Excerpt, The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

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Narration sample from Tim O'Brien's collection of stories, The Things They Carried.

Vocal Characteristics



Voice Age

Young Adult (18-35)


North American (General) North American (US Midwest- Chicago, Great Lakes)


Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
excerpt from the things they carried by Tim O'Brien. The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near necessities were P 38 can openers pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool Aid lighters, matches, swing kits, military payment certificates, C rations and two or three canteens of water. Henry Dobbins, who was a big man, carried extra rations. He was fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup. Dave Jensen, who practiced field hygiene, carried a toothbrush, dental floss and several hotel sized bars of soap he'd stolen on R and R in Sydney, Australia. Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside of the village of John K. By necessity and because it was S O. P. They all carried steel helmets that weighed £5 including the liner and camouflage cover. They carried standard fatigue jackets and trousers. Very few carried underwear on their feet. They carried jungle boots, and Dave Jensen carried three pairs of socks and a can of Dr Scholl's foot powder as a precaution against Trench Foot until he was shot Ted Lavender carried six or seven ounces of premium dope, which for him was a necessity. Mitchell Sander carried condoms. Norman Bowker carried a diary rat. Kiley carried comic books as a hedge against bad times. Kiwa carried his grandmother's distrust of the white man and his grandfather's old hunting hatchet. Necessity dictated because you could die so quickly. Each man carried at least one large compressed bandage, usually in the helmet, for easy access, some things that carried in common taking turns. They carried the big ***** 77 scrambler radio, which weighed £30. With its battery, they shared the weight of memory. They took up what others could no longer bear. Often they carried each other. The wounded are weak. They carried infections. They carried chess sets, Vietnamese English dictionaries, insignia of rank, bronze stars and purple hearts. They carried diseases, among them malaria and dysentery. They carried lice and ringworm and leeches and patty algae and various rots and molds. They carried the land itself Vietnam, the place, the soil, a powdery orange red dust that covered their boots and fatigues and faces. They carried the sky, the whole atmosphere. They carried it. The humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay. All of it. They carried gravity