You would never guess that this gripping novel is Marlantes' first. Karl served as a Marine in Vietnam, and uses his experience and talent to make this fictional work into an all-too-real experience. From the first page to the last, the reader is thrust onto the battlefield, and obligated to determine right and wrong, heroism and cowardice, and navigate racial tensions. These Marines were just kids, most not even knowing why they were there, yet fighting for pride, honor, their families, and freedom. Most importantly Marlantes succeeds at illustrating the ultimate bravery of these kids putting their lives on the line. This is an imperative read.
— Mike, Albuquerque
Summer '11 Reading Group List
“Every war has produced seminal fiction, but in the case of Vietnam there have been few examples. Marlantes now increases that list with a towering, majestic novel of men in combat. Like all great literature, his work transcends a particular war because of the universality of his characters and themes. This is a novel that will endure.”
— Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
An incredible publishing story-written over the course of thirty years by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, a New York Times bestseller for sixteen weeks, a National Indie Next, and a USA Today bestseller-Matterhorn has been hailed as a "brilliant account of war" (New York Times Book Review). Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead and James Jones' 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. Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable story 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. A bonus PDF is included, with maps, a Chain of Command hierarchy, a glossary, and other interesting facts and information. To access the PDF, click here.