One thing to look forward to after the binge drinking years of our 20’s is the slow rise of book clubs we’ll probably join. Roll your eyes as you might, but don’t even pretend you’re better than the book club notion just because you esteem yourself above sharing an opinion on George Clooney’s engagement…or you are ‘so over’ caring about that one girl from college and her engagement…we like to call that— being bitter that others are committed to more than the Chicago hot dog stand every Saturday at the indoor mall. And if you weren’t committed to that; now you’re committed. You’re welcome, by the way.
But because I’m better than sharing my opinion about your engagements, I’ll suggest a book instead.
A big part of me just used you. I actually need to share my book here because sharing this book in my book clubs would be as well received as my first going-out, outfit choice. Which means to say, unanimous veto.
Matterhorn. It’s a Vietnam War novel taking place in the hearts of a marine platoon, ‘humping’ their way through the mountainous jungle.
The book is both frustrating and enthralling as you grow with the main character through the ins and outs of war. On very different, relatively-speaking levels, of course. Marlantes doesn’t scrap on the continuous war lingo and you often find yourself lost, to say the least. I, for one, didn’t realize until 396 pages in that a K-bar is not synonymous with our Cliff Bars but is actually an inedible piece of metal. And I still don’t know the exact use. Eventually, you’re taken by surprise when you don’t retreat two paragraphs to figure out what’s going on or rather learned, like many characters in the book, that ‘fake it til you make it’ is working advice.
The book is a must read if you enjoy war novels. It captures the mundane reality of the Vietnam War yet makes sure you know that you don’t really know. It makes the idea of Fraternity brothers’ forming an unspeakable bond from one week of hazing laughable. Maybe laughable was too mean, but the brotherhood established in the novel does make Greek Life look like a bunch of adults playing pretend.
It will not maintain your amazement on each page like the POW story of Unbroken but will maintain your continuous respect and leave you with tears you didn’t know were falling until the very last page.
Read it on your own time, or pretend you did, and then tell me through wine stained teeth if you think Senator G. Clooney has a good ring to it, ya book club enthusiast.