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)
Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.
Nothing is better than a book that hooks you so strongly that you do not want to stop reading or listening. This is one of those.
Not only is the performance of the reader excellent, but the story itself keeps the listener wanting more.
The grunts in the jungle have to deal not only with the enemy, but also with tigers, insects carrying fatal diseases, exhaustion, and an impossible terrain. And in the safety of the rear, career officers worried about promotion seem to be unaware and unconcerned about the infantry. These officers, in their protected and air conditioned bunkers, plot missions for the men who will die in trying to achieve goals that will get kudos for the officers.
This one will keep you listening.
Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day
This is a painfully detailed view into the life of Marines in the hell of Vietnam. I was an antiwar activist and strong opponent of the war from 67 on after leading a "support the troops" rally at the Univ of TN as freshman class president in 65.
Still my reasons for opposition to the war was about bringing the soldiers home and out of harm's way. This book makes me feel nothing but respect for their sacrifice and nothing but vindication for my opposition to the war and my efforts to stop this madness.
The book is well read and the characters are well described. A five star effort
Karl does wonderfully well at capturing the feel of war. All war is horrible and noble at the same time, and those fighting it always end up fighting for their comrades more then in any other reason. Viet Nam was a different war, as all wars are, but unique in ways others wars aren't. I served in the Navy during part of that time frame, the racial strife of the times and the paradoxes created are poignantly portrayed by Karl.
At more than 600 pages, this book is at least 200 pages too long. I could barely finish it. Two much better Vietnam novels are "Fields of Fire," by James Webb, and "The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien. For an even more harrowing, white-knuckle read, try Michale Herr's nonfiction account "Dispatches."
I don't know why so many people are gushing about "Matterhorn," but I suspect it has something to do with guilt--guilt about long-ago attitudes towards those who served at the time-- and a need to overcompensate now with excessive praise.
While I'm sure there were and are leaders like the Marine 2LT in the service, I really don't care to read about them. Additionally the chapter about the leach problem was extremely painful to read/hear and made me want to stop listening rather than build any sort of tension.
I don't know if this book could have been a 4 or 5 star experience because the language so so bad and so pervasive that I couldn't get past more than a half an hour and even that was a struggle. I really wanted to read this book about the Vietnam war.
I realize that men may talk like this, particularly in the situation in which they were. I wanted the story but I just couldn't get any farther.
Of course, some books have profanity and whether you like it or not, you can get past it and enjoy the book. Not so in this case. To bad.
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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