The Things They Carried Criticism

Tim O'Brien
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Tim O'Brien made something of a splash in the literary world when his Going After Cacciato beat two much more high-profile books by John Cheever and John Irving to win the National Book Award in 1979. The Things They Carried more than lived up to the expectations of the critics when it appeared in 1990. Though reviewers debated whether the book was a novel or a collection of stories, there was little disagreement that it was an important and accomplished work.

Michael Coffey of Publishers Weekly interviewed O'Brien and previewed the book a few weeks prior to its publication. Coffey insists that the book is "neither a collection of stories nor a novel [. . .] but a unified narrative, with chapters that stand perfectly on their own (many were award-winning stories) but which together render deeper continuities of character and thought." Coffey also predicts that The Things They Carried "may be the...

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This section contains 568 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Things They Carried Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Things They Carried from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.