Conflict Book Review: Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War Karl Marlantes

Well if you want to read 600 pages on why war is a bad idea and want to know exactly what it feels like to be in one, this is the book for you. I couldn’t put it down. Not sure what gung ho pro-war folk will make of it, but it is not anti-war directly, just realistic about the mixture of absurdity and human loyalty to friends that is what it is all about. Semper Fi as my friends in the Marines might say with and without irony.
And as a novel, incredibly well written and compelling in drawing you into its characters and how they feel and see the world. Especially powerful is the opening: what it feels like to be dropped into a war zone with men to command and who will die if you screw up in the first few days. Grueling is putting it mildly and I kept expecting mortar rounds to explode in my garden or to be overrun: where’s my gun?
This is Karl: took him 35 years to get published!

About creativeconflictwisdom

I spent 32 years in a Fortune Five company working on conflict: organizational, labor relations and senior management. I have consulted in a dozen different business sectors and the US Military. I work with a local environmental non profit. I have written a book on the neuroscience of conflict, and its implications for conflict handling called Creative Conflict Wisdom (forthcoming).
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