by Karl Marlantes
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010
Having been fortunate to miss serving in Vietnam, later in my adult life I made it my personal mission to find a novel that would accurately portray what it was like to fight in one of our nation’s worst and most controversial wars. It took me until my mid-60s to find the novel I was searching for, and that novel is Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes.
Besides its brutal realism, Matterhorn has all the elements I look for in great fiction: a gripping plot, attention to character development, relevance to real life, timeless themes, and brilliant style. Due to its subject, Matterhorn is not easy to read, but the reward for doing so is to understand something of the Vietnam experience.
You can learn more about Karl Marlantes’s historical masterpiece and my impressions of it by reading my Amazon review of Matterhorn here.