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Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War | [Karl Marlantes]

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Why we think it’s a great listen: A performance so poignant, we gave Bronson Pinchot (yes, Balki from Perfect Strangers) our inaugural Narrator of the Year award.... 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. But two people stand in his way.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Karl Marlantes (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Richard Newark, DE, United States 08-07-10
    Richard Newark, DE, United States 08-07-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How Vietnam = Obama's Afghanastan strategy"

    Entertaining and enlightening view of what it was like to be a grunt in Vietnam and why we lost the war from micromanagement in Washington. National and personal politics overuled well-studied military strategy that could have led to success. Reminds me of the new Obama strategy in Afghanastan that is failing. White House Political concerns and micromanagement override successful military startegies that our troops are not allowed to execute and results in more casualties and confusion for our troops in the field. Gen McCrystal resigned in frustration over misdirected guidance from tour naive Commander-in Chief rather than lead a Vietnam type loss that is on the way. Den Westmoreland should have resigned under Pres Johnson's Mismanagement as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard D. Martel Newark, DE United States 08-07-10
    Richard D. Martel Newark, DE United States 08-07-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    34
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    "How Vietnam = Obama's Afghanastan strategy"

    Entertaining and enlightening view of what it was like to be a grunt in Vietnam and why we lost the war from micromanagement in Washington. National and personal politics overuled well-studied military strategy that could have led to success. Reminds me of the new Obama strategy in Afghanastan that is failing. White House Political concerns and micromanagement override successful military startegies that our troops are not allowed to execute and results in more casualties and confusion for our troops in the field. Gen McCrystal resigned in frustration over misdirected guidance from tour naive Commander-in Chief rather than lead a Vietnam type loss that is on the way. Den Westmoreland should have resigned under Pres Johnson's Mismanagement as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Cori Gainesville, FL United States 08-02-10
    Kent Cori Gainesville, FL United States 08-02-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Realistic in Spades"

    This was an amazingly realistic depiction of a typical grunt company's experience in the Viet Nam war. The author clearly lived through much of this story and, I suspect, added portions based on events that he heard about from others who were there. About the only disappointment is the picture he paints of the senior battalion officers. Surely there were some competent officers there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessie Fillmore, CA, United States 07-29-10
    Jessie Fillmore, CA, United States 07-29-10 Member Since 2007
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    "What a great book...."

    Ten minutes into this book, I wondered if I made a mistake buying it.....one hour later I knew it was going to be a great listen. If you have been waiting for the Great American Novel about Marines in Vietnam, your wait is over. Having grown up in that era and having watched John Wayne in "The Green Beret" (Mist-ah Peter-sahn), I knew little about the "real war" that these marines fought in the bush. This "grunt's eye view" is as real a story as most of us will ever experience. The author makes you think about more than whether or not Vietnam was a just war, he makes you feel what these 20 something year old "kids" felt as they struggled in the mud, the bush, and the horror of 20th century combat. The narrator does a fine job of characterizations, and grows on you. This is truly one of the finest books I have had the opportunity to listen to, and I look forward to Mr. Marlantes' next novel, I just hope it doesn't take another 30 years to write!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron West Hills, CA, United States 07-28-10
    Ron West Hills, CA, United States 07-28-10
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    "Gripping Story telling"

    I have a new-found respect for what our Marines had to go through in Vietnam. What an amazingly powerful story of fear, courage, racial tensions and brotherhood. Bronson Pinchot's narration was tremendous, he did a great job of differentiating the voices and managing to convey different emotions with each of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike auburn, IL, USA 07-21-10
    Mike auburn, IL, USA 07-21-10
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    "Best novel on vietnam I have read"

    Fantastic...thought provoking...this is my second listen and I am still moved. Narration is terrific and adds to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john healy 06-19-10
    john healy 06-19-10 Member Since 2007
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    "matterhorn realistic"

    The marine corps as I knew it-imperfect,but a victim of the politicians and the press

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rusty Legend Portland, Maine USA 06-04-10
    Rusty Legend Portland, Maine USA 06-04-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Terrific! Insightful. Painful."

    I am not a fan of war books. This one drew me in and I couldn't stop listening. For the first time, I truly feel like I have a good understanding of what soldiers had to endure during Vietnam. I listen in the evenings and found that I thought about the book during the day and could hardly wait for evening to come and I could listen to more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Hillsborough, CA, USA 05-31-10
    Andrew Hillsborough, CA, USA 05-31-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Moving, stunning realism"

    Amazing description of a sad time in our country's history. Proud men doing their best under extreme conditions, written with a harden edge that leads to page turning excitement. Well worth your and effort. I will remember this book for a long time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonsai North Carolina 05-23-10
    Bonsai North Carolina 05-23-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent"

    Excellent book! Highly recommended. What was expected of a young officer(s) in Vietnam are hard to be believed. It rivals the scenario played out in catch 22.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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