Sunday, October 27, 2013

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Author: Karl Marlantes
Year: 2010
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Narrator: Bronson Pinchot

Goodreads Summary:

Intense, powerful, and compelling, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead and James Jones's The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.
Written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Marine veteran, Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.

I've had this book in my Audible library for a really long time and never got around to it because shortly after I bought it I realized that it was over 21 hours and I thought that was an awful long nonfiction book even if everybody was raving on how good it was. Years later I am on a mission to listen to all those audiobooks I've bought and listened to and I'm finally getting around to Matterhorn. First off, I learn right quickly that it's not nonfiction.  Insteaad, it's a beautifully written fiction story that called to mind Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Matterhorn drew me in to the lives of Bravo Company and I just had to know what was going to happen to those men. I loved it and the 21 hours didn't seem quite that long.


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