Cold Victoryby Karl Marlantes
From New York Times bestselling author Karl Marlantes comes a propulsive and sweeping novel in which loyalty, friendship, and love are put to the ultimate test
Helsinki, 1947. Finland teeters between the Soviet Union and the West. Everyone is being watched. A wrong look or a wrong word could end in catastrophe. Natalya Bobrova, from Russia, and Louise Koski, from the United States, are young wives of their country’s military attachés. When they meet at an embassy party, their husbands, Arnie and Mikhail, both world-class skiers, drunkenly challenge each other to a friendly – but secret – cross-country wilderness race.
Louise is delighted, but Natalya is worried. Stalin and Beria’s secret police rule with unforgiving brutality. If news of the race gets out and Mikhail loses, Natalya knows it would mean his death, her imprisonment, and the loss of her two children. Meanwhile, Louise, who is childless, uses the race as an opportunity to raise money for a local orphanage, naïve to the danger it will bring to Natalya and her family. Too late to stop Louise’s scheme, a horrified Natalya watches as news of the race spreads across the globe as newspapers and politicians spin it as a symbolic battle: freedom versus communism. Desperate to undo her mistake, Louise must reach Arnie to tell him to throw the race and save Mikhail – but how? The two racers are in a world of their own, unreachable in Finland’s arctic wilderness.
This is another masterful novel from the author of the modern classic Matterhorn, whose “breakneck writing style is both passionate and haunting” (W. E. B. Griffin). Layered with fast-paced action, historical detail, and a keen eye for the way totalitarianism and loss of truth and privacy threatens love and friendship, Cold Victory is a triumph.
“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 on Deep River
“Deep River is an engrossing and commanding historical epic about one immigrant family’s shifting fortunes… An unforgettable novel.”—Washington Post on Deep River
“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) on Deep River
“Matterhorn is a raw, brilliant account of war that may well serve as a final exorcism for one of the most painful passages in American history. . . . It’s not a book so much as a deployment, and you will not return unaltered. . . . One of the most profound and devastating novels ever to come out of Vietnam—or any war.” —Sebastian Junger, The New York Times Book Review (front-page review) on Matterhorn
“A powerful first work that defines the tragic cost of the Vietnam War in human terms. Marlantes’ breakneck writing style is both passionate and haunting, thrusting the reader into alternating moments of chaos and courage reflecting the fragility of our Marines on the ground—and their leadership—in combat.” —W.E.B. Griffin on Matterhorn
“Karl Marlantes has written a staggeringly beautiful book on combat—what it feels like, what the consequences are and above all, what society must do to understand it. In my eyes he has become the preeminent literary voice on war of our generation. He is a natural storyteller and a deeply profound thinker who not only illuminates war for civilians, but also offers a kind of spiritual guidance to veterans themselves. As this generation of warriors comes home, they will be enormously helped by what Marlantes has written—I’m sure he will literally save lives.” —Sebastian Junger on What It Is Like to Go to War
“What It Is Like to Go to War is a well-crafted and forcefully argued work that contains fresh and important insights into what it’s like to be in a war and what it does to the human psyche.” —The Washington Post on What It Is Like to Go to War