I have had this audio book since 2009 and finally made myself listen to it. I now ask myself why I waited so long. DeMille has always been a favorite author, my favorite (until now) was The General???s Daughter.
This is no short listen .. some 28 hours of which I had a hard timeshutting off. The story take place some 18 years after Ben Tyson has returned from Vietnam, a man with a comfortable job in NY, a family out in the 'burbs and a sense of honor. Someone has written a bestselling book about the carnage at Hue. The author's two witnesses have made Ben Tyson the guilty party of allowing his platoon to massacre all in a French hospital during the war ??? now the government plans to make him their scape goat. DeMille slowly builds the anxiety with Tyson???s wife, his lawyer, his reunions with his men, the author and finally the court-martial trial.
As far as narration ??? Scott Brick does a superb job.
Toni in TN
I love Nelson DeMille's novels and this one is another good one.. But, I think I need to warn you, be prepared to not be very fond of the "hero" in this book... It's a different sort of DeMille book in that way.. I came of age during the Vietnam War and so I loved all the details in this novel, and except for the point mentioned above I loved the book and as usual, the Scott Brick narration was terrific... I sure hope Scott gets paid enough for what he does because, as far as I'm concerned, he is the BEST!!
Although I truly enjoy most of the books written by Nelson DeMille, and Scott Brick is one of my favourite readers, I found that the book really dragged in the middle. I should have paid more attention to the review that stated he had more information than he needed concerning military courtroom procedure. After all, 28 hours of a book, unless it is a gripper, can prove to be boring as this one did.
It is as if Nelson DeMille straddles two different worlds of popular fiction; that of wry thrillers with it's nose in today's news and it's tongue getting ever so cautiously close to cheek, and that of emotional and wrenching individual stories based on Viet Nam. This book is mostly the latter with a dash here and there of DeMille's wisecracking heroes which perfectly breaks what might otherwise be continual tension and heartache. DeMille served in Viet Nam and his characters, places, events, and all that went with that horrible time rings solid and true. This book mostly takes place in the present, the mid-80's when this book was written, and flashes back several times to the battle for Hue to relieve the anguish of that time and it's effect on the present. Ben Tyson was a lieutenant in Viet Nam who may have participated in a massacre and in the present, as a civilian, the Army is trying to prosecute Tyson. You see it all as Tyson saw it then and now and in neither case does he, or the reader, want to be there, but you are stuck for the duration and you cannot put it down. This is a remarkable book where nearly all of the scenes set in the present are lengthy, two character dialogues. It sounds tedious but it is not by any means. It is engrossing, intelligent, mysterious, and a window into things that are very much still with us as we send our citizens into more wars that they would not want to do over.
This is an outstanding piece of work and one that is highly recommended.
I like Demille. I think he is a great author and a wonderfully imaginative story teller. Unfortunately with this book I felt that he never hit his stride.
This is my first time writing opinion about significance of written and read books. Please, read/listen this book to the end. Thank you, Mr. DeMille, for knowing characters so well. Great reading by Mr. Brick!
I have never met a Nelson DeMille book that I haven't liked and the record continues. This book is outstanding. Maybe because of my age (late 50's), a story about Vietnam really grabbed me. This book is long, but very intense, one of those books that you can't stop listening to once you get into it. I suppose maybe a shortened version would be good for people who don't want to listen to 30 hours of a story, but for me it was really excellent.
This was THE audiobook that I just did not want to end! I have listened to literally hundreds of books over the years, and this is up there with the all time best maybe THE best. I will admit that I have enjoyed just about everything DeMille has written (except some airline pilot story), and I think Scott Brick is the audiobook version of Sinatra. But this was a magnificent listen, I found myself avoiding my weeken golf game to listen, taking extra time riding to work and even taking long lunches just get get a few more minutes of it. I rate this up there with Demille's best!
DeMille is one of my favorite authors. He demonstrates the breadth of his skills in this book. It's an engaging story with several characters very well developed. That requires an interest in people and the Viet Name era. There are many lives that were affected by this "war". This story tells about some of them.