Michelle's Reviews > Matterhorn

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
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Jun 30, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: powell-s-indiespensables

This is the best book I've read so far in 2010. I will say that again: This is the best book I've read so far in 2010.

I received Matterhorn from Powell's (Indiespensable #17, a wedding present, I decided) and avoided it for a while, busy with other books, and honestly, looking at it with trepidation because of its considerable size and content. I don't think I've ever read a book about the Vietnam War--would I understand it, I wondered, would it hold my interest? And I didn't understand and it didn't hold my interest for about the first 150 pages. There were too many men, too many military terms, I wasn't sure if I liked the main character Mellas, I had nothing to hold on to. It was just me, Mellas, and a bunch of dudes hanging out on a mountain, digging some holes, thinking about not dying. Then the story picks up. I do think, though I haven't read anything about it, that the author did this on purpose. Mellas, fresh to the field, was also settling in, getting to know the guys, the lingo, the War. Mellas and the readers really settle in during the Trail of Tears op. The men all work together and suffer together and you start to get IT. There are battles. Men do die. Men you HATE to see die, do die (and I don't consider that a spoiler because, hey, this is the Vietnam War, people). But they also laugh (I especially love any part where any man giggles during the book, usually while drunk, maybe on a mystery tour with his buddies). We see these men (boys, really) fight against each other (the racial tensions being especially interesting). We see these men fight with each other against their enemy. And we see these men fight FOR each other. This book...it was haunting and it was heartbreaking and I will never forget it. I sat for a long time after finishing, with my hand on my heart, terribly sad, and wanting to read more.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 1, 2010 – Finished Reading
June 30, 2010 – Shelved
April 24, 2011 – Shelved as: powell-s-indiespensables

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