If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O'Brien

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O'Brien, Tim. If I Die in a Combat Zone. New York: Broadway Books, 1975.

Tim O'Brien is confused about the Vietnam War. He is getting drafted into it, but is also protesting it. He gets to boot camp and finds it very difficult to know that he is going off to a country far away from home and fighting a war that he didn't believe was morally right. Before O'Brien gets to Vietnam he visits a military Chaplin about his problem with the war. "O'Brien I am really surprised to hear this. You're a good kid but you are betraying you country when you say these things"(60). This says a lot about O'Brien's views on the Vietnam War. In the reading of the book, If I Die in a Combat Zone, Tim O'Brien explains his struggles in boot camp and when he is a foot soldier in Vietnam.

I've always been a fan of war books, and when it came to this project, I decided to stick with the books that interest me the most. When I heard that O'Brien wrote bestselling books from his experiences in Vietnam I deicide to do my project on him as the author. To be honest I wasn't even planning on reading If I Die in a Combat Zone at first, but as I read the first page, I see the detail and clarity of his writing, and I know it will be a great book. "Count them—that's ten times to day! Ever been shot at ten times in one day?"(2). When ever I read a line like this I am amazed, its just hard to grasp the fact that in one day his company got shot at ten plus times. Not to mention the mines they had to watch out for, and all of the VC booby-traps. I am doing my project on Tim O'Brien. So this book is a perfect fit because it is one of his great books about Vietnam. Not only is it a great fit for my project, it is also a very good book. I had no...

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...f view in this book is first person. O'Brien writes it like a journal of his experience in Vietnam, with him as the person telling the story.

After reading this very dramatic book I expected a dramatic ending with, maybe, the death of one his close friends that only had a couple days left in Vietnam just like him. I was a little disappointed, but I guess it got its job done. It wrapped up the book very nice; it just wasn't as exciting as the rest of the book. If you are interested in war books that can sometimes get a little graphic I would definitely recommend this book to you. It is a really easy book to get lost in the reading; he describes everything in great detail and makes it really easy to picture what is going on in your head. If you read his book you too will find out about Tim O'Brien's struggles in boot camp and also as a foot soldier in Vietnam.

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