Northern Lights Originally published in Tim O Brien s debut novel demonstrates the emotional complexity and enthralling narrative tension that later earned him the National Book Award At its core is the relatio

  • Title: Northern Lights
  • Author: Tim O'Brien
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Originally published in 1975, Tim O Brien s debut novel demonstrates the emotional complexity and enthralling narrative tension that later earned him the National Book Award At its core is the relationship between two brothers one who went to Vietnam and one who stayed at home As the two brothers struggle against an unexpected blizzard in Minnesota s remote north woods,Originally published in 1975, Tim O Brien s debut novel demonstrates the emotional complexity and enthralling narrative tension that later earned him the National Book Award At its core is the relationship between two brothers one who went to Vietnam and one who stayed at home As the two brothers struggle against an unexpected blizzard in Minnesota s remote north woods, what they discover about themselves and each other will change both of them for ever.From the Trade Paperback edition.

    • Northern Lights - Tim O'Brien
      451 Tim O'Brien
    • thumbnail Title: Northern Lights - Tim O'Brien
      Posted by:Tim O'Brien
      Published :2019-08-15T10:04:20+00:00

    About "Tim O'Brien"

    1. Tim O'Brien

      Tim O Brien matriculated at Macalester College Graduation in 1968 found him with a BA in political science and a draft notice.O Brien was against the war but reported for service and was sent to Vietnam with what has been called the unlucky Americal division due to its involvement in the My Lai massacre in 1968, an event which figures prominently in In the Lake of the Woods He was assigned to 3rd Platoon, A Company, 5th Battalion, 46th Infantry, as an infantry foot soldier O Brien s tour of duty was 1969 70.After Vietnam he became a graduate student at Harvard No doubt he was one of very few Vietnam veterans there at that time, much less Combat Infantry Badge CIB holders Having the opportunity to do an internship at the Washington Post, he eventually left Harvard to become a newspaper reporter O Brien s career as a reporter gave way to his fiction writing after publication of his memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Send Me Home.Tim O Brien is now a visiting professor and endowed chair at Texas State University San Marcos formerly Southwest Texas State University where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program.

    749 thoughts on “Northern Lights”

    1. Do people really talk like that? Do they restate and re-phrase and repeat with that consistency? Do they just keep saying the same things over and over, often with little change in the wording? Do people really duplicate their prose the way almost every character in Northern Lights does? What I'm asking is, do people really repeat themselves the way these characters do, in their speech, their writing their internal monologues?Maybe. Maybe we repeat ourselves all the time and don't realize. And m [...]


    2. Tim O'Brien is a brilliant writer, but NORTHERN LIGHTS is his debut novel, and it shows. While not a bad read, the story and pacing are just not up to the quality of O'Brien's later work.


    3. This book can pretty much be summed up in one word - anticlimatic. I spent the entire time I was reading Northern Lights wondering when the "spellbinding suspense" the Chicago Times Review on the front cover raved about would occur and was disheartened when I reached the end of the novel and it never had. I mean, the characters are likeable enough and the plot has potential it just goes nowhere. The whole story pretty much consists of Perry and Harvey skiing and sleeping and being cold or hot or [...]


    4. Amongst the mere ordinariness of Perry, Grace, and Harvey is a story filled with the quite frustrations of that which is left unsaid, and the sense of lost time and missed opportunities. Old memories, fraught misconstrued concepts from childhood past resurface as petty jealousies over present realities. There were tensions, and unarticulated feelings, concerns and observations all abound in this novel. In essence the novel is almost about an end of an era, as well as the quite crumbling of a com [...]


    5. I was kind of disappointed in this. It didn't really affect me as much as Tim O'Brien's other novels. I mean, the writing style was just as beautiful, I'll always love his writing style. But I just didn't really care all that much about the story. I didn't like many of the side characters. They kind of gave me an unsettling feeling, which may have been intended, but even so, I didn't enjoy reading about them. The only character I actually liked was Grace, and I was interested in the relationship [...]


    6. I've used some of Tim O'Brien's writing to teach descriptive writing in my classes and was intrigued by the description of the book. I like outdoor adventures. I like books where people learn about themselves and others as they re-examine their pasts. However, there was little I liked about the book. I did not care for either of the main characters, and I'm not sure what they learned about themselves or anyone else. I was waiting for something to happen, and I'm not sure it really ever did. I wa [...]


    7. Trim out the redundancies and replace it with something of substance. There needs to be more refinement, more meaningful material. The author can create dialogue that flows and breathes, but the narrative can sometimes be choppy and unappealing. Many talented writers can turn even the most boring stories into vivid, engaging material; however, this story tends to drag on despite its potential and opportunities for growth. I wanted something engaging and meaningful, not uncouth and dry. Again, wi [...]


    8. I did not enjoy reading this book but persisted because the story line looked promising and I feel the need to complete reading a book once I have started. I struggled with the style and repetitive nature of the sentences and I didn't like any of the characters. I rated the book at 2 stars as I felt compelled to find out what happened at the end . so I guess that's good. But the book seemed to peter out at the end.


    9. I've loved the other O'Brien books I've read, but I feel like he was still developing his skills here. There's just a little too much repetition and a feeling of nothing happening. I get that a lot is unsaid in his books, and I usually enjoy it, but not so much here. It is kind of monotonous.I'll still read more of his, since I've enjoyed them before.



    10. I like Tim O'Brien's books but this one really dragged. Two brothers in the north woods trying to connect and it went on and on and on.


    11. Holy God was this terrible. I’m shocked that this was written by the same guy who did Cacciato and Lake in the Woods and The Things They Carried. I loved those works so much that I decided I would read everything by him and jumped at this book when I saw it at a used book shop, knowing nothing about it. Granted, it was his first work and he probably had to hone his voice/skills. But my goodness is this bad. Pat myself on the back for finishing it. I completely understand all these reviews on h [...]


    12. I appreciate the complexities between the characters and the accuracy that is revealed in a character book (no real plot suspension) in which the characters do not much change or grow.I did not like Grace. I found her too "mother-y" (yeah, yeah the missing father called her "someone's mother" when she was just a college girl and she is an elementary school teacher and we are constantly reminded that she wants a baby), even though that is her central core. In the opening scene I thought she treat [...]


    13. Northern Lights was published in 1975 and was TIm O'Brien's debut book. O'Brien was a guy who went and came back from the Vietnam War. He has many famous books such as 'The Things They Carry', which is a book I read for class and is truly awesome. For those who read the Northern Lights as their first O'Brien book, don't be discouraged or disappointed because he only got better and better and is currently one of America's best writers. However no matter how boring or insipid you felt when you rea [...]


    14. p.31 Hard to tell if the old mayor was playing a great fool's game, darting in and out of time as if it didn't matter or exist, always confusing the living with the dead and Perry with Harvey and both of them with the old man.p.242 The trail was its own perfect logic.My O'Brien sets up provocative oppositions between two brothers, Perry and Harvey. The brothers are a study in contrasts, whether the subject is involvement in Vietnam, love for their father, or personal relationships, the brothers [...]


    15. I found this book while on vacation-someone had left it behind where I was staying, so I picked it up. I'd never read any (nor heard of) Tim O'Brien, and I really like his writing. This is a bit of a "plotless" book--nothing much happens, and at the end I still didn't really understand these characters or their relationships, but that seems to be sort of the point. Clearly the brother Harvey's experience in Vietnam has scarred and changed him, but I think even the brother who stayed home is scar [...]



    16. Meh. This book wasn't as captivating and impressive for me as some of his other works. I know I like OBrien's writing. In The Lake of the Woods and The Things They Carried are pretty epic. I think my problem wasn't the writing here, it was the story. I just couldn't get into it. I couldn't relate to the characters at all. Mostly I feel like this was a story about two grown men working through a life crisis, and while I get where the some of the veteran's issues come from, I just couldn't relate [...]


    17. O'Brien's first published novel (after the memoirIf I Die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home ), and it shows. You can feel him still finding his stylistic feet here. A good read, but an uneven one, and mostly of interest for how it sets the stage for his later work. (The National Book Award-winningGoing After Cacciatowould arrive just three years later.)


    18. "Pretty good take on people in general. main charactor spends most of his time being depressed until his brother Harvey talks him into snow skiing 50 miles home, harvey gets them lost then is deathly ill with pneumonia and Perry has to take over. by the end of the book, Perry is taking chargr of many things, coming out of his depression. bother Harry never stops talking after he is back from Vietnam, repeating himself continuously. Perry's wife Grace is very meek and almost a non character. Perr [...]


    19. Pretty good take on people in general. main charactor spends most of his time being depressed, his brother never shuts up, the wife is a placid cow, the mayir is a sarcastic, half-senile old fart, and Addy is a heart-breaking in-your-face brat, I wanted to slap them all. main charactor is also the main hero and if this is how people in northern Minnesota are perceived after people read this book, I won't tell anyone this is where I live, lol book club book read and to be discussed in Dec. when w [...]


    20. What to say about Northern Lights? It's definitely not what I was expecting after I read The Things They Carried. I definitely prefer The Things They Carried over this book. Unless you are into reading about Northern Minnesota and cross country skiing. Survival. PTSD stricken veteran. I think the story would have been a little bit more interesting from the younger brother's perspective. Harvey probably would have had much more interesting thoughts than Paul. I also didn't like being left in the [...]


    21. I think this book has been a little underrated. The style is gorgeous and the repetition is intentional obviously. It's do with the stream of consciousness style. Funny how I don't like Virginia Woolf that much but find similar elements lovely here. I also hadn't previously recognized Faulkner's influence on O'Brien. Sentence structure is completely different but the feeling/tone is quite similar. AND somehow I didn't know this was his first book. I thought Cacciato was. So, bravo, as far as I'm [...]


    22. Tim O'Brien is one of my favorite authors and although I enjoyed this book, it is not one of my favorites amongst his works. The writing is incredible, as his always is, and the dynamic relationship that he portrays between two brothers is very interesting to examine. However, at times the plot seemed to move a little too slowly for me, which is why I think that I have enjoyed some of his other books a bit more. I would say that this book is worth reading since the writing is so good. O'Brien's [...]


    23. This is one of my all time favorite books from one of my all time favorite authors. I can usually count onTim O'Brien for a good story that I can suck on and turn over in my mouth for a while, but this is one of my top three. (It's hard to rank this againstIn the Lake of the Woods andGoing After Cacciato.) I keep this around for winter lulls and summer molasses because I can always count on it to take me to a dark, crisp, beautiful place where I feel alive and at peace.


    24. 3.5 stars It is 1970 and Harvey has been away fighting in the Vietnam War. He returns home to his brother, Paul, and Paul's wife, Grace. When Harvey suggests he and Paul go skiing in the woods for a few days, things go terribly wrong. It was good. I thought the best part of the book was while they were in the woods (which didn't happen until about half-way through). I didn't like any of the characters, though.


    25. I love to read and I am pretty liberal in my ratings, mostly 3's and 4's. I just did not care about this book. I did not identify with any of the characters. I finished the book because that's what I do but for me it was just a time-killer. Maybe if I was from northern Minnesota something would have clicked. As it was, nothing did.


    26. Maybe nice to look at from a history-of-O'Brien's writing point of view, but ultimately a book rife with repetitions and flat scenes and overwrought dialogue. O'Brien himself dislikes the book strongly, although I agree with something he's indicated in interviews, that this could've been a good book with 80-100 pages cut.


    27. Other than lots of drinking, the main story about being lost in the BWCA was a fine story, well wrought, except that it could have been shorter and tighter. However, he used repetition as a device for waning brainpower due to starvation, not a bad trick. Otherwise the book was set up like a set of short stories, and each stood on its own merit.


    28. This book at its heart is about empathy. O'Brien lasting out a harsh blizzard to connect the reader to the main character while using this to connect the main character to his brother's experience of Vietnam, and all of this is connected by an ignorant public opinion that has no empathy for struggle.


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