National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

by Tim O'Brien

Abstraction may make your head believe, but a good story, well told, will also make your kidneys believe, and your scalp and your tear ducts, your heart, and your stomach, the whole human being.


Tim O'Brien (Copyright Marion Ettlinger, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin)

Excerpt from "Paint It Black," written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (BMI), performed by The Rolling Stones, and featured on the album Aftermath (1966), used courtesy of ABKCO Music and Records, Inc.

Excerpt from "Floor of the Forest" composed and performed by Jeffrey Roden (BMI), and featured on the album The Floor of the Forest (1999), used courtesy of The Big Tree Music.

Excerpts from "The Moon Is Down" featured on the album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever (2001) and "Memorial" featured on the album The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place (2003), written and performed by Explosions in the Sky (Mark T. Smith, Michael James, Chris Hrasky, and Munaf Rayani), used courtesy of Temporary Residence, Ltd. Both songs used by permission of Explosions in the Sky Music [100%, BMI].

Excerpts from the following compositions used courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.:

  • Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131, performed by the Kodaly Quartet, and featured on the album Complete String Quartets Volume 9 (2001).
  • Sir Edward Elgar's Elegy, Op. 58, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and other artists, and featured on the album Orchestral Works (1998).
  • Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 5, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James DePriest, and featured on the album Symphony No. 5 (2006).

Sound effects by Brent Findley at Sonic Magic Studios, Culver City, CA.

Written and produced by Adam Kampe at the National Endowment for the Arts, 2009.

Executive Producer: Josephine Reed

Assistant Producers: Liz Mehaffey and Pepper Smith

All excerpts from The Things They Carried (1990) by permission of the author.

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