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Deep River: A Novel

Deep River: A Novel

by Karl Marlantes

Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

Unabridged — 25 hours, 58 minutes

Karl Marlantes
Deep River: A Novel

Deep River: A Novel

by Karl Marlantes

Narrated by Bronson Pinchot

Unabridged — 25 hours, 58 minutes

Karl Marlantes

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Karl Marlantes' debut novel, Matterhorn, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, 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 that is no less rich and honest in its depiction 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Deep River:

“Marlantes conveys the elements, arcana and dangerous romance of logging superbly. His descriptions of logging itself—the ingenious mechanics of taking down trees and the skill of experienced loggers—are wonderfully detailed, dramatic and exhilarating…Mighty physical, social and economic forces operate the plot of this novel, buffeting its characters, raising them up, flinging them down, twisting their fates together. Deep River is a big American novel.” Wall Street Journal

Deep River is an engrossing and commanding historical epic about one immigrant family’s shifting fortunes…a feat of lavish storytelling.”Washington Post

“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)

“As a portrait of a complicated American era, and one family’s mighty struggle against it, the novel is both fascinating and fierce. And well worth the hours it asks of its reader.” San Francisco Chronicle

Deep River seems a work born from Willa Cather by way of Upton Sinclair. But this new book is its own animal, and it’s something of a masterpiece…In Deep River, [Aino] takes her place beside Antonia Shimerda as one of the great heroines of literature.” BookPage (starred review)

“Inspired by family history, Marlantes (Matterhorn) offers a sprawling, painstakingly realistic novel about Finnish immigrants in the Pacific Northwest during the first half of the 20th century… Marlantes’s epic is packed with intriguing detail about Finnish culture, Northwest landscapes, and 20th-century American history, making for a vivid immigrant family chronicle.” Publishers Weekly

“A riveting read in the classic western literature tradition of Wallace Stegner’s The Big Rock Candy Mountain, delivering the rich pleasures of an epic story well told…The realism of Deep River comes with a magical tinge.” Oregonian

“An admirable work, this monomyth is dense…with Marlantes’s gift for lyricism and evocative language.” —Library Journal

Praise for Karl Marlantes:

“A raw, brilliant account of war that may well serve as a final exorcism for one of the most painful passages in American history . . . One of the most profound and devastating novels ever to come out of Vietnam—or any war.”New York Times Book Review, on Matterhorn

“Marlantes’ story is so intense that there were times reading it when I thought I could not stand to turn the page . . . Vladimir Nabokov once said that the greatest books are those you read not just with your heart or your mind, but with your spine. This is one for the spine.”Philadelphia Inquirer, on Matterhorn

“Carefully constructed and beautifully realized . . . Filled with truth, wisdom, love, and a rich vein of dark gallows humor.”Newsweek, on Matterhorn

Matterhorn will take your heart and sometimes even your breath away.”—NPR’s All Things Considered, on Matterhorn

“Superb . . . A treasure . . . It’s a bloody Vietnam epic, to be sure. But it’s also a full-blooded inspection of the human spirit.”Christian Science Monitor, on Matterhorn

“Visceral . . . Evocative . . . [Marlantes] pitches us into a harrowing narrative we won’t soon forget.”USA Today, on Matterhorn

“A powerhouse: tense, brutal, honest.”Time, on Matterhorn

“Engrossing.”Seattle Times, on Matterhorn

“Vivid . . . Elegant . . . It tolls in the reader’s mind and leaves a long, haunting echo.”Minneapolis Star Tribune, on Matterhorn

“Lush, compelling, and tragic . . . An unflinching story.”Denver Post, on Matterhorn

“That rare modern novel destined to become a classic.”—Vince Flynn, on Matterhorn

“A novel of great authority and humanity. It builds inexorably to a devastating and magnificent final movement.” —Charles Frazier, on Matterhorn

“Marlantes brings candor and wrenching self-analysis to bear on his combat experiences in Vietnam.”New Yorker, on What It Is Like to Go to War

“A precisely crafted and bracingly honest book.”Atlantic, on What It Is Like to Go to War

Library Journal


Following the eye-catching debut novel Matterhorn and the nonfiction What It Is Like To Go to War, both New York Times best sellers, Marlantes shifts his attention from the Vietnam War to the early 1900s, when the three Koski siblings flee Finland to escape the heavy hand of imperial Russia. Brothers Ilmari and Matti get work as loggers along Washington’s grand Columbia River, while their sister, Aino, helps organize the industry’s first union. For this family, creating new lives while upholding tradition is a balancing act akin to rolling a huge log down the river. A welcome publication, with Matterhorn published nearly a decade ago.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940169632019
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 07/02/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 652,248

Read an Excerpt

Aino focused on one steam donkey. The cable came up off the ground as the tension increased. She couldn’t follow the entire line of it, because the terrain was so rugged, but could see its end where it wound around an anchoring block that must have weighed a thousand pounds. The block was cinched with a smaller cable to a stump that was at least fourteen feet in diameter. She marveled at the sight. How could men, weighing 150 pounds, have hauled all this dead weight of steel and cable across that terrain?

Those men were now scrambling for safety, ducking behind stumps, finding shelter in the torn ground, as more steam poured into the donkey’s pistons. The massive cable drums whirred, jerking a log weighing several tons from where it laid, bringing it bucking and slamming through the slash like a runaway railroad car to the landing as fast as the massive cable drums could turn.

Ilmari told her that just one of these Douglas firs could produce enough lumber to build three or four houses. She hadn’t believed him. With each splintering, anguished crackle, when fibers that had held for centuries first started to part, with each moaning, creaking groan as the tree leaned and tore loose from its stump, with each shouted whisper of air rushing through the limbs of a rapidly accelerating top, with each ground-shaking crash signaling a tree’s death, she believed. Everything about the place spoke danger and filled her withrespect for these men.

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