Sunday, December 26, 2010
The Vietnam War has long been a mystery to me. Nobody in my family served during that war - they were all too young or too old. My American History teacher in high school was a Vietnam vet who still had flashbacks, so we very briefly breezed over that time in history.
Matterhorn is a story told from Lieutenant Waino Mellas' point of view. Along with Lieutenant Mellas, we are dropped into the middle of the jungle with Bravo Company. Mellas is new to the company, and has no experience in the field, so he is forced to find a way to gain the respect of his men.
During Mellas' struggle to prove himself, we meet the other men of Bravo Company who become more than just characters in a book. They become real people, people we know and love. As they fight for their lives, and for the lives of their brothers, we are introduced to the comraderie and conflicts within the Company, and we feel their frustrations, joy, and sadness.
Matterhorn is a wonderful novel that will take you beyond whether the Vietnam War was right or wrong. It will make you think long and hard about all the men who fought and died there, it takes you straight to the humanity.