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Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War


Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War Cover

ISBN13: 9780802145314
ISBN10: 0802145310
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 15 comments:

Judy Ossello, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Judy Ossello)
Extremely well-written with vivid characters and moments which kept me up way past when I wanted to go to sleep so that I could finish a chapter or find a stopping point for the night. If not for sleep, I would've read in one sitting.
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bkwrm, November 4, 2012 (view all comments by bkwrm)
5 isn't high enough...
Who needs vampires when you can read about human beings
in a war in the bush living in "hell". Vampires can't begin to compare
with a story about humans killing each other during a war that
didn't make sense. This powerful novel will get under your skin
and stay there.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Stephen Gordenier, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Stephen Gordenier)
Matterhorn is a book about the war in Vietnam that takes the reader into the jungle with an M16 in hand. It manages to avoid the political implications of that war while offering a good look at the daily life of a soldier in that conflict. The author doesn't shy away from the realities of jungle warfare or the frustration felt for the REMFs (the brass back in comfortable billets far from the front lines who are making the operational decisions). This certainly isn't a beach book; it can be uncomfortable reading at times. But it's a book that once started, will be hard to put down.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Richard Aurbach, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Richard Aurbach)
The best way to understand and appreciate the insanity of war and of the so-called leaders who deliberately put others in harms way is to experience it yourself. The next best way is to read a book that is so realistic and immersive that it makes you believe you are there while you are reading it. This book is amazing. You will never think about Vietnam or war or military leaders the same way again.

These days, we are all about honoring the troops while questioning the war we put them in. Back in the '70s, we didn't seem to see that distinction as clearly. But after you've lived with the troops, been put in impossible positions and asked to do impossible things -- which you will when reading "Matterhorn" -- you'll realize how misguided out attitudes to returning soldiers were in the Vietnam era and you'll wonder how anyone could return from such an experience WITHOUT PTSD.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Alan Locke, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Alan Locke)
A great blend of authenticity coupled with excellent writing to keep the reader's interest. A very enjoyable and well considered book. Highly recommended.

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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Marlantes, Karl
Grove Press
Renehan, John
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 18

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Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 640 pages Grove Press - English 9780802145314 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Powerful. Words melt away, immersing me into a predator-infested jungle. Soon to be a classic.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Matterhorn is not only the best novel yet written about the Vietnam War, it's one of the best written by any American in recent memory. Engrossing, compelling, and absolutely devastating. No wonder it took 30 years to write.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Thirty years in the making, Marlantes's epic debut is a dense, vivid narrative spanning many months in the lives of American troops in Vietnam as they trudge across enemy lines, encountering danger from opposing forces as well as on their home turf. Marine lieutenant and platoon commander Waino Mellas is braving a 13-month tour in Quang-Tri province, where he is assigned to a fire-support base and befriends Hawke, older at 22; both learn about life, loss, and the horrors of war. Jungle rot, leeches dropping from tree branches, malnourishment, drenching monsoons, mudslides, exposure to Agent Orange, and wild animals wreak havoc as brigade members face punishing combat and grapple with bitterness, rage, disease, alcoholism, and hubris. A decorated Vietnam veteran, the author clearly understands his playing field (including military jargon that can get lost in translation), and by examining both the internal and external struggles of the battalion, he brings a long, torturous war back to life with realistic characters and authentic, thrilling combat sequences. Marlantes's debut may be daunting in length, but it remains a grand, distinctive accomplishment." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , “Visceral...Evocative...We feel the Marines exhaustion as they dig gun pits, carry dead and wounded comrades, and nearly die from hunger....We hear the scream of the M-16s, the thunk of mortar shells, the hammering of AK-47s and the crack of bullets. We smell the stink of fear, blood and unwashed bodies....[Marlantes] pitches us into a harrowing narrative we wont soon forget.”
"Review" by , “I've laughed at Catch-22 and wept at The Thin Red Line, but Ive never encountered a war novel as stark, honest and wrenching as Matterhorn....By turns, this book horrified me, crushed me and beat me up, but I found it nearly impossible to stop reading. More than any living American novelist I've read, Marlantes made me feel what I already must have known: that war is worse than hell.”
"Review" by , "[T]he Vietnam novel has come of age, and this is a worthy addition to the genre....An engrossing chronicle of men at war."
"Review" by , "The battle scenes, at which the author excels, are frequent, brutal, and viscerally energetic, and the skillfully rendered dialog reveals a bunch of strangers attempting to communicate in life-defeating circumstances. In the end, there are no real victors....Obviously not a brief, cheery read, this is a major work that will be a valuable addition to any permanent collection."
"Review" by , "Matterhorn is one of the most powerful and moving novels about combat, the Vietnam War, and war in general that I have ever read."
"Review" by , "I have never read a war novel, outside of War and Peace, that created such a living, breathing hologram of all sides of any war."
"Synopsis" by ,
 “Youre going up the Valley.”

Black didnt know its name, but he knew it lay deeper and higher than any other place Americans had ventured. You had to travel through a network of interlinked valleys, past all the other remote American outposts, just to get to its mouth. Everything about the place was myth and rumor, but one fact was clear: There were many valleys in the mountains of Afghanistan, and most were hard places where people died hard deaths. But there was only one Valley. It was the farthest, and the hardest, and the worst.


When Black, a deskbound admin officer, is sent up the Valley to investigate a warning shot fired by a near-forgotten platoon, he can only see it as the final bureaucratic insult in a short and unhappy Army career. What he doesnt know is that his investigation puts at risk the centuries-old arrangements that keep this violent land in fragile balance, and will launch a shattering personal odyssey of obsession and discovery as Black reckons with the platoons dark secrets, accumulated over endless hours fighting and dying in defense of an indefensible piece of land.


The Valley is a riveting tour de force that changes our understanding of the men who fight our wars and announces John Renehan as one of the great American storytellers of our time.


"Synopsis" by ,
A former Army Captains gripping portrait of a fighting division holding a remote outpost in Afghanistan reminiscent of Apocalypse Now, The Yellow Birds, and Matterhorn

There were many valleys in the mountains of Afghanistan, and most were hard places where people died hard deaths. But there was only one Valley. Black didnt even know its proper name. But he knew about the Valley. It was the farthest, and the hardest, and the worst. It lay deeper and higher in the mountains than any other place Americans had ventured. You had to travel through a network of interlinked valleys, past all the other remote American outposts, just to get to its mouth. Stories circulated periodically, tales of land claimed and fought for, or lost and overrun, new attempts made or turned back, outposts abandoned and reclaimed. They were impossible to verify. Everything about the Valley was myth and rumor.

The strung-out platoon Black finds after traveling deep into the heart of the Valley, and the illumination of the dark secrets accumulated during month after month fighting and dying in defense of an indefensible piece of land, provide a shattering portrait of men at war.

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