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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.

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

Critic Reviews

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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Well worth the time and money (credit)!!

Language (lots of the "f" word) takes some getting used to but I'm sure it was that way. But, the story, the humanity, the perspective of the main character are all so well done that, aside from my fear that I would involuntarily say "pass the f.....ing milk" at breakfast one day, I was enthralled. Great listen. And Balki was excellent. I hope he reads more.

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  • Timothy
  • Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • 10-30-11

Takes the listener deep into the bush

Bravo company and snapshot of about a month or two in Nam. Great book.

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  • Alicia
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 10-22-11

fabulous!

I finished listening to the book 2 months ago and I still find myself thinking about the characters of Matterhorn. I miss "hanging out" with them, so to speak. Wonderfully written and engaging. Definitely worth a listen.

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Great performance of vivid story.

Hearing this audiobook is as close to war as I hope to get in my lifetime. I felt as though I were there, and made strong bonds with the characters. The narration is wonderful. Bronson Pinchot captures the mood with a variety of character voices, all of which draw the listener even deeper into the story.

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  • Lisa
  • ELLIOTTSBURG, PA, United States
  • 10-01-11

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BOOK!

The narrator really pulls you into this book! Loved everything about it. Sorry not a good review writer. Just wanted to say LOVED IT!

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  • Beth
  • Crystal River, FL, United States
  • 09-24-11

Masterpiece!

I think this book is a masterpiece. Bronson Pinchot is simply phenomenal. If you're thinking of choosing this book, do yourself a favor and listen to it. Every character comes to life. This is one of my top 3 of all times.

It's strange, because this is not typically a style that I would read. I love historical fiction, but I tend to lean towards books from a woman's perspective. This book is purely men, with the exception of one small chapter with a nurse. I loved every minute of it. I wanted to keep listening, but didn't want it to end.

Karl Marlantes brought the Vietnam jungle to life. His writing was so cinematic. I could envision everything. During the combat sequences, I was on the edge of my seat. Though, some of the best scenes, in my opinion, were conversations among the men about life and politics. It was all so honest.

The dialogue was riveting and real. If you are offended by the "f" word, don't read this book. But if I were in a "sh*t sandwich" ,as they so often say, in the middle of a jungle, in a country far away, in war I didn't understand, following officers I didn't respect, I'd use the "f" word a lot too. If this isn't worthy of a movie (or mini-series because of the length) I don't know what is.

It's interesting how the book was written in the 3rd person, but at times the reader is able to jump inside the mind of particular characters through their inner monologues. I think that is a very interesting technique. I also loved seeing the progression of the characters and how their attitudes changed and became more bitter as the book when on, Mellas, in particular.

I laughed, I cried, I was always engaged. I'm so glad I read this. I will recommend this to everyone. If you think it might not be for you, try it. I was absolutely amazing.

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  • Darren
  • Hubert, NC, United States
  • 09-20-11

Awesome book!

An absolutely awesome book - I actually wish there would be a sequel! This kept my attention peaked throughout.

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Unsettling

This book is an almost day-to-day description of life in the bush during the Vietnam war. Some of the more unsettling parts of the book focus on how poorly commanders dealt with such mundane decisions as how much food to carry on a mission, how to build a proper bunker, and the reporting of KIA, WIA, etc. It made me sick to think of our fighting men being subjected to the command decisions of an alcoholic superior and then doing the "job" so well they are rewarded by being handed an ever more whimsical mission.

  • Overall

Matterhorn

Excellent novel, shows the raw emotions and experiences of combat as well as the overwhelming fear and boredom.

  • Overall

Best Audio Book I've listened to yet

Not only is this book incredible, but the narrating is the best I've heard (I've looked for other books done by this guy but didn't find any). His ability to voice different characters is top notch.

The only issue I had is at some parts the writing was so good that I wanted to be reading it to fully appreciate the authors use of language, especially the end.