Karl Marlantes and Sebastian Junger, Matterhorn and War
laughed at Catch-22 and wept at The Thin Red Line, but I’ve never
encountered a war novel as stark, honest and wrenching as Matterhorn. . .
. By turns, this book horrified me, crushed me and beat me up, but I
found it nearly impossible to stop reading. More than any living
American novelist I’ve read, Marlantes made me feel what I already must
have known: that war is worse than hell.” NPR
. . . Junger experiences everything [the soldiers] do-nerve-racking
patrols, terrifying roadside bombings and ambushes, stultifying weeks in
camp when they long for a firefight to relieve the tedium. Despite the
stress and the grief when buddies die, the author finds war to be
something of an exalted state: soldiers experience an almost sexual
thrill in the excitement of a firefight-a response Junger struggles to
understand-and a profound sense of commitment to subordinating their
self-interests to the good of the unit. Junger mixes visceral combat
scenes-raptly aware of his own fear and exhaustion-with quieter
reportage and insightful discussions of the physiology, social
psychology, and even genetics of soldiering. The result is an
unforgettable portrait of men under fire.” Publishers Weekly
graduate of Yale University and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University,
Karl Marlantes served as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the
Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two
Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. This is his first novel.
Sebastian Junger is the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism. He lives in New York City.