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Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War Paperback – Apr 25 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reprint edition (May 10 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802145310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802145314
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 4.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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Matterhorn is a marvel--a living, breathing book with Lieutenant Waino Mellas and the men of Bravo Company at its raw and battered heart. Karl Marlantes doesn't introduce you to Vietnam in his brilliant war epic--he unceremoniously drops you into the jungle, disoriented and dripping with leeches, with only the newbie lieutenant as your guide. Mellas is a bundle of anxiety and ambition, a college kid who never imagined being part of a "war that none of his friends thought was worth fighting," who realized too late that "because of his desire to look good coming home from a war, he might never come home at all." A highly decorated Vietnam veteran himself, Marlantes brings the horrors and heroism of war to life with the finesse of a seasoned writer, exposing not just the things they carry, but the fears they bury, the friends they lose, and the men they follow. Matterhorn is as much about the development of Mellas from boy to man, from the kind of man you fight beside to man you fight for, as it is about the war itself. Through his untrained eyes, readers gain a new perspective on the ravages of war, the politics and bureaucracy of the military, and the peculiar beauty of brotherhood. --Daphne Durham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'A terrific, towering novel. Marine Lieutenant Marlantes does for the Vietnam War what Lieutenant Sassoon did for the war in Flanders; what Sergeant Mailer did for the war in the Pacific; what Tenente Hemingway did for the war in Italy. He takes you there, shakes you, and never lets you go... Matterhorn will surely take its place on every armchair-warrior's bookshelf, shoulder to shoulder with Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, The Naked and the Dead, and A Farewell to Arms.' Jon Stallworthy, editor, The Oxford Book of War Poetry

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had just finished Sabastien Junger's book "War" prior to reading Matterhorn. It is interesting to compare the books as one was written by an embedded reporter in an Afghanistan regiment writing a factual account. The other is from the war in Viet Nam written as a novel by an author who was involved in that war. The book War is a great read and should be read by anyone contemplating the armed forces. What is most interesting is that when you get down to the nitty-gritty of feet on the ground both books emphasis the comradeship among the soldiers. Truly wars are fought in the trenches where mean are motivated by their fellow soldiers not a political idea. Documentary and fiction are essentially the same.

Matterhorn should be a great book and is a great book. Karl Mariantes has hit the nail on the head about the feel and sense of any war. He shows due respect to the NVA that were often demeaned in other books. Honour is among fellow soldiers is surely the greatest motivator of men in dire circumstances.
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Format: Paperback
I read the novel primarily because I had served as an Army infantry lieutenant in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968. Generally I prefer to read non-fiction and have not read a novel of the Vietnam War since Tim O'Brien's 1979 novel, Going After Cacciato. I found myself becoming immersed as the author was dealing with similar issues such as gaining the respect of his men upon his arrival. There were some errors to my mind, such as the cotton bandoliers that we wore diagonally across our chests held seven magazines -- not twenty, or claymores were not detonated by "pulling a cord," but rather by squeezing a handheld electrical detonator (clacker) when we were out on ambush, though if were inside our company perimeter at night we would simply rig our claymores to trip wires (before inserting the blasting cap into the top of the mine); additionally, Dapsone was not used to ameliorate against jungle rot, but rather was taken in conjunction with Primaquine to mitigate against Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Still I feel that Marlantes truthfully depicted the youth of the Marines in his dialogues, who for the most part were nineteen and twenty years of age. Marlantes was awarded the Navy Cross, which earns my respect. Up in the Central Highlands of Vietnam where I served until September 1968 I did not observe any racial problems out in the bush, and the majority of the soldiers in my platoon were blacks. Morale in the Army up through 1968 was actually quite high. Marlantes is describing the war during 1969, a time when morale had begun to plummet after the introduction of Nixon's "Vietnamization" Plan, as soldiers no longer wanted to be the last man killed in a war from which our political leaders intended to disengage.Read more ›
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 27 2010
Format: Hardcover
A novel of the Vietnam War

This is a time when U.S. political tensions are at a boiling point, campuses erupt in violence and protesters take to the streets, racial agendas dominate the enlisted ranks and young Americans are embroiled in brutal combat at the other end of the world. A conflict that will divide the population like never seen before.

The author's astonishing writing immerses his readers deep in the thick of the action: they quickly feel they are part of the story, witnessing the fighting side by side with the courageous soldiers.....Before setting out in this spellbinding novel, make sure you have plenty of repellent, do not forget to keep dry, leave your fears behind and lets go forward....a mission is awaiting..... Emotions will be so real you will soon understand what I mean.

The year is 1969 during the monsoon season deep in the jungles and the sweltering mountains of Quang Tri province, Vietnam.
Bravo Company First Platoon lead by a green Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his seasoned officers Fitch, Hawke and Kendall are given the orders to claim and establish a strategic point (the Matterhorn) , an advance fire-support base. The reader quickly learns that a simple sounding plan presents more than one enemy to the soldiers: Mother nature, the unfamiliar and unforgiving terrain, the fear of being isolated and the very capable opponents are just some of the life threatening hostilities they are bombarded with.

Just when the Lieutenant and his men think they have time to catch their breath and count their loses new orders hit them almost as hard as any enemy. Higher command orders them to abandon everything and embark on another dangerous but crucial mission: sever N.V. supply lines at all cost.
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Format: Paperback
This book was incredible from beginning to end. At the end of the book I had to give it to my Dad who also was a Marine Corps infantryman in Vietnam. He echoed my views that said Marlantes hit the nail on the head with this one.
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Format: Hardcover
'Matterhorn' follows the Lieutenant Mellas's first year as a marine in the Vietnam War. It's 1969 and America is in a losing war with North Vietnam they believe is ideological and its foes believe is a fight for their homeland that began with the French in the 1950s. Mellas's unit battles for jungle-covered mountains, which, once won, are deserted. Marching through a wall of jungle with the cold, the moisture, the exhaustion, and the relentless fear of death is described with the realism of someone who's been there. Battles are fought with unseen enemies who are relentless fighters who know their jungle because it's their home under the command of superiors who have no other ambition that to ensure the body count of the Vietnamese exceed those of Americans. But it's not for the officers that these men end up fighting for or their country. It's their fellow soldiers and friends for whom they will fight and die which leads one to believe that old men can get young men to fight any war so long as they're doing it for their friends. Realistic, perceptive, enlightening, and visionary.
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