I have always been interested in war, not in a tactician way or interested in the violence way. Interested in the stories and how the people who go to war manage to get through it (those who actually do make it through). Maybe it’s a morbid curiosity, because who in their right mind would be interested in THAT? Probably due to Hollywood romanticizing it in some of its movies.
Anyway, The Things They Carried doesn’t romanticize war, but the author Tim O’Brien does tell war stories. It starts off….not lighthearted, that’s not the right word, but it’s not exactly dark in the beginning. He talks about his own experience when he learned he would be drafted in a war he didn’t believe was right. He touches on the division of the country (that’s how long we have been divided in the U.S., since fucking Vietnam.) About halfway through it gets dark, the stories Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bang and The Man I Killed are both beautifully written and resonated with me. I’ll forever be wondering if Mary Anne Bell is real and if she is, did she make it home?