In the monsoon season of 1968-69 at a fire support base called Matterhorn, located in the remote mountains of Vietnam, a young and ambitious Marine lieutenant wants to command a company to further his civilian political ambitions. Two people stand in his way. The first is a well-loved combat-weary lieutenant his own age who desperately wants out of the bush but who does not want to leave his Marines with an inexperienced and overly ambitious officer. The second is an angry leader of the company’s radical blacks, who has all the political skill, savvy, and ambition of the protagonist.
As the young lieutenant experiences the costs of combat, he sees the terrible results of his actions and begins to question the value of ambition and skill over compassion and heart.
©2010 Karl Marlantes (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Matterhorn is one of the most powerful and moving novels about combat, the Vietnam War, and war in general that I have ever read.” (Dan Rather)
“Brings a long, torturous war back to life with realistic characters and authentic, thrilling combat sequences.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Unforgettable.… A beautifully crafted novel of unrivaled authenticity and power, filled with jungle heroism, crackerjack inventiveness, mud, blood, brotherhood, hatred, healing, terror, bureaucracy, politics, unfathomable waste, and unfathomable love." (Christina Robb, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist)
Sad and heartbreaking at times. A complex novel who for the first time showed me a side of the Viet Nam war that I had not seen before. I am greatful for this experience but read with caution.
If you like good literature, get this novel. I found it very powerful. It gripped me and I find I cannot shake the feeling it left me with. It made me feel the same way I felt after I finished Slaughter House Five and I would say the writing is almost on the same level. It is one of the best war novels ever written.
As a Vietnam era and Desert Storm veteran, I expected a lot from this book and it delivered. Many of my NCO's in the 82nd in the early -mid 70's were Vietnam vets and while we were training for war in the middle East, I heard a lot of first hand accounts that rang with the same authenticity as this book. Many of the rear area personalities in this book were way too real to me, and while they were Marines, the Army certainly had their own share of these bastards. Saw the same thing in Desert Storm, always people willing to climb the ladder over the bodies of someone else. The flawed good guys were also real, in fact real enough I found myself putting faces to them of people I served with. Very well done book.
I am an avid fan of WWII books so this book was a change for me. The mind of the soldier in Vietnam is so different. From being volunteers vs. career soldiers to the racial tensions this is a very though provoking book with insights to a was that I know very little about. You have to be able to handle profanity to listen to this book. It's rampant.
If you can use the word beautiful to describe a book about the Vietnam War, then that's the word I would use. It is quite graphic and full of foul language, but the story is beautiful. I sobbed several times listening to it. I loved listening to it and the treatment that each character got. Would absolutely recommend.
I don’t know that his book accurately describes what it was like in Vietnam during the war, but the author did paint a pretty graphic picture for the listener. It was a bit hard to follow at times and I was about a quarter of the way in before I really started to feel I was in touch with the main characters. Overall it was a good book and enjoyed the listen. That said, the narrator was definitely a rookie. I don’t know why other listeners commented that he did such a good job. I’ve listened to hundreds of audio books and he is about a 4 on a 1-10 scale. A better narrator would have made this a much more interesting book to listen too. If you can get by that, it's a good book.
One of the best Audible books I've ever listened to. Great narration. Great story. You really get to know the characters at many levels, magnified by the intensity of warfare. So many big issues (like the meaning of life, good vs. evil, race relations) are woven into exquisitely detailed scenes populated by characters you grow to love. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the terror, the relief, and ultimately the brotherhood of combat are all there. You'll be infuriated by incompetent leaders. You'll laugh and cry along with troops. Hated to see it end.
I'm a 40 year old female with no interest in war books and I loved this book and the characters. I tried the book out because it was on one of the 2010 top lists and I was not disapointed.
Certified bookworm since 1962
Unbelievable job by Bronson Pinchot. I was mesmerized by his reading of this deeply affecting story.
A moving and powerful book on Vietnam. It took Marlantes 30 years to write but reading it brought back Vietnam in vivid detail. Destined to become a classic.
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