My book for August is Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marinates. Larkin and I have talked over the last six months about how August marked 50 years since he was in Vietnam. Larkin posted a photo album of Vietnam pictures in Facebook at the beginning of the month. I am constantly asking people what they are reading. Coincidentally, Snipes mentioned this book earlier this year. It seemed fitting to read a novel about the Vietnam War this month.
The author is a graduate of Yale University and a Rhodes Scholar. He was also a highly decorated Marine who served in Vietnam. He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten Air Medals.
The book is set in Vietnam in 1969. It draws from the experiences of Marinates who commanded a Marine rifle platoon. The novel presents an unflinching look at the hardships endured by the Marines who fought in Vietnam. "Matterhorn" is the code name for a fire-support base located between Laos and the DMZ.
This was not an easy book for me to read. There are a number of sections with graphic battle scenes and gruesome fatalities. It is a very up close and personal view of war. The platoon's cross-country journey in the jungle in the first half of the book is unimaginable. I am not unhappy that I read the book, but I don't recommend it unless you are looking for something that gets you down in the mud and blood of war.
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