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A Novel of the Vietnam War

Marlantes, Karl

(Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Baker & Taylor
In a story by a decorated Marine veteran who fought in the Vietnam War, Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his fellow Marines venture into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and fight their way into manhood, meeting not only external obstacles but also those between each other, including racial tension, competing ambitions and underhanded officers. A first novel.

Perseus Publishing
Intense, powerful, and compelling, 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.

Written by a highly decorated Marine veteran over the course of thirty years, Matterhorn is a spellbinding and unforgettable novel that brings to life an entire world—both its horrors and its thrills—and seems destined to become a classic of combat literature.

& Taylor

In the tradition of Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead" and James Jones's "The Thin Red Line," Marlantes tells the powerful and compelling 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.
Lieutenant Waino Mellas and his fellow Marines venture into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and fight their way into manhood, confronting external obstacles as well as racial tension, competing ambitions, and underhanded officers.

Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press ; Berkeley, Calif. : El Leon Literary Arts, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 080211928X
Branch Call Number: FIC M
Characteristics: 598 p. : ill., chart, maps ; 24 cm.
Alternate Title: Novel of the Vietnam War


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Nov 05, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book puts you right into the jungle during the Vietnam War, where you experience the horrific conditions and emotions of a company of Marines as they survive from one day to the next. The characters are surprising and interesting and the plot is compelling. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in war fiction but can also be enjoyed as a human interest story. There is a fair bit of military jargon in the book but it doesn't take long to get used to it and there is a glossary provided for words you want to look up. I hardly needed the glossary after the first couple of chapters. This book was written by a highly decorated marine and I frequently wished I could talk to him throughout my reading of the book to find out where the line between fact and fiction was drawn.

Jun 18, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Like the war itself, this Vietnam novel can be a little bit of slog, coming in at over 500 pages. Written over several decades by a Vietnam vet, "Matterhorn" is reminiscent of Jones's "The Thin Red Lines," as almost all of its action takes place on the battlefield or while waiting for a battle. You might also want to check out Denis Johnson's "Tree of Smoke," a slightly more hallucinatory take on Vietnam.

May 04, 2014
  • rp3276 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The best book I have ever read on this subject.

I am a Vietnam Era Veteran....

Apr 07, 2014
  • KCLSLibsRecommend rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is one of those novels that takes off immediately and never lets you go, even after you have finished reading it, even when you want to stop thinking about it, this one holds on. It’s 1969 and it’s the Marine Corp’s Bravo Company that the story follows. Well written, heart breaking, and still relevant today this one is not to be missed.

Aug 03, 2013
  • wesclark rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Probably the best novel of the Vietnam war I've read since " The 13th Valley" by John M. Delvecchio.

Jul 14, 2013
  • ohiostatefan rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I felt like I was serving with Bravo Company! An insider's story of the grim conditions suffered by those who served in Vietnam.

Oct 23, 2012
  • ElaineB8386 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Blew me away! I was in college during this era, and the few guys I met who had been to Nam never talked about it. I had no idea what it was really like. I felt like this book let me in on what it was like for all of those guys who dealt with the most horrifying situations in the best way they could, then had to go home and pretend everything was fine. We were in the military toward the end of the era, and many of the terms took me back to the time I spent on an army post. There's a glossary for those not so familiar with the jargon.

Nov 10, 2011
  • jlazcan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a fantastic book. If you enjoy books on combat then you will enjoy this novel. The story is thrilling and seems, to a coward like me, to be authentic. You begin to understand the strategy involved in fighting within the mountainous jungles of Vietnam. The methods used had limitations and there were constant tradeoffs between lives lost and battles won. The writer drags on the race card a bit, but who am I to say that relationships weren’t this way during the period as I was in diapers. Matterhorn is well written and a great read.

Jul 18, 2011
  • jplynch25 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I was put off at first by the military procedural aspects of the storytelling. Then it became an important part of a moving and compelling tale. If you want to know why it was such a frustrating excercise for those who fought the vietnam War, read this book.

Jul 04, 2011
  • jquickmsw rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Everyone now (or ever has been) in the the armed service, everyone who knows someone who served during a military conflict, every American who supports or protests our wars, no matter their political persuasion, should read this. It's brilliant. Six hundred+ pages took me about five days to finish. I laughed out loud, wept, marveled, and finally applauded and started pressing it on friends. When you finish it, or even before you start, check out the interviews with Marlantes on U-tube. He's the real deal.

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May 12, 2010
  • johnson_3 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

johnson_3 thinks this title is suitable for 25 years and over


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Aug 03, 2012
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Military intelligence is a contradiction of terms"


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