Saturday, May 25, 2013
An Author a Day for Thirty Days: Day 25
So this is a little bit of a cheat because I have written very briefly about Tim O’Brien, but I failed to mention that not only is he in my top five favorite writers ever and I have read every single book he’s written, but I actually have a little anxiety that he won’t write another book. I do; I think about it every few weeks. I check the interwebs to see if there is anything on the horizon and then recalculate how long it’s been since his last book (it's been eleven years). That’s a long time. And yes, I’ve done the math; it’s the longest he’s ever gone between books. Let’s stop talking about it, I'm stressing out.
You haven’t read Tim O’Brien? Okay, okay…don’t panic. Let me get you started with a few must-reads. I can’t believe you haven’t read Tim O’Brien. If you don’t start soon, you won’t be caught up when he finishes his new book (positive thinking never hurts).
If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home is a slim but powerful memoir not only about O’Brien’s tour in Vietnam but how tortured he was about reporting for duty. Many people read the novel, The Things They Carried as a replacement of Combat Zone and it does duplicate a bit, but I prefer reading Combat Zone first anyway. These books are incredibly relevant today; I hope you will give them a chance if you haven’t read them yet.
Going After Cacciato is my favorite war novel. It tells the story of a soldier who goes AWOL and begins walking from Vietnam to France. The novel portrays the surrealism and confusion of war; it will take your breath away. This is a perfect book.
July, July is a really great novel about the thirtieth college reunion graduates, class of 1969. This novel is different for O’Brien in that it has a large cast of characters whose stories are told in flashbacks.
So those are four really wonderful books, but I could easily recommend the novels In the Lake of the Woods or Nuclear Age too. Full disclosure… I did not care for his novel, Tomcat in Love. See, I am not totally blinded by love!