Karl Marlantes’s debut novel, Matterhorn, has been hailed as a modern classic of war literature. In his new novel, Deep River, Marlantes turns to another mode of storytelling―the family epic―to craft a stunningly expansive narrative of human suffering, courage, and reinvention.
In the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia’s imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblings―Ilmari, Matti, and the politicized young Aino―are forced to flee to the United States. Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington, where the first harvesting of the colossal old-growth forests begets rapid development, and radical labor movements begin to catch fire. The brothers face the excitement and danger of pioneering this frontier wilderness―climbing and felling trees one hundred meters high―while Aino, foremost of the book’s many strong, independent women, devotes herself to organizing the industry’s first unions. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind.
Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.
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“Inspired by family history, Marlantes offers a sprawling, painstakingly realistic novel about Finnish immigrants in the Pacific Northwest during the first half of the twentieth century…Packed with intriguing detail about Finnish culture, Northwest landscapes, and twentieth-century American history, making for a vivid immigrant family chronicle.”
“Conveys the elements, arcana, and dangerous romance of logging superbly…Deep River is a big American novel.”
— Wall Street Journal
“You’ll experience the
hardship and joys faced by Finnish immigrants. And I predict you’ll find the
items on your to-do list a lot less daunting after reading about their courage.”
“An engrossing and commanding historical epic…Though its story is a century old, this time it speaks more directly to America’s current predicament.”
— Washington Post
“Bronson Pinchot delivers this sprawling, incandescent historical novel. His performance gives the mostly immigrant Finns’ lives veracity and dignity…Pinchot’s twin gifts—an extraordinary ear for language and an actor’s nuanced delivery—enliven the prose…Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”
“An intergenerational saga that will transform your understanding of the hardscrabble societies behind today’s Pacific Northwest and the region’s history of political radicalism.”
— The Oregonian
“A sweeping, consuming epic…also a finely-hewn portrait of people’s lives in an era when this country was figuring out what it stood for.”
“Marlantes poignantly depicts the intimacies of personal dramas that echo the twentieth century’s unprecedented political storms and yet in surprising ways reprise Finland’s oldest mythologies…An unforgettable novel.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Immerses the reader in the life of the Koski siblings, whose worldview is dominated by sisu, a Finnish concept of honor, dignity, and inner strength…The book extols the love of family and friends and the beauty of the landscape even as that landscape is ravaged.”
— BookPage (starred review)
“An admirable work, this monomyth is dense…with Marlantes’s gift for lyricism and evocative language.”
— Library Journal
“Marlantes carefully builds an epic world in the forests of Scandinavia and the Northwest, taking pains to round out each character…Well worth reading.”
— Kirkus Reviews
A Publishers Weekly Pick of Top Ten Books of Spring
A BookPage Top Pick of Best Historical Fiction of the Summer
A New York Times Pick of New & Noteworthy Books
A Booklist Pick of the Best New Fiction Books Out This Week
A Literary Hub Pick of Best Reviewed Books of the Week
A Forbes Magazine Pick of the Best Historical Novels of Summer
Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
An Amazon Best Books of the Year selection
Shortlisted for the 2020 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award
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About 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. His novel Matterhorn and his nonfiction book What It Is Like to Go to War, both based on his combat experience, are also both New York Times bestsellers.
About Bronson Pinchot
Bronson Pinchot, Audible’s Narrator of the Year for 2010, has won Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, AudioFile Earphones Awards, Audible’s Book of the Year Award, and Audie Awards for several audiobooks, including Matterhorn, Wise Blood, Occupied City, and The Learners. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale, he is an Emmy- and People’s Choice-nominated veteran of movies, television, and Broadway and West End shows. His performance of Malvolio in Twelfth Night was named the highlight of the entire two-year Kennedy Center Shakespeare Festival by the Washington Post. He attended the acting programs at Shakespeare & Company and Circle-in-the-Square, logged in well over 200 episodes of television, starred or costarred in a bouquet of films, plays, musicals, and Shakespeare on Broadway and in London, and developed a passion for Greek revival architecture.