I first read this book as a senior in high school. I didn’t know how to react to it. It made me very uncomfortable (especially the few scenes in which animals are involved) but it also struck me as being undeniably true, and for that I couldn’t put it down. This book is one of...
Tagged: Tim O’Brien
The book is perhaps the most challenging I’ve ever read, or ever will read, both from the perspective of writing craft and from the perspective of subject matter. The images and scenes are vivid and hard to face. They show carnage, destruction, cruelty and disfigurement, all of which are worse than death.
O’Brien’s writing is the same. He tears the craft apart, destroys the genre of fiction and leaves it bleeding and raw with its guts hanging out and its head cut off and posted on a stake at the entrance.
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and sometimes fiction is truer than truth. And sometimes, in order to tell a story the right way, you need to let the story know it’s a story.