A well read woman is a dangerous creature.
This is a book I keep coming back to periodically. I find something new to enjoy every time. Nelson DeMille is an author who merits the purchase of any of his titles. The combination of the author and Scott Brick's always excellent narration merits 5 stars, easily.
There is plenty of detail as well as action which keeps the story moving along.
Paul Brenner is equal parts profound and clever and funny which adds up to a character you want to spend more time with. After listening to the audio book I immediately went and bought the hard copy because I wanted to catch any part of it I might have missed.
This is a book you will find yourself going back to time and again with the feeling that you are looking in on an old friend.
Mr. DeMille has written one of the best, if not the best, fiction work I have read. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but since I bought this Audible book in 2004, I've listened to it four times before -- and before that, I read it twice. Makes it seems as though I'm either stuck in a rut, or lacking in imagination, but the truth is, this is one of the best fiction books ever written. I never get tired of it. And right now, I'm going through a rough patch -- a death in the family and upheaval all around -- and I needed a book that would hold my attention absolutely, I knew it was time for 'Up Country' again. It never disappoints.
Whoever came up with that old saying, 'if you want to know the truth, you have to read fiction' must have been thinking of "Up Country". For all of us who remember Vietnam, this is the perfect exegesis. I wasn't there myself, but I can still offer a list of friends who went and never came back -- and among those who did come back, who were changed forever.
'Up Country' puts the horror of that senseless war into context, without, believe it or not, being too grim about it. Oh, the book is a thriller, alright, plenty of white knuckle moments, but lots of humorous ones, too.
But maybe the best part -- probably the reason I read it again and again -- is that scattered throughout, are the little bits of pithy commentary and common sense wisdom Nelson DeMille drops in. Like in a Vietnam bar scene, where protagonist Paul Brenner is meeting with the mysterious expat, Susan Weber: Susan has spent the last decade or so in Vietnam, which makes Paul wonder why: Why would someone choose to live outside the US? What's the attraction? And Susan goes on to explain. You'll have to listen to the book to hear what she says, but I can tell you this: Twice in my life I've lived as an expat, first in Mexico back in the mid-1960's, then, for the last dozen years, in Israel. Her explanation -- which is to say DeMille's explanation -- is the best summary I've ever seen as to why any of us do it, what it is in our personalities that makes us choose to live outside the US, and what it is we like about it. What DeMille presents is a phenomenal piece of psychology -- and in this, I know personally that he's right on the mark.
As he is about Vietnam -- the noble goals, the bitterness of frustration, the heartbreaking impacts on everyone involved, American, British, French and most certainly the Vietnamese people themselves. It's a remarkable display of human nature in these pages, with every one of the very diverse characters coming fully alive, believable as is possible.
The narration is superb. This is Scott Brick before he became Scott Brick -- which is to say, his narration here is far superior to that of his more recent books, where -- in my opinion -- he overacts to a fault, imbuing way too many words with far too much meaning. This is a straight reading of the book -- not flat, so that Brenner's one-liners don't hit home, just not so exaggerated as to be annoying.
So this is listen #5 -- even so, I know it won't be the last. This is a great book. Period.
Everything about this audio book is great. Well written, excellent content and background, great story, incredible narration.
It gave great insight to what the American involvement in Viet Nam did to it's people and land. I've listened to over 200 books and find this to be one of the best I've listened to.
This was a long, can't put it down, audio book. This isn't a war book but a book that gives you a look back at the bloody viscious war and a contrasted look at modern Viet Nam. The book makes you want to go and see the place for yourself.
You'll enjoy this book and I highly recommend it!
A most outstanding work. The history is extraordinary. The story is addictive. The reading by Scott Brick, (who is the best), is memorable. This one will keep you up nights, especially if you lived through the Nam era. This work is my very favorite of all contemporary books to date. This one is worthy of several "listens".
I didn't want to stop listening to this book. I found it very interesting. Yes, the mission was obviously contrived by DeMille as an excuse to both journey back to the Vietnam experience and show Vietnam today. But it was well done all the same. The reader, who did a great job in "The Company", gives another first class performance here. I recommend this book.
I listened to this book after spending three weeks in Vietnam on vacation. I felt as if I were back on Vacation. The description of the country was fantastic. For anybody who wants to know what modern Vietnam is like, pick up this audiobook.
This story of Paul Brenner's return to Vietnam was one of the best audiobooks that I have ever listened to. The storyline and Scott Brick's naration absolutely held me spell bound.
A well done look into modern Vietnam and how it is still haunted by the past. As a big DeMille fan though, I'd expect a little faster pace. Love the Paul Brenner character (similar to his John Corey) and very well read as always by Scott Brick. Agree with other reviews that it could be faster and more varied. Best if you're wanting a little modern history lesson than the normal cleverness of DeMille's story development.