Yes, he's one of my favorite authors.
I love his voice & he told the story like it should be told. His Russian was perfection (to me) & he made the story great. He gets 5 stars from me!
If I ever become a spy to KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT! Unlike the characters in the book.
I absolutely HATE the character Lisa. She's screwing everything that walks. Dates married men. She's a pain in the butt, asks stupid questions & acts like a child. If not for this character I would've given this book 5 stars all the way around. I'd like to know what Demille was thinking when he cooked up that tramp. She adds NOTHING to the story besides annoyance. Oh & thank you Demille for making the main character Sam the worse spy ever. He tells his all of his secrets to a 20 something bimbo & couldn't doge the KGB if his life depended on it. Premise of story was EXCELLENT but the execution was lacking for me. Better characters would've made it perfect.
Demille is a good story teller. One of those who can entice you to listen to anything. That is why I enjoyed the book.
What I can only call a snarky, smart aleck lilt to his reading, especially in the end of every sentence. I see other reviewers agree and one referred to it as a New Jersey characteristic. I have to say it lives in pompous immature adults in Texas as well.Even the main Russian character in the book sometimes spoke like that. By the end it was truly, truly irritating.
It was a bit dated, but so what? It took place during a time in history like any other. I really and truely thought that the depth of this story was amazing. I had read some of Mr. DeMille's newer work and that lead me to his older books. I went from this right to Up Country and was amazed yet again. I'm amazed at what an insight he has into the human element, how he understands people, predjudices, and desires. I've come to realize that Mr. DeMille is truely a Great American, as well as a great Author. This Country could use more, many more, men(and women) like him. This book is long, quite indepth and couldn't be any other way. 5 Stars.
A rich American who isn't too bright (drives an expensive American car into Soviet Russia) kicks off the plot. Information he provides to the CIA kicks off a search for "The Charm School" where it is believed many Americans are being held. A solid listen if you are interested in Cold War era Russia and the mystery/thriller genre.
I really enjoyed the Charm School. I downloaded this book a month or so back and had forgotten what it was about. I then listened to it cold without any idea of the gist of the story. I found the characters to be very believable and was sympathetic to their situations. the story was well thought out, and flowed well, with much believability to it. The narration was also done very well.
Scott brick is one of my least favorite narrators because he over-emotes overlaying his interpretations on the authors words. I suppose all narrators do this but his way of reading with affect is very distracting to me, in fact, twice in this book I laughed out loud at his interpretation at a place that didn't warrant it. The result was I feel he changed one character from a strong competent person into a clingy needy female. The story is phenomenal, a wonderful experience. I cannot but wonder how many stars I would give it (10) with a reader I liked better. Sorry. But I can still recommend it.
Nelson DeMille bases this book on a long debated theory that living POW's have been transported to Russia rather than being returned home to America. I have read about this and debated it with military people that I know and still am not sure. But as far as the basis for a novel it makes an interesting story. I was lucky, as I am not qualified to judge the validity of the military events in the story but it is a story. And with Scott Brick reading it what a story it is!
It moves a bit slow in the beginning, but it's really background info that will come in handy later, by the middle when you have a better grip on who these people are or might be the plot begins to coil up tighter and by the end you are sliding down a roller coaster at mach 1 with some surprises you never saw coming. Another great read by Scott Brick because he times the reading with the plot. It left me wondering about Russia and the way living there for several years changes people, for it most certainly does.
I recently listened to Word of Honor and was hoping for a story of the same caliber. I thought this book would come close but apparently I should have read more reviews. It starts off good and indeed Demille is an amazing writer but there was so much propaganda I had to keep reminding myself it was written during a time when the Russians really were considered totally evil and we just couldn't say enough bad things about them. It's kind of two dimensional in that respect but there was still information about Russian life that was interesting and informative. Sometimes I would almost laugh at Scott Brick's narration. I wonder to myself--Doesn't anyone edit this stuff?? There were several times when Mr. Brick tried to put so much feeling into his narration that he sounded like he was going to start to cry, usually when someone was on a rant about the morality of the west vs. the east.
But the thing that really disappointed me was the ending. It was almost like the writer's story was hijacked by his jealous brother who set out to completely sabotage the novel with a ridiculous ending that just went on and on. I didn't even finish the last 40 minutes of the story. I just didn't care what happened to any of them.
The last twenty per cent of the story pretty much ruined the story for me and left me wishing I had chosen another book.