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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
This adventure of war begins in the jungles of Vietnam and develops into late 1968 and early 1969. The author leads us to a military base known as Matterhorn, which is located in the mountains of the distance province Quang. There, a young lieutenant is determined to become a commander of his company, attempting to promote his political future. This leads him to sustain a rivalry with a few of his companions and convert the war into one about personal ambitions. Without falling into simplistic and demagogic plans, Marlantes produces a shockingly impactful novel that not only touches on the horror of way, but also the pursuit of power, courage, cowardice, and compassion.
Una aventura de guerra cuyas acciones se ubican en las selvas de Vietnam y se desarrolla a finales de 1968 y principios de 1969. El autor nos conduce a una base militar conocida como Matterhorn, la cual se encuentra situada en las montañas de la lejana provincia de Quang. Allí, un joven teniente está decidido a convertirse en comandante de su compañía para, de esta forma, promover su futuro político. Ello lo lleva a sostener una rivalidad con algunos de sus compañeros y a convertir la guerra en un escalón para realizar sus ambiciones personales. Sin caer en planteamientos simplistas ni demagógicos, Marlantes consigue una impactante novela que habla no sólo del horror de la guerra, sino también sobre la búsqueda del poder, el valor, la cobardía y la compasión.
About the Author
Karl Marlantes is a graduate of Yale University. He served in the U.S. Navy and fought in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two medals from the Navy for courage, and a Purple Heart. Matterhorn is his first literary work.