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)
Too often do I find authors who add as much gratuitous violence as possible in order to make their novels appear more shocking.
Perhaps it is simply because the characters in those novels never seem to react properly to that violence, but those passages always stand out, ugly and wrong.
This novel had the violence, but it wasn't about convincing you, the reader, that these things are terrible, it was about how the characters in the book handled the horrors of Vietnam.
The characters are so brilliantly painted and the reader does such an excellent job of voicing them that this easily rises to being amongst my favorite audiobooks of 2010.
So many reviews made this book seem to be depressing and horrifying, so I waited a long time after I downloaded it to actually listen. It was excellent, well crafted and authentic, without being over the top gory as some had implied. Well worth the time and credit.
The reader is putting me in the story with him. I am finding myself having emotions for the soldiers and realizing how terrible the leadership really was in Vietnam. I understand this is fiction but the language, names of places, etc you just know are from someone that was there and expierenced this terrible war. Disease, starvation, emotional stress and the soldiers just not knowing what to do is a fear that I'm lucky I do not have to engage.
I recommend this audio book highly.
This story is honest, with realistic characters. It does not hide the truth of the war experience, much like many current missives about the Viet Nam war. I cannot describe the impact this story had on my emotions, as well as my view of courage, and a man's abilty to endure. The story portrays the human condition at its best and its worst. There it is.
First review of a book, and I am happy that it is this book. This read was amazing to say the least! Bronson Pinchot is brilliant! Marlantes characters are so real! I'm a former Marine and I have to admit, couple times I choked up and felt a tear welling up. I am waiting for Karl to write another book now.
This was easily the best book I've come in contact with. I was sad when it ended, wishing for a few more hours. I'm sure my wife is glad it's over, as I couldn't help but sit and listen for hours every night. I certainly hope it doesn't take another 30 years for Lt. Marlantes to write another, I'll be waiting in line if he does.
A gripping, graphic, and often heart-rending story. Well written and superbly narrated. The Audible experience at its best.
I did two tours in the 'Nam but this is the story of those who were really there. We saw these fellows when they came in from the bush and this is their story. I remember them well. This work reflects the look in their eyes and their attitude. It also reflects the politics of wars, good and bad leadership. In its way, as good as To Kill A Mockingbird, Caine Mutiny, Gone With The Wind, In Cold Blood. Narrator is superb.
If you were not there, you should read this if only to understand sacrifice, loyalty, honor, duty, and the stupidity of wars such as VN. If you were there, you need to read it if only to remind you of the lessons you learned early in life when you were there.
all the expected characters are present and real
black,white,rural,urban,ambitious,stupid and terrified
none are cartoons however you care about each one
surprisingly little contact with or knowledge of the NVA
the enemy is within and the true conflicts are internal
they fight each other constantly and the NVA occasionally
the jungle is the most vicious and relentless opponent
issues of infection,misdirection,malnutrition and isolation never end
the most scary episodes involved the unknowable dense " bush "
bronson pinchot is seriously underpaid
more than a dozen voices with only one narrator
each one distinctive and spot on and vibrant
It's dark, gritty and remarkably human. I can't say enough about the narrator Bronson Pinchot, he sounds like a voice actor and truly makes this book come alive.
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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