Deep River by Karl Marlantes

Deep River

Karl Marlantes’s 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.Born into a ...

Details Deep River

TitleDeep River
Release DateJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherAtlantic Monthly Press
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literary Fiction

Reviews Deep River

  • Chrissie
    Deep River by Karl Marlantes is a long epic family saga. You must be in the mood for this when you pick it up.The story follows three Finnish siblings, Ilmari, Aino and Matti Koski, all three born in the last two decades of the 19th century. Of the two brothers, Ilmari is the eldest, Matti the youngest. Aino, she is the middle child. The story starts in Finland in 1893. It moves forward chronologically. The Finnish Nationalist Revolution is burge...
  • Tahera
    At 820 pages, covering 76 years (1893 till 1969) and almost three generations, Deep River is a saga.....a saga of the Koski siblings, Ilmari, Matti and Aino, who one by one flee Russian occupied Finland, at the turn of the 20th century, and come to United States of America to settle down between Washington and Oregon, in the Finnish communities of the Columbia River basin where the main mode of employment is either working in horrendous condition...
  • Jessica Sullivan
    I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction, so I wasn't expecting to enjoy this 700+ page tome as much as I did. Turns out it was an incredibly fascinating and rewarding read. This family epic follows the three Koski siblings (Ilmari, Mattie and Aino) as they make their way from Finland to America's pacific northwest in the early 1900s and begin working in the dangerous, grueling logging industry. Aino is the central focal point of the narrati...
  • Dax
    ‘Deep River’ starts off slowly with the gradual gestation of communism in Finland and the introduction of the Koski siblings. The story picks up pace once the siblings make it over to the States and settle along the Columbia River. By the end of the novel the reader feels a strong attachment to the characters and is emotionally invested in their lives. Marlantes writing is not as sharp as I remember it being in his debut novel ‘Matterhorn...
  • Karen Kay
    I received this from for a review. 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. Good Beginning but overall the book could have been several pages shorter. I lost interest in the minutia, and there was a lot of minutia.2 I received this from for a review. In th...
  • Susan
    4.5 starsDeep River is an informative and compelling saga of the three Koski siblings Ilmari, Aino and Matti who flee Finland to escape the Russian authorities. They settle in Washington state and become part of the logging community where the work is hazardous the hours are long and the pay is shameful. This book is full of history of the timber industry and trying to organize the workers to form a union for better pay and hours. Aino is at the ...
  • Bonnye Reed
    Deep River is a marathon of a historical novel, one you cannot bear to put aside. We follow the children of Maijaliisa and Tapio Koski from Kokkola, Finland as they immigrated to the communities of the Columbia River basin (known then as the Deep River) between Washington and Oregon, USA, and became an important element in the timber industry and the Colombia River basin, as the family spread out and grew. The Koski family were hard working, a cr...
  • Steven Z.
    In DEEP RIVER, author Karl Marlantes moves on from his description of a company of Marines in Vietnam who tried to recapture a mountain top base that formed the basis of his award-winning book, MATTERHORN and his unique description of combat in his memoir, WHAT IT IS LIKE TO GO TO WAR. In his latest effort he takes on a different type of warfare centering around the battle between labor and capitalists in the Pacific northwest at the turn of the ...
  • Jypsy
    Deep River is the story of the Koski family. One by one, members of the family flee Finland. They do this for political activism, avoiding army conscription, etc. They go to southern Washington state where there is a Finnish community. The Kolski family joins the logging business because it's the prevailing occupation at the time in this region. As the story unfolds, the terrible living conditions are described. Worse, however, are the dangers as...
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:'Anger at the senseless cruelty of it all kept her awake at night.'Escaping Russian rule, siblings Ilmari, Matti, and Aino immigrate to America joining other Finns in the hopes that they will find the perfect place to thrive. Ilmari is the first to leave Finland, to avoid being drafted in the Russian army he flees his homeland. In America, Ilmari is a devout man who builds a farm of his own and a...
  • Robert Sheard
    Yes, it's really long. Yes, trying to keep all the Finnish names straight in the beginning was a challenge. Read it anyway. A family saga and a history of the Pacific Northwest in the early 20th Century, it's a terrific read.
  • Melissa Dee
    When I was a young teen, I remember spending hot summer days immersed in the huge historical novels of Michener and Uris. For hours, I would be caught up in their magnificent world-building, only emerging for meals and sleep.I had the same experience with Deep River. At a weighty 700+ pages, there is much to enjoy. Marlantes takes us inside the logging and fishing industries of the Pacific Northwest, and the political radicalism at the turn of th...
  • Joe M
    Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest there must be something ingrained in my DNA that draws me to big, epic novels about logging and the timber industry, so as soon as I saw Deep River with its gorgeous cover and 820-page count it vaulted to the top of my reading list. It also helps that Karl Marlantes wrote one of my favorite war books of the last few years, the fantastic Vietnam epic Matterhorn which I’ve recommended often and given many ...
  • Aimee Dars
    Deep River follows the Koski siblings--Aino, Ilmari, and Matti--from childhood in Russian-occupied Finland to their settlement in the Pacific Northwest as they enter adulthood and begin families of their own. Ilmari, the first to arrive in the United States, homesteads on a large piece of land he received. Matti, the youngest, embraces capitalism as a way to protect himself from fears seated in childhood. Aino, however, the middle child and only ...
  • Jan
    A big novel of family, immigration and America that follows three siblings from their early years working for Finland's independence from Russia to their lives as loggers and union organizers in the Pacific Northwest. As with his Vietnam novel, Matterhorn, Marlantes keeps us engaged with his characters' lives while also telling a bigger story. Aside from a few mispronunciations, Bronson Pinchot doesa fine job narrating the audiobook.
  • Misha
    Recently I made a list for a patron who enjoyed "whole life" novels. This is one such novel, following about 80 years in the life of Aino, a woman from Finland who flees Russian occupation and persecution and imprisonment as a political dissident to join her brothers in Washington State in the early 1900s. Aino is a devoted Marxist, an accidental midwife who apprenticed with her mother after the Russians took her father away, and a passionate ide...
  • Karen
    Another amazing book by former Marine (and Rhodes Scholar) Karl Marlantes. His first was the extraordinary novel about Vietnam, "Matterhorn." Deep River is a long and engaging saga of a group of young people who emigrate over a period of several years from rural Finland in the early 1900s to settle in the Washington/Oregon border area where the Columbia pours into the sea. They find work as loggers and fishermen, cooks and union organizers. They ...
  • Hannah Grace || BookNerdNative
    This book was deeply gripping and included stunning detail. This is the kind of historical fiction that is unforgettable. This story has completely 3 dimensional characters, who are wonderful and flawed and completely lifelike. This book made me shed a couple of tears, and gave a really insightful look into the early labor movement. This book was wonderful for fans of deep character development, long and engrossing stories, wonderful and lyrical ...
  • Becky Motew
    4.2 starsWhat an achievement! An impressively ambitious work covering the family history of a Finnish family, Aino and her brothers Matti and Ilmari and the history of logging and fishing in the US Pacific Northwest.KM takes us inside the logging camps and explains in (sometimes excruciating) detail how the winches work and the cables and the steam donkeys and also how bad the camps smell. It's good to remember that we got here from there.Also th...
  • Todd
    Deep RiverKarl Marlantes#GoodreadsGiveawayTentative Publication Date: July 2, 2019Tentative Price: $30.00Karl Marlantes states "this novel is not a retelling of The Kalevala but rather a tale highly influenced by it" (page 720, ARC). This is helpful to know when stepping into the churning waters of Deep River. Marlantes has crafted an accomplished melding of the "shamanic past" with the cultural realities of logging, fishing, and bootlegging set ...
  • Cat
    We agree to be unbiased in our book reviews, but what are you to do when given the opportunity to review one of your favorite authors? Karl Marlantes of “Matterhorn” and “What It Is Like to Go to War” fame has taken the about-face with the subject of his new novel, but his talent and lyrical writing talent maintains its strong presence in this epic tale spanning over 80 years about immigrants surviving in the logging trade in Northwest Am...
  • Daniel Cuthbert
    Epic in every sense of the word, “Deep River” concerns three Finnish family members, Ilmari, Matti, and Aino. The three migrate from Finland to Oregon around the turn of the century and find themselves embroiled in the timber industry in an effort to establish new and better lives for themselves, to varying degrees of success in this massive, 700+ page tome.It’s very easy to look at a book this size and immediately run screaming for the hil...
  • Jennifer
    Three Koski siblings—Ilmari, Matti and Aino—flee Finland in the early 1900s and settle in Deep River located in southern Washington along the Columbia River. The brothers begin logging careers, and Aino encourages unionization. Covering over three decades, this novel shares details about the siblings' lives as they cling to their traditions, embrace the customs of their new country and discover what really matters. While this book is long, it...
  • Geoffrey Benn
    “Deep River”, Karl Marlantas’ recently released second novel, begins during the Russian occupation of Finland in the early 20th century. Two siblings, Matti and Aino, are arrested by the secret police and then flee the country to join their eldest brother, Ilmari, who recently emigrated and started a farm in Deep River, Oregon. The book then follows the three siblings over the course of several decades as they try to make their way in their...
  • Mark
    I read Marlante's first novel, Matterhorn, in 2010, the year it was published. It ended up being the best book I read that year. Many book lovers felt the same way. A riveting look at the Vietnam war. Marlante has finally returned and he does not disappoint, delivering a big, sprawling epic, tracing a family over several decades. He based this on his own family's history.It begins with the Koski family, living in Finland, as farmers. The country ...
  • Thom
    This sophomore effort is comparable to sagas (Ken Follet, Alex Haley, or even Leo Tolstoy), but the novel blurb is all Matterhorn. This is probably because this family study just isn't as good as his first book.The descriptions of the land are lush, even though the distances seem a little too compressed. There are moments of action in this sweeping drama that are well done. It also feels historically accurate. My favorite aspect is comparing the ...
  • Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
    Historically interesting, but kind of flat from a story-telling perspective. I would put it down for a while and then come back to it and plow ahead for a bit.
  • John
    *Thanks to Goodreads & Grove Atlantic for providing me with an advance reader’s copy of this – I absolutely LOVED Matterhorn and I was thrilled to be selected for one of these copies!*Marlantes' Deep River is an impressive tome that chronicles a family of Finnish immigrants fleeing Finland for better opportunities in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s. The book is many things, including an immigrant story, an account of labor struggles ...