Deep River: A Novel

Written by:
Karl Marlantes
Narrated by:
Bronson Pinchot

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2019
26 hours 1 minute
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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Jon E.

A great, if not excessively long, multi-generational story of Finnish and Swedish immigrants to the PNW. Not surprisingly, a beautiful story of logging and heartbreak ... and Wobblies. Glad I finished it but it was, at times, a long row to hoe. Despite its length, may have been easier to keep track of everyone on the printed page, rather than on CarPlay!

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Nicole I.

It took me awhile to really get into this book. But about half way through I really started to enjoy it. I'm glad I stuck with it.

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Kristen N.

Well written and great narration. This book takes you to a place in American history where hard work and sacrifice were commonplace and necessary for survival. Great story and research make this worth a listen

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Margaret S.

Great story line, character development and descriptive language. Enjoyed this long story, didn’t want it to end!

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Greg D.

Thoroughly enjoyed all the ups and downs. Very immersive read. Enjoyed the history lesson too. Clearly well researched and brought to life very realistically. Narration was top notch as well.

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Wojciech S.

Watch out for the currents of this Deep River - its slow start can lull you to carelessness, and before you know it, its strong currents have you at their mercy. A sweeping saga of late 19th century immigrant family from Finland, arguably the most insular corner of Europe, is likely to make you long for being a part of that family and those times. Especially if you know -- or want to know -- the Pacific Northwest, and are -- or want to be -- close to your immigrant, not-necessarily-Scandinavian roots. My hat off to the Narrator and his perfect pitch for conveying emotions and... Scandinavian accents, not to mention impressively close to native pronunciation of Finnish, Swedish, Greek, and even Croatian last names. You have restored my faith in North Americans, Sir! (Unless you too, like me, are a Euro.)

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This is a long but beautifully written and read novel. As a person from Finnish decent, I found it particularly fascinating.

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Roger P.

Wonderful story of early 20th century Scandinavian, particularly Finish immigrants who we’re loggers,fishermen and labor organizers to the Columbia River area in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon. Reminds me of the classic Wallace Stegner novels about the West. I can’t give higher praise then that.

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