A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Matterhorn (the code name of a fire-support base in Vietnam) is the best novel I have read in some time.
Simply put, it is the story of Lieutenant Waino Mellas, a young man who comes of age during and because of the Vietnam War. We see everything through his eyes and feel everything through his heart, from jungle rot and explosions to catastrophic decisions made by higher-up for political reasons. While caught up in a heart-pounding war story, we also learn how the battlefield makes men brothers, the effect of 60s racial tensions, what Emergency Medicine is like under the most dire circumstances and how to keep a sense of humor, even if it’s gallows humor.
The author, Karl Marlantes, is himself a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He wrote Matterhorn over a period of 30 years, an investment in time that has produced a timeless classic.
-Reviewed by Christine