Thirty years in the making, this novel of the Vietnam combat experience is gritty, intense, and captivating from the first page. The riveting narrative takes the reader up and down the chain of command, creating empathy with nearly every character. Marlantes deftly demonstrates the ripple effect that small decisions can have, often to the detriment of those they were meant to help.
— From Emily A.
Do not let the size or subject matter of this book disuade you from giving it a shot. After the first 25 pages, you will not be able to stop. This incredible book, 30 years in the making, gives us a fresh, necessary look at the experience of combat. My thoughts on Vietnam will forever be colored by my reading of Matterhorn.
— From Robert
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
best seller for sixteen weeks, a National Indie Next and a USA Today
has been hailed as a "brilliant account of war" (New York Times Book Review
). Now out in paperback, 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. 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.