Matterhorn was one of my favorite novels from 2010 (you can read my post on it here). Actually it’s on my Best of 2010 list, tied for first place with Emma Donoghue’s Room. (Note: The list is in my mind, not on this blog.) Matterhorn is coming out in paperback in May 2011 and I hope more people will be willing to pick it up in then. I’ve tried to hand-sell it at the bookstore where I work with only a few takers. Even regulars who’ve enjoyed other books I’ve recommended are not willing to give it a try. Yet. The subject and size of the book seems to intimidate people. Some people have wrinkled their nose at me when they hear “Vietnam.” The only people I’ve come across–in the flesh, anyway–who have read it are Vietnam vets or their children. Just the other day I was talking to a guy who loves Tim O’Brien and when I asked if he’s read Matterhorn yet, he said, “Oh, that really big book? No.” His no was final and he moved on to talk about O’Brien’s “non-Vietnam” books. Sigh.
I’d love to see a city or town choose Matterhorn as their community reading book. It would be an appropriate selection in this time of war and it could also contribute to discussions of race.