Sunday, April 28, 2024

#22: Cold Victory by Karl Marlantes

In post-war 1940s Finland, an idealistic American couple befriend a Russian couple, and inadvertently wreck the lives of everyone around them, in Karl Marlantes' Cold Victory.

The two husbands decide to have a friendly ski race, not realizing the physical, emotional, and political toll the race will take on their families.  Meanwhile, the two wives decide to try and help an orphanage full of Finnish children, another well-meaning act that goes sour.

I was unprepared for where this novel would go, thinking at the outset it would be more of an adventure story based around the ski race; but the story continues to take darker and darker turns.  Interesting storytelling throughout.  Recommended.

I checked this out from the Morrisson-Reeves Public Library in Richmond, Indiana.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

#21: Rabbit Hole by Kate Brody

On the tenth anniversary of her sister's disappearance, a woman's father commits suicide; the subsequent fallout finds that her father had been involved in various internet conspiracy theories about the sister, in Kate Brody's Rabbit Hole.

The rabbit hole of the title is of course the internet, and it leads our already troubled protagonist into a co-dependent relationship with a young woman who has a deep attachment to the case.

Flawed characters and sometimes uncomfortable storytelling highlight this interesting take on social media culture.  A good first novel from Brody.

I checked this out from the Henry County-New Castle Public Library in New Castle, Indiana.

Monday, April 8, 2024

#20: Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

A group of American Marines in Viet Nam set up a base, abandon it, then need to take it back, all at great cost, in Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn.

Marlantes is a Viet Nam vet himself and I can't imagine this searing war story isn't based on his own experiences.  It is full of harrowing detail, ranging from futility and boredom to chaotic firefights and heroism born of desperation.

This is as searing an account of any war that I've read, and valuable to anyone who is interested in stories of the Viet Nam war especially.  Recommended.

I downloaded this for my beloved Kindle and read it quickly.