Extended Audio Sample

Download What It Is Like to Go to War Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What It Is Like to Go to War Audiobook, by Karl Marlantes Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.09 out of 54.09 out of 54.09 out of 54.09 out of 54.09 out of 5 4.09 (11 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karl Marlantes Narrator: Bronson Pinchot Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781470803599
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

From the author of the bestselling and award-winning Matterhorn comes a brilliant nonfiction book about war and the psychological and spiritual toll it takes on those who fight.

“I wrote this book primarily to come to terms with my own experience of combat. So far—reading, writing, thinking—that has taken over thirty years.”

In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience. In his first work of nonfiction, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at what it is like to experience the ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our soldiers for war.

Just as Matterhorn is already acclaimed a classic of war literature, What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become required reading for anyone—soldier or civilian—interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Bronson Pinchot does an outstanding job of presenting Karl Marlantes’ memoir of war, trauma, and recovery…Pinchot deftly follows as Marlantes shifts from well-told battle stories to policy analysis, then to Jungian archetypes, and back again. His tone is sometime matter-of-fact and sometimes passionate (almost shouting) in marvelous synchrony with the author’s words.”


  • “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…I’m sure he will literally save lives.”

    Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Marlantes brings candor and wrenching self-analysis to bear on his combat experiences in Vietnam, in a memoir-based meditation whose intentions are three-fold: to help soldiers-to-be understand what they’re in for; to help veterans come to terms with what they’ve seen and done; and to help policymakers know what they’re asking of the men they send into combat.”

    New Yorker 

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • One of the 2011 Amazon Best Books of the Year
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book: Top 100 Bestsellers of 2011
  • A Indies Choice Book Award Finalist for the Indies Choice Book Award Book of the Year: Adult Nonfiction
  • Selected for the October 2011 Indie Next List
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick, August 2011
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2011

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malla | 11/8/2011

    " A surreal look at what it's like to go to war if you're a Yale/Oxford scholar, soldier and new age hippie. Brutally honest and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 11/3/2011

    " This felt like one of those important books we should all take the time to read. People might re-think how returning vets are/were treated. I'm more of a peacenik than a war monger, but conscripted & volunteer soldiers deserve our respect & support, regardless of the battle being fought. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicky | 10/30/2011

    " A must read for anyone curious about the psyche and human aspects of Warriors and Warrior Culture that is often kept hidden or rarely discussed in open public. Marlantes interweaves colloquial, philosophical, and literary discourses within a memoir of a life lived and a life learned. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 10/28/2011

    " The psychological side to Grossman's On Combat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan | 10/9/2011

    " A good personal account of a being a warrior, and then trying to fit back into civilian world, the necessity for rituals and acceptance of the warlike. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janel | 10/9/2011

    " Compelling book. Hard to read in parts but an important book to read and understand. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Walter | 10/3/2011

    " This is a very thought-provoking book. Marlantes tries to help us understand what it is like to prepare for and to fight in a war. He does not succeed, but it is a valiant effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Genevieve | 9/27/2011

    " This was a really interesting first-hand perspective view of going to war and the effects. Marlantes was very introspective. Some parts were a little too philosphical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 9/26/2011

    " Recommended reading for anyone thinking of joining the marines. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 9/22/2011

    " The non-fiction companion to "Matterhorn", it is an excellent description of the author's experiences and reflections on war and its effects on the participants. Sobering and insightful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 9/19/2011

    " Very interesting book... a good read for anyone who is serving or has served in the military. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Karl Marlantes

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.

About the Narrator

Bronson Pinchot, an Audie Award–winning narrator and Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010, received his education at Yale University, which filled out what he had already received at his mother’s knee in the all-important areas of Shakespeare, Greek art and architecture, and the Italian Renaissance. He restores Greek Revival buildings and appears in television, film, and on stage whenever the pilasters and entablatures overwhelm him.