MATTERHORN – KARL MARLANTES
It pays to do great research before choosing books to read. My second phone book of the year, “Matterhorn” was possibly better than “Unbroken” which I thought was amazing. Karl Marlantes took almost 30 years to complete this stunning novel of the Vietnam War. From the very first page you join Second Lieutenant Waino Mellas and the men of Company Bravo as they crawl through the jungles ofNamto take and surrender meaningless hills while the “bigshots” move them like pieces on a chess board. The writing is so good here that you can taste the C-rations, smell the dirt and grime and feel like you are part of Company Bravo.
You experience the growth of Lt. Mellas from “nervous rookie” to “capable leader” as each trip into the field provides lessons in life and death. The conflict in “Matterhorn” goes beyond “us versus them” and includes the everyday skirmishes pitting draftees with lifers, officers vs. enlisted men, and much of what was happening back in the “real world: where blacks and whites struggled to get along.
The dialogue in “Matterhorn” was spot on. This, in my estimation, is the ultimate book on the war in Vietnam, the reality of it and the futility of it. It’s a book you can’t put down and one of the best I have ever read on any subject. An absolute ***** star work of literary art.
UNBROKEN – LAURA HILLENBRAND
This was the very first book I read on my phone. The author of the much acclaimed “Seabiscuit” had undertaken to write the story of Louis Zamperini, a juvenile delinquent turned long distance track and field Olympian, turned WWII bomber pilot, turned POW of the Japanese, returning American hero, alcoholic and finally born-again Christian.
The book is proof that truth really is stranger than fiction as the triumphs, trials and tribulations of Louis Zamperini seem more than one man could possibly endure, from shaking hands with Adolf Hitler at the 1936 Olympics to being shot down over the Pacific in 1943 and surviving 47 days on a raft at sea, surrounded by sharks and without food or drinking water only to wash ashore and be captured by the Japanese resulting in two tears of the most horrific torture known to man.
At almost 600 pages, it’s a big book but it’s also a page-turner. My advise would be to grab a box of Kleenex to keep handy as you are swept along on the incredible adventures of this amazing American. Gotta give this one ***** stars.
Photos and Phone Books is a blog where I can display my favorite photos that I have taken through the years. It is also a place where I can give brief reviews of the books I have read on my phone. A year ago this month I received a Kindle for my birthday and began reading regularly again for the first time in quite a few years. The Kindle broke and someone told me that I could read those same books on my cell phone. I didn’t think that was something I would enjoy but I was completely wrong. When Amazon replaced my broken Kindle, I gave it to my wife and have been reading books on my phone exclusively for the past 12 months.
It is my intention to add something to these pages several times a week and since I can’t read fast enough to do a book review that often, I will post some of my photos on the days when I am not doing a book review.
I enjoy photography and love finding shapes and colors, scenics and flowers, people and places to take pictures of on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy what I have loved doing for the past 30 years.
Here are three from Ireland:
Street scene from the Temple Bar section of Dublin.
The Perfect Pint of Guinness, O’Donahue’s Bar, Dublin
Georgian Doors, Dublin