A novel of the Vietnam War!
Many today know little about the Vietnam War. The author, Karl Marlantes, served in the Marine Corp during the Vietnam War. Awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals, Mellas was no armchair warrior. He was deep in the shit and therefore, writes with a voice that can only come from personal experience. I have read many books on the Vietnam War and Matterhorn was by far the best to date.
Meet 2nd Lieutenant Mellas
In its pages, you will meet 2nd Lieutenant Mellas, an Ivy League college graduate with political ambitions, who finds himself in Vietnam commanding a platoon in Bravo Company. Officers are in very short supply, and Mellas discovers that his Company Commander is a 1st Lieutenant and the Executive Officer is a 2nd Lieutenant. Mellas, at age 22, is fighting a war with young kids wearing Marine fatigues. His mind is besieged both with doubts about his own abilities and a desire for medals and proving his own courage under fire. He wants to do more than just survive … Mellas wants to do it right and to be successful. You will be a witness to Mellas’ coming of age in this world of mud, shit, rot, wet, disease and death … dealing with short supplies, poorly-planed missions, racism in the ranks, and the need to take on impossible challenges.
Experience the war for yourself …
Sometimes grim. Sometimes heartbreaking. Occasionally humorous. Always brutally honest. This book inspires many strong emotional reactions. There were many sections of this book that were hard to read … like a scene in a movie where you can’t help but close your eyes or look away. Karl Marlantes’ novel takes you deep into the shit with the Marines from Bravo Company. You will tramp through the elephant grass with leeches hanging from your legs, jungle rot oozing pus from the cuts on your hands, suffering from immersion foot, humping for days with no food and little water … you will battle both a deadly enemy and senior officers motivated by politic ambition rather than the welfare of their men.
The author offers a glimpse into what it means to be Semper Fidelis … what it means to be a Marine. In addition, Marlentes clearly demonstrates that war, fought for the wrong reason, is something that must be avoided. We have to know that when we put our military in harm’s way … it is always for the right reasons. They are not pawns to be used in a political game of chess. I very highly recommend this book!