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8 Responses to "Karl Marlantes: The Powells.com Interview"
November 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM
Too young for the Korean War and too old (married w/family) for Vietnam. Served as a grunt w/101 infantry division in late 50's. That is me. At my library,this book is listed as a historical novel (fiction). Whatever it is called, it a riveting story. Embellishments of course. Also facts of course. Another novel in the works by Mr. Marlantas. Hope it doesn't take 30 years! I am 73 years old.
October 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM
I felt like I was building log bunkers in the monsoon, heating coffee with C4 and humping in the bush for the several weeks I spent with the book, and was sad to bid farewell to surviving Bravo Company buddiees and resume my my life, trapped in the body of a middle age sofware engineer. Matterhorn grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the final page. It transcends, and by that, I mean we not only learn what where who and how of authentic modern day warriors, but the why: why they ended up there, why they keep on keeping on and in a blinding moment or two, why they WANT to be there. I was touched and even shaken by the naked candor that seems to spill over, more truth maybe than we wanted. Bravo company is pushed and pushed again into a space that is so far on the edge of human experience that we can not even begin to imagine its horror, and, in time, this becomes their comfort zone. The book just might become a classic.
October 18, 2010 at 11:51 AM
Mr. Ed. Wilson, you want to debate the author??? I don't know where your hostilitly and anger come from, don't care, but please read the cover of this book..the part that says it is a novel.
September 7, 2010 at 06:29 PM
I spent 4 years in the Air Force as an officer in SAC--ICBMs. About as different from Marlantes's experience (though roughly contemporaneous) as another veteran could have. Yet the dialogue, the commissioned vs. enlisted tensions, the inanity so rife among the senior officer corps--all resonated strongly with my own experience. Thank you, Karl, for a reminder of my days in the service, and for a brilliantly realized portrayal of the hell all of you went through.
August 7, 2010 at 09:15 AM
Marlantes was interviewed last night on BBC’s Front Row and was asked whether his story about the marine being killed by a tiger was true. He insisted it was true: ‘We found the body.’ It must have been the tiger’s body because no marine was ever confirmed killed by a tiger in Vietnam. I know that a marine was mauled by a tiger because my own brother dealt with the casualty – but this was in 1967 long before Marlantes arrived. I served as a Special Forces officer at an A Camp in the same I Corps against the same NVA - and nothing that Marlantes says rings particularly true. I have no doubt that Marlantes saw some intense combat, but not enough to justify the chronic PTSD he flaunts in every interview. I don’t think Marlantes is a fake, but he does exaggerate enormously: the leech in the penis, badly wounded Vancouver attacking the NVA with a sword, etc. It diminishes the ‘real’ experiences of those us who did see combat in Vietnam. Marlantes’ book is a thinly disguised egotistical homage to his own (considerable, but exaggerated) heroism. To be fair, maybe jazzing it up was the only way he could find a publisher. Remember Krebs in Hemingway’s ‘Soldier’s Home’: ‘Krebs found that to be listened to at all he had to lie…’ I dare Marlantes to meet me for a debate in public.
July 26, 2010 at 07:14 AM
One tragedy not elaborated upon in this great book is the lack of interservice cooperation. The Marines do their nothing. They do not call upon the Air Force to help out. Twenty five miles west of Matterhorn, orbiting at 25,000 24 hours a day for the entire war were Air Force C-130 airborne command posts. I was there in 67-68. we had air resources all the time and no targets. We had the ability to drop hard bombs with the radar guided MSQ-77 system in the fog and rain at any time, day or night. We always had at least 150 sorties per day - During Khe Sahn, 1200 sorties in 12 hours. As I said we had few targets since even Forward Air Controllers at 200 feet cannot see through triple canopy. There was no way we would not have released our resources to marines in contact. During Khe Sahn the ABCCC did deal directly with the air over Khe Sahn although even then the coordination was not perfect. I talked to the Marines on the ground through their call sign "Jazzy." I have always wanted to met that guy or guys. Careerism is a factor in every organization. Politicians are the ones who get ahead everywhere (Think Tony Hayward at BP??). Matterhorn is one of the few great Viet Nam era stories. READ IT!
Result(s) 1-6 of 8
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