Karl Marlantes’ New Book: “A Cold Victory”

Apr 23, 2024 | 2 comments

I spent almost all of last night with Karl Marlantes’ latest book, “A Cold Victory.”  For some reason I had thought that it was going to be a sort of sequel to his first book — his blockbuster bests-seller, “Matterhorn” about the Viet Nam War.  However, I was totally wrong about that,  It is about war — or actually, the aftermath of war — but set in another part of the world and in a much earlier time,  It’s a war that I remember quite well — in fact my earliest memories are of the “War Years,”  Yes,  The war we know as World War II.

It’s shorter and less complicated than “Deep River” but, as promised, does involve one of the characters that we met in that book, albeit many years later.  What I found most intriguing was. while it purports to be a story about men (or does it?), it is told through the eyes of women. I felt it ended at just the right place but, still… it cries out for a sequel.  I wonder if there is one in the works.

Karl Marlantes, 

As the complexities in viewpoints of the characters unfold — their understandings and misunderstandings of one another’s political underpinnings, I could not help but go back to thoughts of Yuval Noah Harari in his “Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind.”    His descriptions of the “fictions” upon which huge numbers of us agree and live our lives by — whether the “fiction” be Democracy or Catholicism or Communism or a host of others — all becomes oh so clear in Marlantes’ book.

Bravo, Karl!  But I hope you don’t leave us hanging!  Encore!  Encore!








  1. Sturges

    Will look forward to Marlantes’s new book. Any the update of Daybook is very impressive!

  2. Caroline Miller

    Waiting for the paperback. I think Marlantes is among the finest of current American writers!


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