Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

It took Karl Marlantes 30 years to write his thunderous, brutally granular account of scorched-earth combat in Vietnam. Matterhorn was originally published by a tiny press in California before a prominent New York editor caught up to it, and now this 600-page beast of a novel is loose in the wider world, taut as a trip wire and reeking of gunpowder. It tells the story of a green second lieutenant named Mellas and his education in terror and suffering over the course of a few deadly weeks as he and his companions take, abandon and then try to retake a sheer mountain deep in the jungle.