Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

Grove/Atlantic sent me an ARC of this book for review. At the time I requested it, I didn't realize it was a novel about Vietnam. I lost friends and loved ones in the Vietnam war, and I tend to avoid the subject. So I started the novel with a bit of trepidation. That didn't last long!

This novel sucks you into it during the first chapter, and the pace doesn't slow down through the entire 566 pages.

It's written from the foot soldier's point of view. They're the ones on the ground, being asked to do impossible tasks with no weapons, no food, and no protection against the enemy. They're young, inexperienced, not particularly brave, and they are trying to follow orders - no matter how stupid they are.

It's like following a game of chess. The administration sits on the command post hill far from the action and sends direction to the troop commander. Sometimes they are given another impossible task as a punishment for not accomplishing the last one.

It's an ugly tale - but it's a very accurate portrayal of war and the effect it has on the people who are fighting it.

I was glued to this book all the way through. You actually feel like you're there.

If you would like my copy of this ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and then email me at info @ (take the spaces out) and tell me your name and address and why you'd like to read it. I'll pick a winner in about a week.


gautami tripathy said...

I have not read many books based on Vietnam. I am interested.

Judith G. said...

This sounds like one I would enjoy reading.

Journey of a Bookseller said...

Ladies, my computer gave up and I have lost the emails I got from you about wanting this book. Please send again!

Violet said...

I am looking for books based in Vietnam too. Your review is so good which is tempting. I'll shoot you a mail.