years. By then all the soldiers were cynical about the prospects of "winning," and only hoped to last out their 12 months, preferably in the rear, if that could be arranged. And O'Brien was in an area, Quang Ngai province, which received virtually no press coverage, until, that is, a courageous photographer retain a few rolls of film, delivered them to the media, exposing the massacre which occurred at My Lai. O'Brien took part in patrols around My Lai, but more than a year after the massacre. On these patrols, O'Brien and his fellow soldiers were also bedeviled by the mines which were a catalyst for the most famous massacre of the war.

My year in Vietnam commenced six months prior to O'Brien's and I was only 50-100 km south of him, in Binh Dinh province. I was in a tank unit, and we did conduct combined operations with infantry, so the story told in Chapter 17, "July" was haunting, since it covered one of the most unfortunate aspects of any war -- being killed by your own men or equipment, and in this chapter, some of the infantry were run over by the "APC," (Armored Personnel Carriers) during a joint operation.

O'Brien was a "college boy," one who was well-read, and brought the world of books to his experiences there, with philosophical discussions on the meaning of courage and perspectives from Hemingway to Homer. He opposed the war before his arrival, supported McCarthy for President, had read Bernard Fall on the French War in Vietnam, and had read Graham Greene's quintessential "The Quiet American."Regrettably, he apparently had not read Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front," which is the anti-war novel I believe this collection of non-fiction stories most closely resembles. They both covered the training, and the actual combat; the enormous disparity in a soldier's life between the "front" and the "rear" areas; the matter of dumb blind luck as to who survives and who doesn't; and the extreme variability in the competence of the officers. Unlike Remarque's war though, which was primarily army against army, Vietnam, as well as Afghanistan today represents warfare in and amongst a civilian population that will remain, long after the Americans are gone.

The portrait of Major Callicles is brilliant. The Major represents the old "brown-boot" Army, from Korea and the hey-day of Germany during the late `50's. In Vietnam his world truly disintegrated, as he saw "his" Army collapse in a hopeless struggle for the so-called hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, and the draftees who fought in the war chose a different drug than the alcohol that sustained the Major. And there was the very real discipline the troops imposed on the officer corps; the "fragging" of officers who were too gung-ho, needlessly endangering the lives of the troops they commanded.

The classic accounts of the Vietnam War were primarily written by journalists, from Stanley Karnow to Neil Sheehan. In these books, as is appropriate, much coverage is given to the political leadership in America and Vietnam, and the rationale behind various decisions. Saigon is not even mentioned in this book, and it is unlikely if O'Brien, just like me, ever saw the city during the entire year. Other "grunts" have written about their experiences in the infantry, but O'Brien's account will always remain the best of the Vietnam War. A solid 5-stars.
... Read more

3. July, July
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-09-30)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$0.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0142003387
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
As he did with In the Lake of the Woods, National Book Award winner Tim O'Brien strikes at the emotional nerve center of our lives with this ambitious, compassionate, and terrifically compelling new novel that tells the remarkable story of the generation molded and defined by the 1960s. At the thirtieth anniversary of Minnesota's Darton Hall College class of 1969, ten old friends reassemble for a July weekend of dancing, drinking, flirting, reminiscing, and regretting. The three decades since their graduation have seen marriage and divorce, children and careers, dreams deferred and disappointed-many memories and many ghosts. Together their individual stories create a portrait of a generation launched into adulthood at the moment when their country, too, lost its innocence. Imbued with his signature themes of passion, memory, and yearning, July, July is Tim O'Brien's most fully realized work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poignant
In the post-Vietnam genre of American literature, Tim O'Brien's work sets a high standard.Those readers expecting "The Things They Carried II" or another book in the same mold are setting themselves up for disappointment.Viewed as a individual work, "July, July" is a moving piece.

The setting for "July, July" is a 30 (actually 31) year class reunion at Darton Hall College.This setting serves as a storytelling device for what in effect is a series of short stories.What makes this series of short stories great is the remarkable way they are synchronized to fit together with perfect timing at the end.

Now into their 50's, the classmates are coming to grips with issues of aging.Death, divorce, deceit, war, and cancer are among the villains face with old age.O'Brien addresses each crisis with his characteristicly unflinching storytelling.The fact that he manages to tie in some humor helps to maintain a sense of balance.

Though I regret that O'Brien does not publish work often, I appreciate the quality of his work.With refreshing honesty, "July, July" knows the life of those that grew up in the 60's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vintage O'Brien
July July works better if looked at as a collection of solid short stories.There is no such thing as "weak" O'Brien story-writing.Each scene is well-constructed; each sentence a pearl, dialogue funny, real, and captivating.The context used for the string of short stories is a 31st Reunion for the Dalton (Macalester) class of '69.The strongest stories within the book are the two topics which O'Brien knows best -- war and writing.One story is told of the graduate who went off to the Vietnam war immediately after graduation and could never quite return (in fact, having left a body part -- his leg -- behind); the other is of a mop and broom company CEO who poses as an author in order to impress his young secretary; one story is tragic, the other funny.The connecting stories, told from the standpoint of where the graduates are currently in life, may not feel as strong as the flashback episodes, but they are, nonetheless, an interesting look at the baby-boomer generation at the mid-point.

5-0 out of 5 stars Packs a wallop
I have read with dismay some of the negative reviews of this amazing text. Frankly, I don't get it. I am not a product of the Vietnam generation (I am 30) but that is not the primary power of the novel. Rather the power of this text is the truth that it reveals about human nature, dreams, and maturation. People have complained that some of the characters are one dimensional ( I don't see it), boring, unlikable, selfish, etc. Yeah folks, that's the point! Look around you. Do you not know a plethora of people like this in your world? And yet, they are still people, who share with us a common humanity. If anything July,July is too painfully real, precisely because at times it is so unpleasant.All of the characters are flawed, as are all of us, and yetmost of us can find in this text some sentiment that expresses some desire of our own. As I finished this text I thought of that great line from Orwell's 1984 where he writes that (paraphrase) "great books tell us what we already know". O'Brien accomplishes just that in this text. That is why it resonates long after the last page. Because at some point in the novel he has articulated a feeling, thought, desire, etc that we the readers have felt in our own lives.
The ending of this novel is especially powerful as, in a very cinematic style, it shows how in all groups of friends some lose in this game of life. Some give up, some die, some try to rectify mistakes, some try again, and some remain ignorantly oblivious. My chest tightened with the immediate recognition of reality as I swept thought the novel's final chapter. I know that when I reread this book later in my life there will be something more for me to reflect upon, something different to see in its truth, and that is why this novel is a remarkable read. I cannot recommend it enough.

2-0 out of 5 stars Who's to Blame: the Author or His Characters?
As the old saying goes, Tim O'Brien has nothing to say, but he says it very well.

The setting is cliche'ed - the 30 year reunion of the Class of '69 full of stock characters left over from The Big Chill - but the author keeps the pace moving nicely with chapters alternating between the events of the reunion and flashbacks to the past.

The characters have a paint-by-numbers feel to them, however. During the reunion, many of them make major changes in their lives, but you know that they are just making the same mistakes that the earlier chapters led them through. The characters demonstrate no growth, no reexamination of their lives, no new insights. The result is a flat and depressing regurgitation of successful, but empty lives.

Maybe that is the point of the book: that the shallow Baby Boomers have no capacity for change, that they will wallow in their materialism full of good intentions and bad actions until the day they die.

Whether that is the theme of the book or a fault in its author, it makes for a depressing read.

5-0 out of 5 stars O'Brien Never Disappoints
The first O'Brien novel I ever read was The Things They Carried...it was college...I was impressionable...and it slayed me.Since then, he's become one of those authors I know will not disappoint.All of O'Brien's novels tell the story of a generation emboldened by idealism and ravaged by war.His characters are neither heroes nor villains but, like all of us, a little of both.

July, July tells the tragic story of what happened to those who protested, those who were all about free love, those who went to war, those who came home, and those who ignored the generation that raised them.Thirty years later, college friends attend a reunion and reflect on their choices, their individual pasts, and the impact that their collective youth has had on their collective present.

It's a remarkable, poignant, devastatingly real book about real people.Like all of O'Brien's books, it doesn't pretend to know the answers--and it leaves you with a slight sense of unease at its close.But maybe that's just the way we all feel as we look back. ... Read more

4. In the Lake of the Woods
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 320 Pages (2006-09-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$7.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 061870986X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

First published to critical acclaim by Houghton Mifflin, Tim O’Brien’s celebrated classic In the Lake of the Woods now returns to the house in a gorgeous new Mariner paperback edition. This riveting novel of love and mystery from the author of The Things They Carried examines the lasting impact of the twentieth century’s legacy of violence and warfare, both at home and abroad. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the U.S. Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness.
Amazon.com Review
Tim O'Brien has been writing about Vietnam in one way or another ever sincehe served there as an infantryman in the late 1960s. His earliest work on the subject, If IDie in a Combat Zone, was an intenselypersonal memoir of his own tour of duty; his books since then have featuredmany of the same elements of fear, boredom, and moral ambiguity but in afictional setting. In 1994 O'Brien wrote In the Lake of the Woods, anovel that, while imbued with the troubled spirit of Vietnam, takes place entirely after the war and in the United States. The main character, John Wade, is a man in crisis: after spending years building a successfulpolitical career, he finds his future derailed during a bid for the U.S.Senate by revelations about his past as a soldier in Vietnam. The election lost by a landslide, John and his wife, Kathy, retreat to a small cabin on the shores of a Minnesota lake--from which Kathy mysteriously disappears.

Was she murdered? Did she run away? Instead of answering these questions,O'Brien raises even more as he slowly reveals past lives and long-hidden secrets. Included in this third-person narrative are "interviews" with the couple's friends and family as well as footnoted excerpts from a mix of fictionalized newspaper reports on the case and real reports pertaining to historical events--a mélange that lends the novel an eerie sense ofverisimilitude. If Kathy's disappearance is at the heart of this work,then John's involvement in a My Lai-type massacre in Vietnam is its core, and O'Brien uses it to demonstrate how wars don't necessarily end whengovernments say they do. In the Lake of the Woods may not be true, but it feels true--and for Tim O'Brien, that's trueenough. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (201)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected
This is the first O'Brien novel I have read.The book was recommended to me as being about PTSD.The book was writtenfrom the perspective of a former fellow soldier who was withJohn Wade at My Lai, and was trying to make sense of what happened to Wade and his wife after they both mysteriously disappeared.Presumably, the events leading up to the disappearance wouldbe related to Wade's PTSD.As the novel unfolds, we learn instead that Wade experienced significant trauma at the hands of his father and appears to have developed either a personality disorder or the beginning of a more severe mental illness in high school and college.The trauma Wade experienced at My Lai was not convincing to me as sufficient to bring on PTSD. Wade's experiences at My Lai and his later being wounded seemed more likely to be precipitating events for more severe symptoms related to his earlier mentalproblems.However, when Wade returned from Vietnam, he married his college sweetheart, seemingly breezed through law school, and was subsequently elected to two State-wide offices--pretty atypical for someone returning with PTSD.New symptoms only emerged when he lost badly in a major election.I don't doubt that Wade had mental problems, but they were not convincing to me as being directly linked to PTSD.I also agreed withother reviewers that the "evidence" chapters were more disruptive than helpful and maybe I would have liked to have had some kind of happy ending, as well.

That is where this review might have ended, however, somewhere in the process of trying to make sense of John Wade's life, Tim O'Brien subliminally or subconsciously injected into Wade's life story and thought processes "something that worked" in asimilar way that a seemingly weird movie about Russian roulette, The Deer Hunter, was lost on most viewers, but triggered connections in many seemingly unaffected Vietnam Vets that caused them to sign up for VA Clinics.O'Brien was, in fact, quite successful with this novel!This was not just a mystery or thriller to enjoy while reading it; In the Lake of the Woods brought back feelings and issues and had me thinking about and trying to put myself in Wade's head for days after finishing the book. Itwas a book about PTSD--just not the way I expected it to be.

5-0 out of 5 stars Damon Medic REview: In the Lake of the Woods
This book absolutely took my breath away! From page one I was completely captivated until the very end. The book has a very dreamlike, surreal, stream-of-consciousness feel to it....the way you feel in the middle of the night when you can't discern reality from your comatose imaginings. The book made my blood run cold at times by making me consider the realm of horrors a so-called 'normal' human being is capable of. The descriptions were just plain hard to read at times and even as I did, I didn't know for sure whether they had occurred or not...you never do. The storyteller doesn't even know. No book has EVER affected me like this one. I highly recommend it,but schedule a block of hours to finish it because you won't be able to put it down. Way beyond chilling!!!

Damon Medic

3-0 out of 5 stars In the Lake of the Woods
I read "In the Lake of the Woods" in my English class. I think it was chosen for the curriculum because it is very well written and it really makes you think about moral issues and about what really happened to Kathy Wade. I wouldn't recommend this book to most people because much of the book is very disturbing, the coarse language that is used, and the ending that leaves you with all questions and no answers. ~~Amy from Walla Walla

5-0 out of 5 stars In the Lake of the Woods
I have not personally read this book, however a student wanted it so badly, I ordered it for her.

5-0 out of 5 stars A page-turner, compelling, unresolved
This is a fascinating fast-read.The mystery throughout the book is never resolved; the reader can decide what really happened.It's the story of a marriage, described from both sides.Makes you wonder how much good there needs to be in a marriage to justify keeping it and vice versa. ... Read more

5. Going After Cacciato
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 352 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767904427
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"To call Going After Cacciato a novel about war is like calling Moby-Dick a novel about whales."

So wrote The New York Times of Tim O'Brien's now classic novel of Vietnam. Winner of the 1979 National Book Award, Going After Cacciato captures the peculiar mixture of horror and hallucination that marked this strangest of wars.

In a blend of reality and fantasy, this novel tells the story of a young soldier who one day lays down his rifle and sets off on a quixotic journey from the jungles of Indochina to the streets of Paris. In its memorable evocation of men both fleeing from and meeting the demands of battle, Going After Cacciato stands as much more than just a great war novel. Ultimately it's about the forces of fear and heroism that do battle in the hearts of us all.Amazon.com Review
"In October, near the end of the month, Cacciato left the war."

In Tim O'Brien's novel Going After Cacciato the theater of warbecomes the theater of the absurd as a private deserts his post in Vietnam,intent on walking 8,000 miles to Paris for the peace talks. The remainingmembers of his squad are sent after him, but what happens then is anybody'sguess: "The facts were simple: They went after Cacciato, they chased himinto the mountains, they tried hard. They cornered him on a small grassyhill. They surrounded the hill. They waited through the night. And at dawnthey shot the sky full of flares and then they moved in.... That was the endof it. The last known fact. What remained were possibilities."

It is these possibilities that make O'Brien's National Book Award-winningnovel so extraordinary. Told from the perspective of squad member PaulBerlin, the search for Cacciato soon enters the realm of the surreal asthe men find themselves following an elusive trail of chocolate M&M'sthrough the jungles of Indochina, across India, Iran, Greece, and Yugoslaviato the streets of Paris. The details of this hallucinatory journey alternate with feverish memories of the war--men maimed by landmines,killed in tunnels, engaged in casual acts of brutality that would beunthinkable anywhere else. Reminiscent of Joseph Heller'sCatch-22, Going After Cacciato dishes up abrilliant mix of ferocious comedy and bleak horror that serves toilluminate both the complex psychology of men in battle and the overarchinginsanity of war. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars Going After Cacciato
I bought this book as a supplement for a teaching unit.Arrived in a timely manner.Book in excellent condition even though used.Perfect to add to classroom resources.Really appreciate service.

5-0 out of 5 stars fast service!
I was very pleased with the speed in which I received this book.I would buy from this seller again!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Theatre in War
Tim O'Brien's novels are always touched by the war in Vietnam and its aftermath.His characters are haunted by their present and past experiences.O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" brought the horror and unease of Vietnam to vivid life, but "Going After Cacciato" goes beyond the basic horrors and unease into the grayer areas of battle.It is a blend of war and fantasy, with the absurd and the surreal mixed in with reality, making any distinction between the two a difficult task.

"Going After Cacciato" is narrated by Spec Four Paul Berlin, a twenty-year-old soldier from Iowa who is afraid to admit just how afraid he is to be at war and to witness the atrocities and deaths he experiences.One day, a soldier named Cacciato decides to lay down his weapon and start walking towards Paris, over eight thousand miles away.Berlin's unit is sent to capture this deserter and bring him back; just as Cacciato steps off the beaten path into the unknown jungles, O'Brien's narrative begins blending reality with fantasy.The trek after Cacciato is a surreal journey through jungle and foreign countrysides peppered with very real danger for soldiers who may not be following orders.Berlin's narrative weaves back and forth between events that happened earlier on (mainly the deaths of soldiers he has known and what everyone thought of Cacciato) and the march towards Paris.

O'Brien is a master storyteller and his own wartime experience in Vietnam has allowed him to examine the war in the most creative outlets imaginable.Through his novels he has been able to recreate the disparity that exits in war between purpose and action, and perception and reality.While the shifts in time are much more liquid than his other works, making it hard to tell the past from the present, "Going After Cacciato" is a sublime and surreal reenactment about the theater of war.

2-0 out of 5 stars Going after caca
he synopsis says that Tim O'Brien's novels blur the line between reality and fantasy. No line exists in this endeavor. With a few paragraphs at the beginning and a few paragraphs at the end of "Going After Cacciato", the story is entirely a quixotic landscape suspended and book-ended between the fragile (bordering on the shallow) vault of the imagination and the imagination. There are repetitive spelling errors, mainly Vietnamese words (Li Van Ngoc not Li Van Hgoc) and Vietnamese phrases (Mau len not man len), but the rest of the writing flows fluidly, like walking into a dream. Because it is a fictional account (even if it is not fictionalized) of the war, the detailed accounts of the war seem superficial, poorly fleshed out. Insert rice paddy here, a few Vietnamese provinces there, and a M-60, and it would be a cookie cutter account of any war taken in any parts of Asia. I do not think it deserves the National Book Award. Dialogues are definitely the book's strength, but writing on the language level is at best pedestrian. I think a 3 is being generous. Throughout the book I kept on comparing this book strangely to the movie "Harold and Kumar: Go to White Castle." Replace Castle for Paris. Where fantasy instead of bordering on fantasy-- it borders on silly absurdities and tacky weirdness.

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes me want to throw away Slaughterhouse Five
Okay, I'll be honest: I wanted to throw away Vonnegut's novel ever since I first started reading it.

Since the other reviews seem to be fairly comprehensive, I just wanted to point out that this novel treats the chaos, inhumanity, and illogic of war in all the ways that Slaughterhouse Five could only ever hope to do. Going After Cacciato is beautifully done and invites meaningful interpretation. ... Read more

6. Tomcat in Love
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 342 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$1.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767902041
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this wildly funny, brilliantly inventive novel, Tim O'Brien has created the ultimate character for our times. Thomas Chippering, a 6'6" professor of linguistics, is a man torn between two obsessions: the desperate need to win back his former wife, the faithless Lorna Sue, and a craving to test his erotic charms on every woman he meets.

But there are complications, including Lorna Sue's brother, Herbie, with whom she has an all-too-close relationship, and the considerable charms of Chippering's new love, the attractive, and of course already married, Mrs. Robert Kooshof, who may at last satisfy Chippering's longing for intimacy.

In Tomcat in Love, Tim O'Brien takes on the battle of the sexes with astonishing results. By turns hilarious, outrageous, romantic, and deeply moving, this is one of the most talked about novels in years: a novel for this and every age.Amazon.com Review
To date, Tim O'Brien's novels have all shared common traits: his heroeshail from the Midwest, usually Minnesota; Vietnam figures prominently;and the stories he tells, though invested with mordant wit, are usuallypretty grim. So an O'Brien fan coming to Tomcat in Love on the heelsofhis earlier novels can be forgiven for occasionally checking the nameon the cover (and the photo on the dust jacket) just to be sure thisis, indeed, the same Tim O'Brien who wrote Going AfterCacciato, The Things They Carried, If IDie in a Combat Zone, and In the Lake of theWoods.

In Tomcat in Love O'Brien introduces us to a very different hero:"In summary, then, my circumstances were these. Something over forty-nineyears of age. Recently divorced. Pursued. Prone to late-night weeping.Betrayed not once but threefold: by the girl of my dreams, by her Pilate ofa brother, and by a Tampa real-estate tycoon whose name I have vowed neveragain to utter." Thomas H. Chippering, professor of linguistics, war hero,and sex magnet--in his own mind, at least, has recently lost his childhoodsweetheart and wife of 20 years to another man, the Tampa magnate, andLorna Sue's desertion has clearly unhinged him. He has taken to flying downto Tampa from Minnesota on weekends to spy on his ex-wife and plotrevenge against her, the tycoon, and Lorna Sue's brother, Herbie, whom heblames for destroying his marriage.

Thomas, Lorna Sue, and Herbie go back a long way together, bound equally byties of love, guilt, and suspicion. Dating from the afternoon young Herbienailed an even younger Lorna Sue's hand to a makeshift cross, Thomas hasoccupied a kind of emotional no man's land between the two: "In mybleakest moods, when black gets blackest, I think of it as a highperversion: Herbie coveted his own sister. Which is a fact. The stonetruth. He was in love with her. More generously, I will sometimesconcede that it was not sexual love, or not entirely, and that Herbiewas driven by the obsessions of a penitent, a torturer turned savior.Partly, too, I am quite certain that Herbie secretly associated me withhis own guilt. I was present at the beginning. My backyard, my plywood,my green paint."

Chippering takes his revenge to hilarious lengths, starting with a purpleleather bra and panties stuffed beneath the seat of the tycoon's car andescalating from there. But even as he attempts to wreak havoc in hisex-wife's life, he succeeds in laying ruin to his own. His self-proclaimedirresistibility to women gets him in hot water with both his femalestudents and his administration; his obsession with Lorna Sue threatens hisbudding romance with Mrs. Robert Kooshof, a woman who loves him as his wifenever did--and, oh yes, there's that little matter of the squad of GreenBerets he crossed many years before in Vietnam who may or may not behunting him down.

Once you get over the shock of this new, funny Tim O'Brien, traces of thewriter you thought you knew begin to surface. Chippering might be apompous, overbearing windbag, but you can't trust him any more than you didany of O'Brien's other earthier, equally unreliable narrators. In onebreath, he tells us, "I must in good conscience point out that women findme attractive beyond words. And who on earth could blame them?" In the nexthe describes himself as resembling "a clean-shaven version of our sixteenthpresident." Half the fun of reading Tomcat in Love is trying to sortout just how much of what Thomas H. Chippering tells us is true. Stellarwriting, a brilliant cast of characters, and a sly, surprising story thatbreaks your heart one minute and tickles your funny bone the next all makeTim O'Brien's first foray into the comic novel a resounding success. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (98)

4-0 out of 5 stars Revenge is a Dish Best Served ... Confused?
I have loved every book I have read by Tim O'Brien, but have put off reading this book for a long time.It is such a departure from his other books, it is tough to believe this is O'Brien.It felt more like I was reading the latest deviation of Philip Roth's Zuckerman series, focusing on the libido of a middle-aged man.While there are aspects of this book I like, I would have never acknowledged this book if it were not Tim O'Brien.

In the early pages, the main theme of the book seems to be revenge.This type of conflict would prove to be an interesting read if the theme was followed through.Instead, the protagonist devolves into a whiny narcissist who is hard to like.While conplaining that his wife left him, he chases anything in a skirt.This leads him into some damaging situations.Based on his motives, it is hard to feel sorry for him.The scorned lover/revenge plot returns periodicially throughout the book, but never gains traction.

While the reader knows there is a twist coming at the end, the reader may not expect the final twist.This leads me to believe that O'Brien had a solid concept for the novel that he never developed to its potential between the beginning and the end.

This is not the novel readers should begin a journey through the O'Brien catalog with.If this is done, a reader may not continue the journey to the next book.O'Brien has written great works of fiction about Vietnam-related themes and non-fiction about Vietnam in general.This step outside the comfort zone did not go so well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not expecting that after The Things They Carried
This book was such a trip.After the gritty realism/surrealism of The Things They Carried, I was blown away by how over-the-top this one is.However, the different atmosphere doesn't make it a bad book.I enjoyed it a lot and found myself both laughing and cringing at the main character.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a hoot!
I read this book, when it first hit the shelves.All these years later, I still smile when I think of this book.What a hoot and a pleasure to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime masterpiece and devilishly witty
tend to take the 'reviews' on dust-jackets with a pinch of salt, largely because they are usually the antithesis of what the book is really like. The Guardian said of this text, that it was 'extraordinary... sustained... spectacular', whilst The Washington Post described it as 'Laugh-out-loud-funny'. Excuse me, but stop and rewind there. Tim O'Brien... THE Tim O'Brien? It is he of the Vietnam obsession we are talking about here? Laughs?... surely there must be a mistake.

Having read 'Cacciato', 'If I die' and 'The Things', all of which are arguably amongst the best post-war fiction ever penned, I considered myself a staunch O'Brien fan, that was until I read 'Northern Lights', which is just SO bad - REALLY bad (this is not the place to explain why), and then the emperor was laid bare. I was therefore somewhat wary of shelling out for more of the same and had pretty much accepted the fact that the three prior mentioned works were his best and anything else would just be one publishing deal too far. By chance, however, I picked up a cheap copy of 'Tomcat' and thought I'd give it a go - I am SO glad I did. In 'Tomcat' we find a new O'Brien who has grown up and moved on from Vietnam: reborn, realigned, refocused, sharp, witty and just plain entertaining.

This novel works for so many reasons and is effectively a sample of how a perfect novel should be: great central character - well-drawn and empathetic, sustained and original story, original concept, humorous, creative and well-written. In fact it is almost too good (is that possible?) it is almost too polished, too perfect, too brilliant. One gets the impression that O'Brien may have originated it as part of his creative-writing course on how to construct a great novel. Who knows? One thing is certain and that this witty story should engage all readers, one will either love and sympathise with the central character or (if you are female), hate him and wish him ill. Either way O'Brien will get your emotions going and get you to select a side on which to bat - there is no middle-ground here.

Built around the themes of love, obsession, passion, memory, naïvety, childhood, fate, karma and revenge this story is a roller-coaster; never dull, never predictable, never bland, always thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking. Add to that the fact Vietnam is barely mentioned! Highly recommended, especially to men or empathic people with a slightly dark sense of humour.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very pleased.
I got my book within about two weeks of ordering it. I got it and it is in better condition then I had thought it was going to be. = ] ... Read more

7. The Nuclear Age
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 320 Pages (1996-12-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140259104
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
At the age of 49, after a lifetime of insomnia and midnight peril, William Cowling believes the hour has come for him to sieze control. So, he begins to dig a hole in his backyard--a shelter against impending doom--much to the chagrin of his family. Ultimately, he finds he must make a choice: safety or sanity; love or fidelity to the truth. Darkly comic, poignant, and provocative, this visionary novel by the author of In the Lake of the Woods captures the essence of what it's like to be a conscious human being in the nuclear age Pub: 6,000.Amazon.com Review
In 1969, 22-year-old Tim O'Brien was drafted and eventually sent toVietnam.In a memoir, If I Die in a Combat Zone and twoworks of fiction--Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried--he revisited the war, craftinggut-wrenching tales of terror, death, and futility among the rice paddiesand jungles of Southeast Asia. In The Nuclear Age the authorexplores the road not taken: his hero, William Cowling, avoided the draftand spent the 1960s, instead, in a welter of antiwar radicalism. But soonone begins to wonder how different life in the underground, with itsstrange mix of idealistic visionaries and glory-seeking psychotics, reallyis from the battlefields of Vietnam. Enlisted in the ranks of an antiwarparamilitary organization in Florida, William remarks to his radicalgirlfriend Sarah that the group is"like a death squad. Can't tell thegood guys from the bad guys, they're all gunslingers. Completely scrambled.But it's lethal. I know that much, it'll kill somebody." Nevertheless, hesticks it out in a noncombatant capacity and resurfaces several years laterat the end of the war as a profitable trader in uranium.

Success hasn't dulled William Cowling's survival instinct, however; at thenovel's start in 1995, the now-middle-aged businessman is busy digging abomb shelter in his back yard. Nuclear war has been a particular obsessionof his since those childhood drills back in the mid-1950s during which he wasexpected to crawl under his desk at school and cover his head againstfallout. Forty years later, he still isn't taking any chances. His daughterthinks he's crazy, his wife is on the verge of leaving him, but still hedigs--and as he digs he reviews the events in his life that have led up tothis moment. The Nuclear Age is especially strong when it focuses onWilliam's childhood and the complex web of relationships that exist withinfamilies. Less successful is O'Brien's portrayal of his character'sobsession with nuclear war; though we are meant to see William as the onlytruly sane man in an insane world, all too often he comes across asgenuinely cracked. Despite the book's weaknesses, it has many strengths, not least among them being Tim O'Brien's fierce intelligence, blackwit, and eloquent prose. --Alix Wilber ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

1-0 out of 5 stars "The Nuclear Age", by Tim O'Brien is not his best book.
The Nuclear Age is a confusing and rambling mass of far flung happenings all related to the Vietnam War. The lead character, William is afraid to go in the army after being drafted and runs away, with his parents permission, to the underground. His crazy, mixed up, unfaithful girlfriend from college helps him hideout. Sarah is by far the biggest tease and most unfaithful woman I've ever had the displeasure to meet in a book or anywhere else. Prior to this, William goes to a therapist after being "constipated" and acting crazy at home growing up. The constipation is a symbol that Mr. O'Brien uses frequently in the book and can only mean that William is a soiled and pathetic human being. William is a boy, not a man and stays around to take abuse from Sarah who gets him in real trouble with this underground group of hostile and nasty people. The women he goes with are dysfunctional and his wife, Bobbi, writes nasty poems to him and leaves them around for him to read. So, he digs a fallout shelter is escape it all. He hopes a nuke will destroy the world he is afraid to live in. The scene where he is with the radical underground paints a picture of abuse and meanness, which William tolerates. It's never clear how all of this relates to the war or anything else. Mr' O'Brien may be saying that he personally was better off in the army and in Nam then running away. I doubt that his picture of the underground is accurate. I hope these men and women are not based on real people. Even if they're not I have to wonder about Mr. O'Brien anyway for thinking of them. I do not recommend this messy and "constipated" book.

Tom King

5-0 out of 5 stars The Nuclear Age book
The vendor was very prompt and responsive to my request of cancellation due to late delivery.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sign of the Times
With every novel, whether it is his best writing or just under par, Tim O'Brien proves himself to be a master storyteller.His words spring to vivid life in the reader's mind; his characters as enthralling as they are flawed; his stories slightly absurd and complex, but always rewarding, no matter how strange the journey.

"The Nuclear Age" begins with the main character, William Cowling, waking at midnight to dig a bomb shelter in his backyard.In the morning, his wife and daughter are far from pleased, certain that he has gone insane when he can't explain his actions.The story then shifts back in time to recount William's childhood, the nightly terrors of nuclear war that had him building a bomb shelter under the ping pong table in the basement and caused his parents to worry about him.The reader follows William as he ages, ever the outcast on the fringes.With the onset of the war in Vietnam, William finds new purpose, and perhaps a dangerous alliance.

The bulk of the narrative takes place in William's past, with the coalition of renegade friends who plan sabotage as a means of war protest, while William is hiding out, having dodged the draft.The war in Vietnam is never far from O'Brien's writing, so it is interesting to have a story that takes place on the homefront, although the war is ever present.The story takes a turn for the absurd when William fears his bomb shelter will cause him to lose his family, but O'Brien crafts such a cunning story that the loose ends are tied up."The Nuclear Age" is a demonstration of O'Brien's wit, with laugh-out-loud moments, and the subtle way he can strike a message home is a testament to his intelligence.

3-0 out of 5 stars Honest, humble but not his best...
A rare book where the protagonist is not made so much to be a hero.The books illustrates just how easy it is to end up on the other side of sanity in a world full of reasons to be crazy.

The book starts strong with seeds planted in childhood that sometimes cannot be outgrown and the course one weaves down a troubled path, but the story lost me in its destination.Straddling the line of fear and aggression the main character never seems to find the line between insanity and brilliance, falling always firmly on the lesser side of the two.

Worth reading for the skill and intelligence always evident in O'Brien's work, but this is far from his best.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not his best...
I consider myself a huge O'Brien fan. He is truly one of the most gifted story-tellers alive today. The Nuclear Age, however, failed miserably to live up to the excellent standards set by his other works. That said, it is by no means a bad book- just not the most captivating and engaging read. If you plan to read O'Brien's work, DO NOT START with The Nuclear Age. It doesn't do his talent justice. ... Read more

8. Northern Lights
by Tim O'Brien
Paperback: 368 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767904419
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Originally published in 1975, Tim O'Brien's debut novel demonstrates the emotional complexity and enthralling narrative tension that later earned him the National Book Award. At its core is the relationship between two brothers: one who went to Vietnam and one who stayed at home. As the two brothers struggle against an unexpected blizzard in Minnesota's remote north woods, what they discover about themselves and each other will change both of them for ever. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars mediocre,mediocre,mediocre
If, like myself you have arrived at this novel after reading O'Brien's other literary offerings: 'The Things they Carried' - Excellent, 'If I Should Die in a Combat Zone' - Pretty Good, and 'Going After Cacciato' - Utterly Brilliant. Then like myself, you will probably be disappointed if you spend your valuable time and lay down you hard-earned, for this VERY mediocre novel. Clearly at the early stage of his career when this was written O'Brien did not possess any great gift for entirely fictitious story-telling, and certainly not outside of his Vietnam 'comfort-zone'.

Billed as somewhere between an epic suspense and a personal growth tale built on many subtle layers, it really is anything but. What it is, is a very average, bland story of no particular suspense, nor growth, evolution nor metamorphosis. All built around a very tenuous cross-country skiing experience that never really delivers any thrills or nail-biting. O'Brien spins his uniform, colourless yarn at an average pace and it's more like a train journey rather than a roller-coaster ride. Not much tensions and not much detail. No neatly drawn characters of carefully painted faces.

O'Brien's ultimate downfall lies in the previous point, in the fact he cannot paint pictures in the reader's mind. The old debate of the written versus the pictorial; the book verses the film is a mute point here. The writer should be at least capable (willing) to deliver enough adjectives and adverbs so as to allow us to use that as glue to add to the nouns and verbs and build our own visual puzzle, but sadly, in this case he clearly does not. His painting is altogether too wishy-washy, too much like some abstract water-colour that leaves the reader squinting trying to match the title to the visual imagery.

Compare this kind of writing to some masters of descriptive writing; Salinger, Hesse, Orwell, or contemporaries like Easton Ellis or Murakami Haruki and you realise that O'Brien is way out of his league in tackling this kind novel. Likewise his publishers were foolish to ever allow this to reach the printing press. One cannot help correlating this to one of those albums greedy record companies put out; albums full of out-takes, b-sides and half ideas better left on the studio floor.

Ultimately this book is bland and fruitless, uninteresting and unchallenging. It neither gives nor takes anything from the reader and offers not the slightest revelation nor ponderous moment, it is pulp-fiction at its worse, and in my mind that is a waste of time and trees. My advice, check out his other three offerings mentioned above, and you won't be disappointed - leave this one to be consigned to the bargain bins and the library shelves.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Lost Boys
Through more recent critically acclaimed works, Tim O'Brien has established himself as an author to be reckoned with; he is able to craft stories that are beguiling and sobering, hooking readers from the very start."Northern Lights" is O'Brien's debut novel, published originally in 1975, and it reads like a first novel, raw with possible revision needed.Yet for those who have read other O'Brien works it is still a fascinating and telling look at the voice he would later develop.

As usual, the undercurrent of Vietnam is present in "Northern Lights".It is the tale of two brothers and how they disconnect and reconnect after one returns home from war.Harvey Perry, the soldier, was always the beloved son; the youngest child, seemingly revered by their father.Paul Perry, the older son, was always the beleaguered son; meant to follow in his father's footsteps, but not wanting to be like the old man.The brothers consistently found themselves at odds with each other, especially when it came to their father.When Harvey returns from Vietnam, the brothers are forced to confront the differences they had, and the false impressions they have grown up believing to be true.This happens while the brothers are trapped in a blizzard during a ski trip through the Minnesota north woods; lost for weeks on end, they must rely upon one another to make it out, and roles easily become reversed.

O'Brien is a master storyteller; his novels are full of poetic observations about the miniutae of everyday life peppered with dialogue and characters that are vividly realistic.It is easy to see "Northern Lights" as a first novel; the blizzard that traps the brothers in the woods also traps the readers.As Paul Perry blunders and wanders about, the narrative is rambling and unfocused.There always seems to be hints at great revelations to come, but O'Brien fails upon the delivery of such secrets; more seems to remain hidden than is revealed.However, ever-present is the voice with which O'Brien infuses his creations.These characters are living, breathing beings, whose lives are haunting depictions of what lies within every man's soul.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not such a suspense
Northern Lights by Tim O'Brien was not the most exciting novel I've ever read but worth reading nonetheless.It is a story about two brothers, one who is adventurous and athletic and eventually serves in the Vietnam War and the other who chooses not to participate in any physical or outdoor activities.As adults the brothers decide to take a cross-country ski trip and end up lost in a blizzard in the remote woods of Minnesota.The plot sounds like a story of great excitement and suspense.As a matter of fact, the front cover of the book says `The suspense is spellbinding", so why would I think otherwise?In my opinion it really isn't a suspenseful story at all.It is much more a story of the relationship between the brothers than a story of survival in the woods of Minnesota.O'Brien's slow and calm tone throughout the story eliminates any suspense caused by the drastic circumstances the men find themselves in.The brothers overcome several grueling situations, but the tone O'Brien uses minimizes the danger compared to the unfolding relationship between the brothers.I believe this was O'Brien's intention from the start.Instead of a story of survival, he wanted to tell a story of two brothers.He exemplifies this lifelong journey by the use of irony.Harvey, being the outdoorsman, controls the ski trip from the beginning much like he did every adventure in their childhood.The introverted Perry effectively steps into the role of `big brother' once Harvey becomes too ill to survive on his own.Perry is ultimately responsible for their survival.

3-0 out of 5 stars 3.5 really, but read what i have to say
Tim O'Brien is an award-winning writer and I have really enjoyed some of his other novels. This is his first, written in 1975. I recommend reading Tim O'Brien, but don't start with this one. You may get turned off early and miss out on something really good. After slogging through the first half of this book, I almost pitched it. Nothing happens, even when there is a big buildup to make you think something is finally going to happen. The writing style is poor. There is endless repitition, uninspired description "It was very hot," bad grammar and other irritants.
THEN, I read the second half and was plunged into an action-adventure-survival drama with two brothers fighting for their lives in a whited-out northern Minnesota forest in January. The style didn't improve, but I didn't care. In many ways this book seemed to me the forerunner of his bestseller In the Lake of the Woods, which I highly recommend. Don't pass this one by, either. Skip or skim the first part if you feel the way I did. He gets a lot better as he goes along.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good debut novel
Excellent debut novel, but Tim O'Brien only got better.All of his tension and emotion in present in this novel, but he still had yet to develope his style and language that has made him, in my opinion, one of America's best writers today.

It's a story about privacy.Private lives at home and secret romances of sorts and the return of a Vietnam vet who has a constant reminder of his time In Country, but he never tells the secret of how he received the injury to his ear.

It's an excellent debut novel, but don't be discouraged if this is the first Tim O'Brien novel you read, he only get's better.I give it my highest recommendation.

It's adventurous and tense when the brothers are lost in the woods.O'Brien paints an impressive picture of the Minnesota woods when these brothers travel at the feet of these enormous snow covered trees in awe and reverence of nature. ... Read more

9. A Trauma Artist: Tim O'Brien and the Fiction ofVietnam
by Mark A. Heberle
Paperback: 364 Pages (2001-06-15)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$20.25
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Asin: 0877457611
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A Trauma Artist examines how O'Brien's works variously rewrite his own traumatization during the war in Vietnam as a never-ending Þction that paradoxically "recovers" personal experience by both recapturing and (re)disguising it. Mark Heberle considers O'Brien's career as a writer through the prisms of post-traumatic stress disorder, postmodernist metaÞction, and post-World War II American political uncertainties and public violence. Based on recent conversations with O'Brien, previously published interviews, and new readings of all his works through 1999, this book is the Þrst study to concentrate on the role and representation of trauma as the central focus of allO'Brien's works, whether situated in Vietnam, in post-Vietnam America, or in the imagination of protagonists suspended between the two. By doing so, Heberle redeÞnes O'Brien as a major U.S. writer of the late twentieth century whose representations of self-damaging experiences and narratives of recovery characterize not only the war in Vietnam but also relationships between fathers and sons and men and women in the post-traumatic culture of the contemporary United States. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars good resource
I bought this for my students to use as a resource in my Vietnam War lit course. I'm enjoying it as much as my students. ... Read more

10. United States Authors Series: Tim O'Brien (Twayne's United States Authors Series)
by Tobey C. Herzog
Hardcover: 208 Pages (1997-10-16)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$45.00
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Asin: 080577825X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book on Tim O'Brien
This is THE book on Tim O'Brien.Herzog knows the writer, knows his work and was able to bring that together as a masterpiece entry in the Twayne series.

5-0 out of 5 stars a goldmine
If you are looking for info on O'Brien's life AND novels, this book is for you.It may be the single most important source for my Masters Thesis! ... Read more

11. In the Shoes of a Soldier: Communication in Tim O'Brien's Vietnam Narratives (Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis)
by Mats Tegmark
Paperback: 312 Pages (1998-09)
list price: US$55.00 -- used & new: US$55.00
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Asin: 9155443451
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Please help
Does anyone have a used copy that I might purchase from them?I would need it by April 2001 preferably.Condition unimportant as long as it's readable.Contact: ilikerobots@hotmail.com

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, detailed analysis
Tim O'Brien follows familiar patterns in most of his stories, long and short.It is these patterns that are explored here in regard to communication amongst and between foot soldiers in Vietnam.This is a well-researched book, and one that I recommend highly for all afficianadosof Tim O'Brien and the craft of writing in general. ... Read more

12. Tim O'Brien: A Critical Companion (Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers)
by Patrick A. Smith
Hardcover: 200 Pages (2005-06-30)
list price: US$51.95 -- used & new: US$26.60
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Asin: 0313330557
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After growing up in Minnesota and graduating from college, Tim O'Brien received a draft notice and joined the war effort in Vietnam. He chronicled his combat experiences in his memoir "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home," and then went on to write the eight novels that are discussed in this volume. The novels reflect their characters' struggles with the effects of place, namely small-town America, in the Vietnam Era. Works included in this volume:

  • If I Die in a Combat Zone
  • Northern Lights
  • Going After Cacciato
  • The Nuclear Age
  • The Things They Carried
  • In the Lake of the Woods
  • Tomcat in Love
  • July, July. ... Read more

  • 13. Tim O'Brien in the Classroom: This Too Is True: Stories Can Save Us (The Ncte High School Literature)
    by Barry Gilmore, Alexander Kaplan
    Paperback: 106 Pages (2007-10-15)
    list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$18.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0814154662
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    Many students, even those who claim to dislike stories of war or violence, are drawn to the writing of Tim O'Brien, especially _The Things They Carried._ The mysteries and gray areas O'Brien explores make his work a perfect addition to units on the fiction of the Vietnam War, first-person narrative, modern stories and novels, war stories, story cycles, and unconventional narrative structures.

    As part of the NCTE High School Literature Series, _Tim O'Brien in the Classroom_ focuses on opportunities for classroom discussion and writing assignments, including lessons, open-ended prompts, and student writing samples. By teaching Tim O'Brien's works, you can not only make connections with other material in the literary canon, but also initiate broader discussions with your students about the reliability of memory, the purpose of storytelling, and the origins of fiction. ... Read more

    14. The Putt at the End of the World
    by Lee K. Abbott, Dave Barry, Richard Bausch, James Crumley, James W. Hall, Tami Hoag, Tim O'Brien, Ridley Pearson, Les Standiford
    Paperback: 256 Pages (2001-05-01)
    list price: US$18.99 -- used & new: US$5.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0446676993
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Nine acclaimed novelists teamed up to answer the question: can golf save the world? When three down-on-their-luck golfers are invited by the richest man in the world to play in a golf tournament on a mysterious Scottish course, none can refuse. What they dont realize is that the fate of the world rests on the outcome.Amazon.com Review
    There's a great tradition of golf fiction, stretching from P.G. Wodehouse'sEdwardian follies to JohnUpdike's narrative birdies andchip shots. The Putt at the End of the World is a worthyaddition to the canon, in spite of the fact (or because of the fact) thatit's a team effort. Nine authors, including such worthies as Dave Barry,Tami Hoag, Tim O'Brien, Lee K. Abbott, and Les Standiford, have contributedchapters to this farcical thriller. The premise, which is less wacky thanit initially seems, involves a software tycoon named Phillip Bates, who'sbuilt a deluxe golf course north of Edinburgh. To kick things off heconvenes a celebrity invitational, and draws not only a clutch ofworld-class hackers but several terrorists, counterterrorists, and whatappear to be counter-counterterrorists. Clearly there's more at stake here than a mere 18 holes.

    Slapped together by one author after another, the crazy plot issurprisingly consistent. Yet the contributors have made no effort todisguise their individual styles, which range from Barry's potty-mouthedslapstick to Richard Bausch's tonier stuff to James Crumley's pulp fiction.Indeed, this shift in tone is one of the book's great pleasures. So is thesex and satire, if not necessarily in that order. Still, the ultimatereason to read The Putt at the End of the World is for itsstrange-but-true evocation of the game itself. Here's Tim O'Brien's take ona ball with a mind of its own:

    For the first thirty feet, the old Titlist did not touch the earth,heading for orbit, engines roaring, but then suddenly the rain and wind andfog forced a scrubbed mission. Gravity reasserted itself. By pure chance--amiracle, some would call it--the ball dropped heavily onto the green, notfive feet from the cup.... It caught a sidehill slope. It wobbled off linefor a second, then straightened out and continued its erratic pilgrimagetoward destiny.
    Fictionally speaking, at least, that's what we call a hole in one.--William Davies ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (17)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Wha?
    This group-written book has two things going for it:Colorful characters and a promising plot.But that's about it.Wading through several chapters to get to Dave Barry's part in this fiasco was a waste of time otherwise.While the characters are certainly vivid, NONE of them are likeable.At all.ZERO.To top it off there are more F-bombs here than a def jam hosted by Chris Rock, and not nearly as many laughs.The handoff from one writer to the next is sometimes fairly smooth, but the writing styles sometimes vary so wildly that one wonders if one is still reading the same book from one chapter to the next, and it's intended to tell one cohesive story, not be a collection of shorts.Pass on this.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Fictitious Golf Classic Par Excellence.
    Golf is not a team sport, but this book used ten different writers to come up with a murder mystery on a golf course full of celebrities.Each wrote a different segment, and sometimes the story line does not jell, but I'd say they had fun working on this silliness.

    Golf used to be a man's game, and used to be called the "good walk" when the men used that means to exercise their bodies as much as their golf swings.Nowadays, they ride the golf carts and play at the game.They've actually started teaching golf in schools, and nine great values the game teaches for youth (sportsmanship, confidence, integrity, perseverance, respect, responsibility, judgment, courtesy, and honesty) ensures a future for the continuation of the game of golf.

    Only one of the nine contributors was female who used such off-hand characters to pepper her chapter: Mr. Potato Head, Sensible Shoes, Book Bag Woman, 'Star Wars' star pilot, MacLout, and Cameron who directed the movei 'Titanic.'She laid out the sexual hijinks of the golfers at the castle in Scotland.Dave Barry had the middle to fill in so he used his usually raucous vocabulary as he led into an explouding golf ball made out of enough plastique to end the world as we know it.

    Tim O'Brien, whose book IN THE LAKE OF THE WOODS I enjoyed, wrote "On an adjacent putting green, also under umbrellas, mingled such notables as Tony Blair and Al Gore, both decked out in tweeds and starched golf shirts.Nearby, Mu'ammar Qaddafi was giving a now-or-never, sink-it-before-you-die putting lesson to Jack Lemmon, while only a few feet away Chi Chi Rodriguez did his best to adjust the clumsy, rather primitive one-handed putting stroke of former senator Robert Dole."These are just a few of the names; Fidel Castro was present as was Dan Rather and other important people.

    The ending was written by the editor whoever he is, preferred to stay anonymous.The ending was explosive, to match the varied styles of writing the international language of golf.Other writers taking part in this project are Lee K. Abbott, Richard Bausch, James Crumley, James W. Hall, Ridley Pearson, Les Standiford, and Tami Hoag.How many are golfers, I wonder?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Know What You're Getting Into
    I haven't read this book in a long time, but I thought it was great.I don't know why other readers gave it such a low score.I can only think that they didn't know what type of book they were getting into.If you want to laugh out loud, get this book!

    1-0 out of 5 stars The putt at the End of the World
    This was a terrible book.Multiple authors were not able to successfully make the book flow from chapter to chapter.Character development was disjointed to say the least.Way tooooo much celebrity name dropping...it almost read like People Mag.Buy "The Greatest Player Who Never Lived" instead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bagger Vance Meets Monty Python
    It is said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.Since a camel is very efficient doing what camels are intended to do, then the remark must mean that a camel is a very funny looking horse.Well, in The Putt at the End of the World, a committee of nine individually popular writers has turned out a very funny golf story.
    The Putt at the End of the World is apparently the brainchild of last-listed author Les Standiford, shown as editor and compiler.It also seems to be a salute, at least in part, to recently deceased British writer Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy series which includes The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.It is certainly reminiscent of Adam's work, with zany characters interacting amidst nefarious schemes, all centered around a golf tournament.But not just any golf tournament.Computer zillionaire Philip Bates has bought a Scottish castle and cleared original growth timber to construct the ultimate golf course-as well as rehabbing the castle into an exotic hideaway retreat.This infuriates both environmental terrorists and the last of the MacLout clan, who claims that the MacGregor sellers usurped his family's claim to the property and he should have gotten the money. Then Bates (no relation to this reviewer) scheduled a conference and golf tournament inviting all of the world's political leaders and top golf players.
    One of the invitees is Billy Sprague, club pro from Squat Possum Golf Club in rural Ohio.Billy is a magnificent golfer, unless there is money involved in which case he can't even get the ball of the tee.Billy's mentor is the old retired family doctor whose life is golf, who build the Squat Possum Club and who dies immediately after giving Billy his invitation and telling him that he has to go to Scotland and play in order to lift the curse and "...save the world as we know it..."Then FBI and British Secret Service refugees from the Keystone Kops get involved because of the terrorist threat, and the rest is-not history, but hilarious.
    Each of the nine authors wrote one of the chapters.They did a good job matching styles, and/or Standiford did a great job of editing, because the novel is seamless.It is a farce, but at the same time has a "Bagger Vance" note of paean to the wonder of golf.It reads fast, and it reads great. ... Read more

    15. Postmodern Counternarratives: Irony and Audience in the Novels of Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Charles Johnson, and Tim O'Brien (Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory)
    by Christopher Donovan
    Hardcover: 10 Pages (2009-06-16)
    list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$35.82
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0415803446
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    Product Description
    This book provides a wide-ranging discussion of realism, postmodernism, literary theory and popular fiction before focusing on the careers of four prominent novelists. Despite wildly contrasting ambitions and agendas, all four grow progressively more sympathetic to the expectations of a mainstream literary audience, noting the increasingly neglected yet archetypal need for strong explanatory narrative even while remaining wary of its limitations, presumptions, and potential abuses. Exploring novels that manage to bridge the gap between accessible storytelling and literary theory, this book shows how contemporary authors reconcile values of posmodern literary experimentation and traditional realism. ... Read more

    16. The Amusement Park Guide: Fun for the Whole Family at More Than 250 Amusement Parks from Coast to Coast (2nd ed.)
    by Tim O'Brien
    Paperback: 260 Pages (1997-04-30)
    list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$9.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000H2N6LQ
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Each year more people in the United States go to amusement parks than to baseball games. Some 250 million people will visit an amusement park this summer. With carefully researched data assembled by one of the country's top amusement park experts, this revised guide features all the information anyone could want to know about one of America's favorite pastimes. 25 illustrations. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must-Have for Amusement Park Fanatics
    This is, truly, the bible of amusement park guides.I am always amazed at its thorough coverage of parks, both large and small, in the United States and Canada - is there an international edition in the works???If so, put me on the list of buyers.

    It's difficult to think of a park that isn't listed here - from the mainstream parks such as Disneyworld and Universal, to the tiny, neighborhood parks such as Weona and Nelly Bly, they're all here, and beautifully documented.Signature rides are listed for each park - from the big, modern coasters, to the rarer flats.As a huge fan of Flying Scooters and Lusse Auto Skooters (you fellow park nuts will know what I'm talking about, here), I love that such rides are included.Park histories are here, as well, for all of us preservationists.

    Directions, websites, and further information are included for the parks, also, which greatly helps if one wishes to visit a park.Also, common-sense tips for park visitors are here, as well as little-known secrets that assist with getting around a park to the greatest efficiency.

    I was fortunate enough to find this book while visiting Knoebels Grove (the best park in America, as far as I'm concerned), and couldn't put it down during the entire ride home.It's addictive, informative, and, well, a must-have.What with the summer practically here, run, don't walk, and get your copy NOW.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible of park guidebooks---absolutely outstanding!!
    This book is just awesome...it reviews over 350 theme parks, amusement parks, and waterparks all over the U.S. and Canada, providing everything you'd want to know about every park...the great roller coasters and other thrill rides, costs, operation schedule, directions, special tips, insider facts and trivia, historical milestones, etc.Also gives phone numbers and website addresses for each park. The author is a life-long park expert and senior editor of a major park industry publication...he really seems to know his stuff, and he injects some fun and personality into the book.It's a great guide to use to plan your park trips and to carry with you for quick reference.It's also fun to to sit down and read through it because it gives so much interesting trivia on the parks. Just a fantastic, authoratative, fun, easy-to-use resource on parks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must for every enthusist!!!
    This is a great book!! It is well worth your money. If you are planning a vaction, then buy this book. It has theme parks from Disney to Universal Orlando, to Cedar Point, all of the Paramount Parks and many, many more!! The ultimate guide to rollercoasters is this book!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Review that could have helped.
    I had gone to the conference with much knowledge about the subject. I was told about the book from there. Could I have obtained it, I would have been the top in the list of performers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Guide To Amusement Parks!
    This book is a must for all amusement park fans.It gives all the information you would need to have a fun and exciting day at any park in the U.S. or Canada.Mr. O'Brien has done a masterful job of helping youplan your visit by giving the operating times as well as the best rides andshows.There is also a listing of all the roller coasters in the park. His vivid description of the park gives you the feeling of being there.Iwould recommend this guide book to anyone planing a trip to an amusementpark in the future. ... Read more

    17. Approaches to Teaching the Works of Tim O'brien (Approaches to Teaching World Literature)
     Paperback: Pages (2010-12-06)
    list price: US$19.75 -- used & new: US$13.43
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1603290761
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    18. Wege aus dem Krieg: Strategien literarischer Verarbeitung des Vietnam-Traumas in den Romanen von Tim O'Brien (American culture) (German Edition)
    by Carsten Blatt
     Paperback: 140 Pages (2001)

    Isbn: 3631378459
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    19. Understanding Tim O'Brien (Understanding Contemporary American Literature)
    by Steven Kaplan
     Hardcover: 230 Pages (1995-02)
    list price: US$29.95
    Isbn: 1570030073
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    20. Soldiers Once and Still: Ernest Hemingway, James Salter, and Tim O'Brien
    by Alex Vernon
    Paperback: 328 Pages (2007-08-15)
    list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$18.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1587296233
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    Product Description
    As the world enters a new century, as it embarks on new wars and sees new developments in the waging of war, reconsiderations of the last century’s legacy of warfare are necessary to our understanding of the current world order. In Soldiers Once and Still, Alex Vernon looks back through the twentieth century in order to confront issues of self and community in veterans’ literature, exploring how war and the military have shaped the identities of Ernest Hemingway, James Salter, and Tim O’Brien, three of the twentieth century’s most respected authors. Vernon specifically explores the various ways war and the military, through both cultural and personal experience, have affected social and gender identities and dynamics in each author’s work.

    Hemingway, Salter, and O’Brien form the core of Soldiers Once and Still because each represents a different warring generation of twentieth-century America: World War I with Hemingway, World War II and Korea with Salter, and Vietnam with O’Brien. Each author also represents a different literary voice of the twentieth century, from modern to mid-century to postmodern, and each presents a different battlefield experience: Hemingway as noncombatant, Salter as air force fighter pilot, and O’Brien as army grunt.

    War’s pervasive influence on the individual means that, for veterans-turned-writers like Hemingway, Salter, and O’Brien, the war experience infiltrates their entire body of writing—their works can be seen not only as war literature but also as veterans’ literature. As such, their entire postwar oeuvre, regardless of whether an individual work explicitly addresses the war or the military, is open to Vernon’s exploration of war, society, gender, and literary history.

    Vernon’s own experiences as a soldier, a veteran, a writer, and a critic inform this enlightening critique of American literature, offering students and scholars of American literature and war studies an invaluable tool for understanding war’s effects on the veteran writer and his society. ... Read more

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