Beth Bedee's Reviews > Matterhorn

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
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Aug 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: audio, vietnam-war, contemprary-fiction, favorite
Read from July 22 to August 10, 2011

I think this book is a masterpiece. ! Matterhorn tells the story of Waino Mellas and Bravo Company’s futile attempt to take back firebase, Matterhorn, in 1969. I listened to the audiobook, and Bronson Pinchot is simply phenomenal. If you're thinking of choosing this book, do yourself a favor and listen to it. Every character comes to life. This is one of my top 3 of all times.

It's strange, because this is not typically a style that I would read. I love historical fiction, but I tend to lean towards books from a woman's perspective. This book is purely men, with the exception of one small chapter with a nurse. I loved every minute of it. I wanted to keep listening, but didn't want it to end.

Karl Marlantes brought the Vietnam jungle to life. His writing was so cinematic. I could envision everything. During the combat sequences, I was on the edge of my seat. Though, some of the best scenes, in my opinion, were conversations among the men about life and politics. It was all so honest.

The dialogue was riveting and real. If you are offended by the "f" word, don't read this book. But if I were in a "sh*t sandwich" ,as they so often say, in the middle of a jungle, in a country far away, in war I didn't understand, following officers I didn't respect, I'd use the "f" word a lot too. If this isn't worthy of a movie (or mini-series because of the length) I don't know what is.

It's interesting how the book was written in the 3rd person, but at times the reader is able to jump inside the mind of particular characters through their inner monologues. I think that is a very interesting technique. I also loved seeing the progression of the characters and how their attitudes changed and became more bitter as the book when on, particularly in Mellas.

I laughed, I cried, I was always engaged. I'm so glad I read this. I will recommend this to everyone. If you think it might not be for you, try it. It was absolutely amazing.
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