What It Is Like To Go To War (Paperback)Karl Marlantes (author)
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In 1968, at the age of 22, Karl Marlantes abandoned his Oxford University scholarship to sign up for active service with the US Marine Corps in Vietnam. Pitched into a war that had no defined military objective other than kill ratios and body counts, what he experienced over the next thirteen months in the jungles of South East Asia shook him to the core. But what happened when he came home covered with medals was almost worse. It took Karl four decades to come to terms with what had really happened, during the course of which he painstakingly constructed a fictionalized version of his war, MATTERHORN, which has subsequently been hailed as the definitive Vietnam novel.
WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO WAR takes us back to Vietnam, but this time there is no fictional veil. Here are the hard-won truths that underpin MATTERHORN: the author's real-life experiences behind the book's indelible scenes. But it is much more than this. It is part exorcism of Karl's own experiences of combat, part confession, part philosophical primer for the young man about to enter combat. It It is also a devastatingly frank answer to the questions 'What is it like to be a soldier?' What is it like to face death?' and 'What is it like to kill someone?'
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 230 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 16 mm
A novel of astonishing power and insight * OBSERVER *
There has never been a more realistic portrait or eloquent tribute to the nobility of men under fire, and never a more damning portrait of a war that ground them cruelly underfoot for no good reason. * MARK BOWDEN *
Karl Marlantes has written a staggeringly beautiful book on combat - what it feels like, what the consequences are and above all, what society must do to understand it. In my eyes he has become the preeminent literary voice on war of our generation. He is a natural storyteller and a deeply profound thinker who not only illuminates war for civilians, but also offers a kind of spiritual guidance to veterans themselves. As this generation of warriors comes home, they will be enormously helped by what Marlantes has written - I'm sure he will literally save lives. * Sebastian Junger *
What It Is Like to Go to War is a well-crafted and forcefully argued work that contains fresh and important insights into what it's like to be in a war and what it does to the human psyche. * The Washington Post *
brutally honest, clear-eyed and necessary. * Financial Times *
You may not ever read a better book about war than this... There are some very gruesome things here, and some of the best philosophical thinking I've ever read in a memoir. * Evening Standard *
the brave and illuminating work of a courageous and humane man. * The Times *
Marlantes examines with lacerating frankness his experiences at the forefront of battle, in Vietnam more than 40 years ago. * Sunday Times *