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)
Interesting story about Vietnam, but just couldn't keep my attention. Not sure if it was the narrator who was very monotone or just the slow storyline. Maybe both. Car ride material maybe, but not while running, cleaning or cooking.
The story was very good, but beware the language. I don't consider myself super conservative, but I just couldn't keep listening to all the foul language. It is LITERALLY the f-word every other word during dialogue. I am sure this is true to Marine language then, but I felt it was unnecessary and very distracting, so decided to stop reading. I also didn't think the narration was all that good. He went in and out of his voices without real consistency or clear differences between voices.
I enjoyed this book in the beginning (although all the characters and ranks took a while to sort out). The characters were solid, the action was good, but the book should have ended after the second part. Out of hundreds of listens, I've only left one other audiobook unfinished, and after reading all these reviews, I never thought this would be my second. It was. In my opinion, these reviews are way too flowery--probably out of a mix of nostalgia and guilt. My recommendation: Just go rent Platoon.
What a waste of time. You ask the author what time it is and he builds you two watches.
This was a lot like a Stephen King novel: a great beginning, engaging characters, and a decent story but a really unsatisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed ninety percent of this novel but I suggest you skip the last fifty pages as the author just can't end this, and the reader who drags himself to the end will be very disappointed . Drop the lame conclusion and you have a four star novel.
Dont know about validity or accuracy but the story is raw and compelling. The narration is excellent and easy to follow. Characters wonderful but this is a no nonsense and quite vivid war story. Worth the listen.
I would say this is a fair depiction of how things happen. Since it was fiction I was hoping those who were so politically or career motivated would have some unfortunate things happen to them but it wasnt to be.
This is a required read. It is a brutal example how the old and powerful take advantage of the young and dedicated. That being said, I am in awe of these guys.
Regular guy from the midwest. Love my kids and the outdoors. 15 years of commuting in D.C. has helped to put a few titles in my library.
I like the way the author tells some of the story using the unspoken thoughts of certain characters; drilling down to the things that really motivate different types of people. Was it a realistic novel? I don't know, I wasn't a soldier in Vietnam, I was about 10 years old when it ended. Several reviewers write as if they were there, praising the book for accuracy and realism, but were they? What I'd like to see is a review from someone who was there (front lines) and admits it. And for those who weren't, don't babble on about how realistic it is. You aren't qualified to determine that.
I cant stop thinking about this book. It will draw you out of the world of today and into Nam like no other book I have experienced. The narration is brilliant.
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