Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
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Matterhorn is a visceral and spellbinding novel about what it is like to be a young man at war. It is an unforgettable novel that transforms the tragedy of Vietnam into a powerful and universal story of courage, camaraderie, and sacrifice: a parable not only of the war in Vietnam but of all war, and a testament to the redemptive power of literature.
his squad on one side of the ridge and half on the other. Jacobs, on the south side, had his squad moving forward in rushes, two fire teams shooting while the third scrambled forward. The NVA, no longer pinned down by Third Platoon’s fire, maintained its own fierce fire. The world seemed to turn over as Mellas watched soft flesh run against hot metal. What, moments before, had been organized movement now disintegrated into confusion, noise, and blood. The attack might have looked as if it were
would spray insect repellent on a leech and it would fall squirming to the ground, leaving blood trickling down the kid’s arm, leg, or neck. During the patrol, Mellas began to take great pleasure in killing the little bastards and watching his own blood spurt out of their bodies. The fourteen-man snake moved in spasms. The point man would suddenly crouch, eyes and ears straining, and those behind him would bunch up, crouch, and wait to move again. They would get tired, let down their guard.
it. Others did the same. Soon the area was littered with grenades, rifles, ammunition belts, bandoleers, claymores, and captured weapons. “How about our fucking can openers, Gunny? That little chickenshit fuck want our John Waynes?” “I got a needle in my sewing kit. You want that?” Cassidy stood alone, saying nothing. Eventually he motioned to his team from H & S to collect the weapons. The Marines from Bravo Company, disgusted, started crawling back into their hooches or rolling up in wet
“Said he was sorry and he’d get on it. What do you mean my fucking job?” “What else you got to do?” Mellas put in. “Well, one thing I don’t have to do is take any fucking lip from wise-ass boot lieutenants, that’s for damn sure.” Mellas laughed but regretted his dumb quip. At the same time, he was desperately trying to recall all the mechanics of that aborted ambush of cows back in Virginia. Fitch continued cleaning his nails, then spoke up. “I’m sending a squad from First Platoon out on a
the Marine Corps or those that were intimate, like his feeling for his family, which arose only in quiet moments when he was alone, waiting for cars to warm up or waking in the dark and lying very still. Cassidy knew he was lucky to be married to Martha because she would never ask him to choose between the family and the Marine Corps. If he were forced to choose, he’d choose family. But he would hesitate. This feeling for the Corps was why Cassidy was hurt so deeply when he found that the pin on