Thank you so much! This book is so well written and narrated!!! Must read for all who has ever been involved in the armed forces. Great read,
Made you feel what it was like being in the jungle, with all the discomforts that go along with being in such a war. The noise, heat, rain, lack of food or water, personal hygene, bugs, politics, discrimination, chain of command all tossed on an unsuspecting young man of maybe 18 years old, Not to mention the horror of being in harms way with death all around you and people wanting to kill you. God bless any man or women who ever went to battle for us who never did.
This book does not present flag waving pictures about elite troops winning text book battles on fields of glory. Rather, it is about a group of starving, shell shocked, ground pounding U.S. Marines fighting and dying in the jungles of Viet Nam. Mellis and Hawk are two young officers who are ordered to lead their marines from hill to hill and landing zone to landing zone. They face an intractable enemy, jungle rot, man eating tigers and a group of senior officers more concerned with promotion than with the survival of their subordinates. One by one, the men of Alpha Company fall to bullets, mines, disease, or accident. Yet they go on fighting -- because they have been trained to fight until resistance is no longer an option. Matterhorn had me from the first page and never let up. Now I can see that we did not just lose the Viet Nam war. We let the politicians and self-promoting rear echelon egg heads throw it away!
Runner, sailor, photog and engineer. I like Jo Nesbo, Craig Johnson, Robert Crais, Michael Connely, Steig Larson, Lee Child, but most especially James Lee Burke.
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes is an absolute masterpiece. It has taken me a month to suffer through it. I say suffer because these Marines suffered so much. The writing is descriptive and takes you to the jungles with its prose It is quite deep and very reflective on America in the late sixties as well as the realities of fighting a war. It should be required reading for all citizens of the United States and a prerequisite for anyone who is going to enter a voting booth.
I'll start with what struck me as the only negative, and that was a reliance on melodramatic dialogue on occasion that may not have been unnecessary because the situations carried the conflict superbly. Initially I thought the characters were a bit two dimensional, BUT then thinking back to my own experiences (Army artillery I-Corps Vietnam '69, the same year as the book's setting) I realized that in reality most people's backgrounds became a backdrop to the current conflicts, and Marlantes nailed how individual, cultural, ethnic divisions -- and personalities -- contributed but were subsumed by the current horror of the situation to help explain why people did what they did. Especially fascinating was the dilemma of race relations, as depicted, for example, in the scene describing the near melee at the field movie presentation (nice brief description of a spaghetti western, btw). The principal character, Mellas, gives us some insight into a nontraditional officer -- a Harvard grad who went to war. I highly recommend this well narrated book for anyone who wants a good read (or hear) , who wants to continue to put persepctive on the their own Vietnam experience, or who after 40 years want to tell a friend or loved one a little about what went on in a crazy war, at a crazy time in our history.
This was a great book to listen to, I hope Marlantes continues to write. I definitely recommend this to anyone. Marlanties does a great job dropping you right into the jungle and then drags you out one dead commrade at a time. Brilliant.
I dont understand what all the fuss is about. Yes, the narration was a tour de force, but I have read some nonfiction about the vietnam war that moved me a lot more than this book did. This book was a real ho hum. You want to read something that will really grab you, about the realities of that war? Read about the heroes in Harold Moore's book about the battle of Ia Drang. Or read the story of John Paul Vann in Sheehan's "Bright Shining Lie". If it took Marlantes 30 years to write this book, I have to say, wow, man. Thats not very productive. You need a little better work ethic. And what is all that stuff tacked on to the end about partying back at base? Was it a little too thin and the editor asked you to add another 200 pages? If you think this book represents the great horrors of the the Vietnam war, then you dont know much about the Vietnam war.
So good...I had avoided any Vietnam book but tried this on a friends recommendation. Funny and intense and you gain a caring for and understanding for the strength and flaws of all the characters. I found myself reenacting he "Hawk Dance"! I have never submitted a review, much less before I finished a book- I can't wait to get into part 3. His word play and imagery are some of the best I have heard in a long time, he reminds me of Joesph Heller (Yes-Catch 22). This author is a treasure, I need more Karl Marlantes. Addicting!
This book gave a pretty good picture of what went on in Viet Nam and how decisions were made by those not on the scene, and with little idea of the real difficulty of the mission. It also showed the conditions that our troops had to endure. Well written.
This was just an amazing book, read by a superb reader. I was utterly absorbed. The story was so rich with characters and ideas, and surged with an authenticity that made it fascinating.