Deep River

Karl Marlantes (Author)


From the New York Times-bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War, a rich family saga about Finnish immigrants who settle and tame the Pacific Northwest, set against the early labor movements, World War I, and the upheaval of early twentieth-century America

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 books 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.

Product Details

$20.00  $18.40
Grove Press
Publish Date
July 14, 2020
5.4 X 1.7 X 8.2 inches | 1.75 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Karl Marlantes graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, before serving as 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 is the bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War. He lives in rural Washington.


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