Irvin Sha's Reviews > Matterhorn

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
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Mar 22, 12

Read in March, 2012

This book was recommended to me by Joe Fraser, an ex-Marine who noted that it was one of the best depictions of Marine language of any book he'd ever read. Noting that it is an effing enormous book, I delayed reading it for a while, particularly as books on the Vietnam war tend to be on the heavier side. I will admit, it is a heavy book. However, it is also one of the best books that I've read in months, and I'm glad that I finally went through it.

Loosely following the travels of Waino Mellas (ridiculous name, but whatever) - a Princeton graduate turned numby Marine Corps officer - the book in parallel follows the developments within his company. What is interesting about the depiction is that although the book does pay special attention to their firefights and assaults, it spends an equal amount of time observing the various divisions within the company and the Marine Corps in general, focusing on the inherent tensions within a group that essentially lives and dies together, but would under ordinary circumstances probably never have anything to do with each other.

Equally riveting and philosophical, I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Thanks Joe.
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