Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
131
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Intense, powerful, and compelling, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever. 

Written by a highly decorated Marine veteran over the course of thirty years, Matterhorn is a spellbinding and unforgettable novel that brings to life an entire world—both its horrors and its thrills—and seems destined to become a classic of combat literature.
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About the author

A graduate of Yale University and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. This is his first novel.
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4.6
131 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Apr 1, 2010
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Pages
592
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ISBN
9780802197160
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction · Winner of the John Leonard First Book Prize · Selected as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Newsweek, The Washington Post Book World, Amazon, and more 

Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned.  Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos.

In "Redeployment", a soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia, surrounded by people "who have no idea where Fallujah is, where three members of your platoon died."  In "After Action Report", a Lance Corporal seeks expiation for a killing he didn't commit, in order that his best friend will be unburdened.  A Morturary Affairs Marine tells about his experiences collecting remains—of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers both.  A chaplain sees his understanding of Christianity, and his ability to provide solace through religion, tested by the actions of a ferocious Colonel.  And in the darkly comic "Money as a Weapons System", a young Foreign Service Officer is given the absurd task of helping Iraqis improve their lives by teaching them to play baseball.  These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war, and the isolation, remorse, and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.

Redeployment is poised to become a classic in the tradition of war writing.  Across nations and continents, Klay sets in devastating relief the two worlds a soldier inhabits: one of extremes and one of loss.  Written with a hard-eyed realism and stunning emotional depth, this work marks Phil Klay as one of the most talented new voices of his generation.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Karl Marlantes’s debut novel Matterhorn, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River, Marlantes turns to another mode of storytelling—the family epic—to craft a stunningly expansive narrative that is no less rich and honest in its depiction of human suffering, courage, and reinvention.

Born into a farm family in late nineteenth-century Finland, the three Koski siblings—Ilmari, Matti, and Aino—are brought up on the virtue of maintaining their sisu in the face of increasing hardship, especially after their nationalist father is arrested by imperial Russian authorities, never to be seen again. Lured by the prospects of the Homestead Act, Ilmari and Matti set sail for America, and the politicized young Aino, haunted by the specter of betrayal after her Marxist cell is disastrously exposed, follows soon after. Not far from the majestic Columbia River and in the shadow of Douglas firs a hundred meters high, the brothers have established themselves among a logging community in southern Washington, and it is here, in the New World, that each sibling comes into their own—Ilmari as the family’s spiritual rock; Matti as a fearless logger and the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit; and Aino as a fiercely independent woman and union activist who, time and again, sacrifices for the political beliefs that have sustained her through it all.

Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an extraordinarily ambitious exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.

Karl Marlantes’s debut novel Matterhorn, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River, Marlantes turns to another mode of storytelling—the family epic—to craft a stunningly expansive narrative that is no less rich and honest in its depiction of human suffering, courage, and reinvention.

Born into a farm family in late nineteenth-century Finland, the three Koski siblings—Ilmari, Matti, and Aino—are brought up on the virtue of maintaining their sisu in the face of increasing hardship, especially after their nationalist father is arrested by imperial Russian authorities, never to be seen again. Lured by the prospects of the Homestead Act, Ilmari and Matti set sail for America, and the politicized young Aino, haunted by the specter of betrayal after her Marxist cell is disastrously exposed, follows soon after. Not far from the majestic Columbia River and in the shadow of Douglas firs a hundred meters high, the brothers have established themselves among a logging community in southern Washington, and it is here, in the New World, that each sibling comes into their own—Ilmari as the family’s spiritual rock; Matti as a fearless logger and the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit; and Aino as a fiercely independent woman and union activist who, time and again, sacrifices for the political beliefs that have sustained her through it all.

Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an extraordinarily ambitious exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.

Dire une guerre aussi controversée que celle du Vietnam n’est pas aisé : à s’en tenir aux « faits », on risque de tomber dans la répétition infi nie de scènes de batailles ou de corvées. Quant à faire de ce qui se résume à tuer l’ennemi un récit héroïque, c’est aplatir la réalité sous le grandiose.
Et la réalité de la Compagnie Bravo dirigée par le jeune lieutenant Mellas n’a rien d’excitant. Prendre la colline de Matterhorn et la fortifier pour résister à l’armée nord-vietnamienne, puis devoir l’abandonner pour exécuter une autre tâche, sans munitions et nourriture suffisantes, et devoir la réinvestir ensuite, telle est l’aventure absurde narrée dans ce roman que la critique américaine unanime met sur le même plan que Les Nus et les Morts, À l’Ouest, rien de nouveau et Catch-22.
Ce que vivent ces « gamins » noirs et blancs pour la première fois intégrés dans le même corps des marines est tout à la fois terrifiant, héroïque, cruel, vain, tendre, ridicule, absurde, désespérant et sublime. Qu’ils marchent dans une jungle infestée de tigres et de sangsues, s’enfoncent dans leurs trous de combat boueux ou, pris de racisme ou de folie meurtrière, commettent l’irréparable, ils fascinent le lecteur tant la rigueur du récit est sans faille.

« Chapitre après chapitre, bataille après bataille, Marlantes pousse le lecteur dans ce qui est peut-être le roman le plus profond et dévastateur à être jamais sorti sur la guerre du Vietnam. C’est moins un livre qu’un déploiement, et l’on n’en sort pas indemne. »
The New York Times

« Roman le plus sensationnel de l’année, Retour à Matterhorn de Karl Marlantes dit le combat de toute une vie contre les démons du souvenir, de la conscience et du deuil. Exceptionnel. »
The Observer

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