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Tim O'Brien (1) (1946–)

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Om författaren

Tim O'Brien was born on October 1, 1946 in Austin, Minnesota. He graduated from Macalester College in 1968 and was immediately drafted into the U. S. Army, serving from 1969 to 1970 and receiving a Purple Heart. Three years later, his memoirs of the Vietnam War were published as If I Die in a visa mer Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home. Later works include Northern Lights (1975), Going After Cacciato (1978, winner of the National Book Award), and The Things They Carried (1990, winner of the Melcher Book Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award). (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
Foto taget av: English: Author Tim O'Brien at the 2012 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States. O'Brien won the 1979 National Book Award for Fiction for his novel Going After Cacciato.

Verk av Tim O'Brien

Associerade verk

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Allmänna fakta



3.5 stars

As different from “The Things They Carried” as can be.

Vietnam veteran John Wade is running for senate when long-hidden secrets about his involvement in wartime atrocities in Vietnam come to light. He and his wife Kathy retreat to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota to lick their wounds.

Within days of their arrival, Kathy mysteriously vanishes. After their search turns up nothing, police begin to suspect John. But then John himself disappears. The reader knows what happened, even if the police never find out.… (mer)
ParadisePorch | 74 andra recensioner | Nov 22, 2023 |
This book goes off in a million directions. I guess O'Brien wanted to get everything off his chest. He tried to hide the disconnectedness by patching it together as some zany caper, but the disguise was insufficient. The book just tried to be way too many things and often cribbed from other books in which the same tone, messaging, and storylines were better done. Frequently it jumps the tracks of satire into the bitter whining of an old man who feels he has lost control of the world.

I said in my updates that this is a second-rate The Crying of Lot 49, and in part it is. That turns out to be only one of the better books this one brings to mind. The second-rate Pynchon is glommed together with second-rate other things too. None of it feels like homage. It did make me want to go read some Pynchon and Vonnegut and Don Winslow, so I guess that is good.

One of the other great problems with this book is that everyone acts like it is 1963 even though the book is firmly set in 2019 and 2020. Men are the providers. Most of the women are housewives who dedicate themselves to spending their man's money or are trying to get to that lofty place. The rest of the women use their powers of seduction to bring down men, getting them to to their bidding with the power of the yoni. The men are assholes too, but in more varied ways. I was put off by the mash-up of midcentury (that would be the 20th) stereotypes and the ubiquitous anti-Trump rants (which were tiresome even to me, a person who is horrified and disgusted by that idiot and the people too lazy to care about facts or truth who support him.)

I do want to note that as someone who lived in Fargo for 2 years, it was nice to get some Western Minnesota humor. I haven't heard a good Bemidji reference since I left Fargo-Moorhead in 2018. Some of the stuff was dead on but some was just nasty and not representative of life in the region. Also there is not a single reference to a Paul Bunyan statue, which is just wrong if you are writing about Bemidji. There were also some scenes where O'Brien worked hard to make people look like idiots, and it did not read like satire. It read like the words of a pissy superior old man. One example: O'Brien had one of the Minnesota hicks refer to a Blackfeet man by some other name I cannot recall (maybe Blockfoot or something) and the Indian man corrects him and tells him it is "Blackfoot" but the hick is too stupid to remember the "right name." It was an unnecessary scene to give the reader a chance to point and laugh, but also, Mr. Snark is wrong. The tribe is not "Blackfoot" it is Blackfeet. He would say "I am a Blackfeet" not "I am a Blackfoot." I wouldn't have cared as much if the name was not wrongly stated in the middle of a snappish tirade about stupid White Minnesotans who don't know the name of a local nation. There are a lot of moments like that.

The Things They Carried is one of my favorite books ever, it is brilliant, so my heart wants to restrict my brain to praising O'Brien. But though this has some enjoyable moments it really never comes together. I was pretty sure this was going to be a 3-star, but the last 50 pages were such a disaster. The story just limped to an exhausted close and given that a 2-star is the best I can do.

One last note -- with some reining in of peripheral stories and smoothing of characters to focus on Boyd and Angie (by a woman or by a man that does not look at women as an alien species who base their understanding of earthling women's behaviors on repeated watches of Gilligan's Island - Mrs. Howell, Ginger, and Marianne are all here), I think this is going to make a kick-ass Coen Brothers movie that I am going to watch repeatedly when it gets made.
… (mer)
Narshkite | 2 andra recensioner | Nov 22, 2023 |
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with this book for review.

"America Fantastica" is a literary gem that takes readers on an extraordinary journey through the heart and soul of the United States. This thought-provoking and beautifully written book is a captivating exploration of the nation's diverse landscapes, cultures, and stories, offering a profound and intimate look at the American experience.

The prose in "America Fantastica" is nothing short of enchanting. The author's mastery of language and vivid descriptions make every page come alive, transporting readers to the breathtaking beauty of the American landscapes. Whether it's the rugged terrain of the Southwest deserts or the lush tranquility of the Appalachian mountains, the book skillfully paints a vivid picture of the nation's geographical wonders.

What truly sets this book apart is its ability to dive deep into the rich tapestry of American life. It weaves together narratives from all corners of the country, celebrating the diversity of voices, experiences, and dreams that make up the United States. From the tales of immigrants seeking a new life to the inspiring stories of individuals pursuing their dreams, "America Fantastica" shines a light on the resilience and spirit that define this nation.

The author's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, offering a comprehensive and insightful look at the nation's history, culture, and social fabric. This blend of fact and fiction creates a rich and immersive reading experience, allowing readers to not only appreciate the beauty of America but also gain a deeper understanding of its complexities.

Moreover, "America Fantastica" is a thought-provoking exploration of the American identity. It challenges readers to reflect on what it means to be an American and the values that underpin the nation's identity. It's a timely and relevant conversation in today's world, making the book not just a captivating read but also a source of introspection and discussion.

In conclusion, "America Fantastica" is a literary triumph that should be on the reading list of anyone who appreciates the power of storytelling, rich cultural narratives, and a deep exploration of the American experience. This book is a testament to the beauty and diversity of the United States, and it leaves readers with a profound sense of appreciation for the nation's history and potential. It's a literary journey that will stay with you long after you've turned the final page, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper connection to the American spirit.
… (mer)
BenM2023 | 2 andra recensioner | Nov 22, 2023 |
The first chapter of Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" is riveting - putting some hard perspective on the front-end of a very personal set of short stories that are otherwise difficult to explain using hard facts. The novel isn't autobiographical but it is written as though it were non-fiction, drawing inspiration from the authors personal experiences in Vietnam. These are deep and metaphysical journeys into the souls of the soldiers involved. This isn't a novel about the war, but more about what war does to human beings. One of my favourite chapters takes place well before the war, as draft dodger struggles with his decision to skip the border to Canada. Not every chapter is quite this engaging, but overall there's a wonderful arc to this book, and O'Brien has a wonderful way of talking about the violence of war without descending into cliche or melodrama.… (mer)
nakedspine | 381 andra recensioner | Nov 16, 2023 |



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