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)
War novels are not my usual reading choice but an interview with the author on the radio intrigued me so I picked it up. I found the first hour or so to be quite dry and slow, but Just as I was at the point of putting the book aside it suddenly came to life. I am not qualified to say whether this book is the best american war novel ever written as some have described it, but it is one of the best books that I have read this year and maybe ever. Yes, It is a graphically brutal, violent, profane, bury you head in your hand in despair read, but it is also a thoughtful. profound study of love, courage, endurance and humanity.It has the most heart of any book I have ever read.
I took a multi media approach to this book as I often do, listened to the audio version concurrently with reading the text version. The audio version is in my opinion a masterpiece. Bronson Pinchot, the narrator, was so brilliant at portraying the action of the plot and the emotions, accents and personality of the many characters in this book that the audio experience was almost traumatic. Can you get PTSD from a book?
I highly recommend this to every reader.
This was a very good book and Bronson Pinchot did a great job with the narration. I highly recommend it.
I thought this book was very well-written, and very entertaining. I found myself feeling like the main characters were friends, and I couldn't wait to see how the plot developed. The detail, narration and story were very well done (the book's narration starts off horribly, be patient for a couple of minutes). My only complaint was the language. While I'm sure the crude language of the soldiers is very realistic, I found the swearing to be excessive and unnecessary. If you have more delicate tastes in entertainment, this book is not for you.
It has been a long time since I carried the title of Sgt. 0311 in 1stBat 5th Marines. And while I did not see combat, I have stayed away from all Marine Corps topics and books until now. It was worth the wait; I laughed, I cried, I remembered. An excellent book and an excellent narration. Semper fi.
Narration was great. Story phenomenal. It's not just a war story, it's a story about relationships in crisis, race relations in a military setting, and perserverence under the most difficult of situations.
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.
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