I am normally a fan of Demille, some of his other novels are slick, first rate stories. With Up Country he's packed a 6 hour novella into a 28 hour waste of time. I kept looking at the time remaining on my iPod hoping this never ending story was about too. Paul Brenner, the main character, is so snide, sarcastic and cynical as to be unbelieveable. Scott Bricks narration is right on. Brick can bring the written word to life. Sometimes he's a little over the top but with Up Country does as well as he can with the material given. If you want to experience one of Demille's better works get Night Fall, it's supurb.
This is a long book to get through but worth it in the end. Demille is a great writer and sticks to his story line. He has a great character who is not Politically Correct, which in today's world, is refreshing. Things you like to say, his characters say for you.
I loved the characters, I loved the history and I found Paul Brenner's emotional journey and reconciliation heartfelt and very genuine. I was continually entertained, mesmerized by his words, and educated as well. I looked forward to the end but miss having it to listen to as I walk my dogs. The book and Scott Brick's narration are a perfect union.
I tried to get through this because I am a devoted Demille fan. I finally gave up 3/4 of the way through. If you're looking for a commentary and description of how horrible the Vietnam War was, this is your book. I understand how many of our men returned from that war scarred for life, but I purchased this book to listen to a fiction novel. The story line is weak, characters not even believable. I gave it 2 stars because it is a great book on the utter devastation the war resulted in phsically and emotionally.
I loved this book. It was interesting and so unpredictable. It's been awhile since I listened to it so I'll probably do it a second time. I graduated in 1968 and so stories about SEA may more suited to my demographic than someone didn't go there during that time.
I finally finished this thing, and am kicking myself for wading through it. I am a fan of DeMille, and especially Scott Brick, but this is a dog. There is actually a 50 minute section where he is driving between two remote points on limited gas, and constantly worrying and calculating the whole way whether he'll run out, with no danger if he does! I like the crusty wisecracking character, Paul, but wonder if DeMille is writing himself into a character that is irresistable to stunningly hot babes 25 years younger than himself!?? Seems to be a recurring theme.. This is basically a travelogue through modern Vietnam, and a vet's memories. This should honestly be abridged to 6 hours..I echo the new title "Paid by the Word!"
This is a must for those who know very little about our involvement in North/South Korea. Very good mystery that occasionally drug out a little more than I would have liked. For the most part, I found it hard to turn off and spent several extra hours in my auto waiting for a good pausing spot. Similiarities with his other books but still unique in the story line.
I have read all of DeMille's books and they are all great. If you have not read any of his books, I suggest you start with "Night Fall"
I may not even finish this book. I'm very disappointed because I love DeMille... usually a sure bet. But this book is taking forever to develop, with very little suspense or investment of my concern for the protagonists. I feel like this book should be subtitled "Paid by the Word". I have only reluctantly given it more than one star because he puts together an occasional scene that resonates.... but really it is only a one and a half at best. Long long .... I'll come back if it turns around, but I think you could start halfway through and not miss a thing.
I have relistened to this book several times and think of it as the best book I have bought in several years. Great story and I especially enjoy Brick as the reader. The writer painted the scenes in my mind so clearly that I will never enjoy it as a movie. I felt as if I were there.