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Deep River

A Novel
Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
Length: 25 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

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.

A Publishers Weekly Pick of Top Ten Books of Spring.

©2019 Karl Marlantes (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

"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." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Profile Image for Brian Hays
  • Brian Hays
  • 31-07-19

An Epic

Although Marlantes admits some literary license, the research that had to go into this story is staggering. It’s hard to believe that He wasn’t in Finland and Washington state around 1900. This is a masterful job of breathing life and depth into characters. After “Matterhorn”, I was prepared for a let down. No such luck. Thank you Karl.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan Delaney
  • 08-08-19

I also have Finnish heritage

My relatives also settled in Southwest Washington but closer to Portland. This book was wonderful for me from beginning to end and it helped me understand so many of the sayings, behaviors, and lifestyle choices of my Grandparents and great aunts and uncle’s.. Besides it was just a wonderful story. And very well written. I hope you enjoy this As much as I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sharey
  • 03-09-19

Excellent Historical Saga!

Being of Finnish heritage, I naturally was fascinated in the story and enjoyed hearing some of the words I heard in my childhood visiting my grandparents in the UP in Michigan and later, much less, from my mother. Please, however, note that "sauna" is pronounced like "cow" so it is "sow' na" not "sawna!" Also, mother is not "ah-ee-tee" but "8-T." Finland is not "sue mee," but "su-omi." Other than these three most glaring errors, Pinchot did a pretty good job considering!

Marlantes is a very skilled writer and impressed me enough to immediately purchase two more Audible books of his. It is refreshing to hear an interesting, intelligent, and well-developed story that does not fall into the formulaic shlock that is turned out with limited thought and little to no research, so abundant in our present day. This is a meaty, a bit in need of editing but satisfying, listen with historical significance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AmieD
  • 01-10-19

Exceptional

Wow, this is a great novel. Well developed characters, exciting storylines, and really good narration combine to create one of the best novels I've ever listened to.

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  • Susan
  • 29-09-19

Wonderful historical novel!

A great story, well told by the narrator. Fascinating to think of where we are now, a century on from the midpoint of the story. I recommend.

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  • Nicole H.
  • 12-09-19

Pulitzer candidate

Like "Grapes of Wrath", "In Dubious Battle", and "The Jungle" wrapped in "Angle of Repose" and "Big Rock Candy Mountain." And the dramatis persona of a classic Russian novel.

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Profile Image for Peter Ryers
  • Peter Ryers
  • 29-08-19

Excellent

Wonderful writing with extensive research in history and culture. Particular history in the labor movement at the term of the century is illuminating.