Karl Marlantes, a cum-laude graduate of Yale University and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, was 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. He has lived and traveled all over the world and now writes full time. He and his wife, Anne, have five children and live on a small lake in Washington state. Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award-winning narrator and Audible's Narrator of the Year for 2010, received his education at Yale University. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.
Marlantes, author of the highly acclaimed novel Matterhorn, reflects in this wrenchingly honest memoir on his time in Vietnam: what it means to go into the combat zone and kill and, most importantly, what it means to truly come home. After graduating from Yale, Marlantes attended Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. But not wanting to hide behind privilege while others fought in his place, he left Oxford in 1967 to ship out to Vietnam as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He eschews straight chronology for a blend of in-country reporting and the paradoxical sense of both fear and exhilaration a soldier feels during war. Most importantly, Marlantes underscores the need for returning veterans to be counseled properly; an 18-year-old cannot "kill someone and contain it in a healthy way." Digging as deeply into his own life as he does into the larger sociological and moral issues, Marlantes presents a riveting, powerfully written account of how, after being taught to kill, he learned to deal with the aftermath. Citing a Navajo tale of two warriors who returned home to find their people feared them until they learned to sing about their experience, Marlantes learns the lesson, concluding, "This book is my song," (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Yale- and Oxford-educated Marlantes (Matter-horn) served as a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam and here presents his very personal and emotional musings on the nature of war, courage, and all the multiple and often contradictory emotions one endures in combat. His point is that while we prepare our warriors in the technical and tactical aspects of war, we do not prepare them for the emotional toll that it will exact from those who survive. Bronson Pinchot reads with a relatively soft and understated baritone that is actually quite engaging. He becomes, in this performance, Marlantes-recalling incidents of combat and the horror and exhilaration that one withstands. Public, academic, and military libraries should purchase. ["Humanizing, empathetic, and wise, this reading experience will light corners in the human experience often judged dark," read the review, also starred, of the New York Times best-selling Atlantic Monthly hc, LJ 9/15/11.-Ed.]-Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll. Lib., Lynchburg (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.