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Matterhorn (by Karl Marlantes)

2006/11/20 10:08
Posts: 362
NOT A FLY-FISHING BOOK. But, for you guys who like to read, this is the BEST novel I have read in years. The dust jacket says that it took Marlantes 30 years to write it, his first novel. It is not about a pleasant topic, the Vietnam War. He deals with a Marine Bravo Company and its military actions, which are graphically detailed. I'm sure it's accurate, as Marlantes was a highly decorated Marine during the war. Marlantes, a graduate of Yale, was also a Rhodes scholar, and the novel is written really well with realistic dialogue. I don't know if I can say it is enjoyable to read, but it is certainly intense. I didn't want to put it down, and its 566 pages flew by, and I stayed up past my normal bedtime to keep at it. I'd say next to Catch-22, it is the best war novel I have read, which places it above The Naked and the Dead. For your guys who like to read: get your hands on it--it is really a great novel.
(And, for you guys who are my age and who were there: it once again hightens the deep respect I have for what you did.
And, for you other guys who were in the military at any time, esp. during Iraq and Afghanistan: it deepens my respect for you as well.)

(To the board monitors: sorry if this isn't appropriate for the board. I just thought the guys who like to read really ought to read this novel.)

Posted on: 2011/6/24 17:41

Re: Matterhorn (by Karl Marlantes)

2009/10/15 12:02
From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 301
Rich: I pretty much agree. I read the Marlantes book when it first came out about a year or so ago. If it isn't the very best of the Vietnam narratives (either fiction or non-fiction), its right up there with Caputo's "A Rumor of War" and O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" and blows Webb's "Fields of Fire" right out of the water, IMO.

All these books were boots on the ground chronicles of the fog of futility and disconnected reasoning that characterized our Vietnam experience and contrasts these things with the valor and courage of our soldiers in the thick of it and how they suffered for the ineptitude of the policy makers. But nobody to my knowledge has captured this as well as Marlantes did.

An excellent, excellent book. Poignant for our generation and instructive for the generations since.

Posted on: 2011/6/27 19:50

Re: Matterhorn (by Karl Marlantes)
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 439
Thanks for the heads-up on this book fellas.
I'm generally not a big fan of historical fiction but I'll check this book out as it sounds like a heckuva good read. I'm not of that generation but the Vietnam war fascinates me and has cast a long shadow over my family (father and two uncles served there). It's my personal opinion that among the saddest and most regrettable chapters of our nation's complex history revolves around the treatment of returning veterans from that conflict. I'm old enough to remember the sea change in attitudes during the 80s when, all of a sudden, 'Nam vets came to be appreciated....instead of spit on and ridiculed as "baby killers." Whatever the merit - or lack thereof - of that particular conflict, the courage of our servicemen is undeniable. Some might argue that there's a glut of Vietnam military writing these days but that's all the more reason to focus on the really well written stuff like this - stuff written by authors who walked the walk.

Two good reads that I've enjoyed recently that cover this topic include, If Not Now, When? by Jack Jacobs and Stolen Valor by BG Burkett.

Posted on: 2011/6/30 11:03

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