THE THINGS THEY CARRIED is Tim O'Brien's beautiful, anguished collection of linked stories about Vietnam. In it, he blends diverse voices and events into an unforgettable portrayal of war and the people who fight it. Mingling fact with fiction, telling and retelling events from different points of view, the book is as much about war as it is about the difference between truth and reality.
"In many cases a true war story cannot be believed," he writes. "If you believe it, be skeptical. It's