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)
I loved this book. Riveting. I could not stop listening. It is gritty and tough and will take you down into the mud and the blood. The language is raw but feels realistic.
The excursion into race relations was a bit longer than welcome but does not take away from the book's impact.
The book follows a young lieutenant as he arrives to Vietnam and begins to experience leadership and the bush. I loved the way his training came into play as various situations unfolded.
Narration was very effective and deserved the "narrator of the year" award.
As a marine who served in Viet Nam, this brings back old smells, feelings, and memories! I had my wife read this book, and she say's now she knows how a war can stay with a man his whole life. It's not like being there, but a person can get a pretty good feel for just how nasty it was, and I hope realize what a debt we owe to our fighting veterans.
Linda Fischer - Rick's wife
Excellent book! Hard to listen to at times because it was so "raw." I felt the anger, sadness, and fear. This is the first book I've read having to do with the Vietnam War. I believed 40 years after the loss of friends and a cousin I would be able to take it in stride. It was tough, but, I'm glad I read it.
Extremely well done novel of war amongst men, war against men, and man's inexplicable humanity to man in the face of man's inhumanity to man. The real deal.
This is the best account of what it was like for a USMC Rifle Platoon Commander in a battle zone with no real objective. It makes you wonder why we ever go to war. A "must read" for any American... military or civilian.
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,
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.
this book was recommended to me by a few people and it never failed to live up to the hype . it is read superbly and you get a feeling for everyone in the book love or hate them it leaves a lasting impression at the end as there mission just seems to get worse. its a powerfull book and although its a story about vietnam you cant help thinking all the way through that kind of stuff happened all the time over there which in itself makes the audiobook even more powerfull i myself now recommend it to everyone reading this .
I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has the slightest interest in Vietnam war stories. It is long but worth every second.
It is graphic, sometimes very graphic however this is one book i look forward to listening to again.
"A military story but a good one"
It?s a military book for sure. There are lots of military stories out there to buy but this one is a beaut. It?s a pretty long one but didn?t feel it. It?s a fully rounded book was sad to have it end. I highly recommend.
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