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)
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.
If you enjoy a good book about the miserable plight of the American soldier in the Vietnam War you'll enjoy this book. It's in my top 10 listens.
This book was sad and humbling. It gave me a new respect for what the Marines dealt with in that horrible war and made me sad for our soldiers now at war. A recent book on the Irag war brought home the same message as this book - these are 19 year olds - yes "kids" as Melis calls them. The detail is gory and depressing -- some reviewers said it went on too long but you realize after a while that in some ways that is what makes the story real. While there are uplifting moments, this is not an uplifting book but perhaps a story that we need to hear. It is interesting how many people chose to review this book.
I've listened to over 250 audible.com books, and this is the best I have ever listened to. I dragged it out, because I could not stand for it to end.
I have just finished Matterhorn and am still reeling from the emotionally devasting ending (no, I won't spoil it for you).
This is an outstanding book and Bronson Pinchot does an amazing job as narrator. I listened to this shortly after finishing War by Sebastian Junger. I also had the pleasure of listening to the pair of authors share a panel at the Miami International Book Fair. While one is "fiction" and the other not, the both had an incredible emotional effect on me. The horror of the Vietnam War and the cultural context of that era comes clearly through Marlantes' narrative.
One comment I would make is do not believe the synopsis from the publisher about the supposed struggle between an ambitious 2nd Lt. and a more senior veteran officer. I did not find that at all; I felt the central figure, Waino Mellis, to be totally believable and quite human.
I strongly recommend listening to the fine work!!
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