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The Charm School | [Nelson DeMille]

The Charm School

Something very strange -- and sinister -- is going on in the Russian woods at Borodino. In a place called Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School, young KGB agents are being taught by American POW's how to be model citizens of the USA. The Soviet goal -- to infiltrate the United States undetected. When an unsuspecting American tourist stumbles upon this secret, he sets in motion a CIA investigation that will reveal horrifying police state savagery and superpower treachery.
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Publisher's Summary

Something very strange -- and sinister -- is going on in the Russian woods at Borodino. In a place called Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School, young KGB agents are being taught by American POW's how to be model citizens of the USA. The Soviet goal -- to infiltrate the United States undetected.

When an unsuspecting American tourist stumbles upon this secret, he sets in motion a CIA investigation that will reveal horrifying police state savagery and superpower treachery.

©1999 Nelson DeMille; (P)2009 Hachette

What the Critics Say

"Riveting." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1759 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alan NEW ROCHELLE, NY, United States 05-07-10
    Alan NEW ROCHELLE, NY, United States 05-07-10 Member Since 2015
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    16
    4
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    "Sometimes less than charming"

    A superbly read book, but not, unfortunately, one of DeMille's best. The constantly repeated political message(s)inherent within the book are so heavy handed as to become almost laughable. Nonetheless, the book does make for a good listen though I could have done very nicely without some of the often overlong and unnecessary (my opinion) bits of philosophy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Stillwater, MN, United States 03-28-10
    Ray Stillwater, MN, United States 03-28-10 Member Since 2011
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    "Pure Brilliance!"

    I've listened to over 200 books downloaded from Audible, and I would have to say that this is one of the best, from one of the best authors and one of the best narrators. Extremely well written by Mr. DeMille, it kept me riveted until the very end. With Scott Brick reading, you will always know who is talking. His differentiation of characters is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Smithers 03-14-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juvenile lead character"

    I have listened to several of DeMille's books including The Lion's Game, Up Country and Nightfall, all read by Scott Brick. Here's my problem: The plots are pretty good. The pacing is okay. Sometimes the story is even believable. But the lead character in EVERY book is a jerk. He is sarcastic, juvenile, irritating and unnecessarily hostile to anyone he (always a male) disagrees with, even when that person has the power to make his life miserable. He chooses always to make the character undisciplined, rude and insubordinate. Scott Brick is a superb reader, and I normally enjoy his work. When he reads DeMille, however, he does a great job of accentuating these negative character traits. This makes listening to the book even worse. I swore I'd never listen to another DeMille book after I couldn't finish The Lion's Game. But I guess I weakened. Too bad. This time I quit before it was half over. If DeMille ever grows up enough to write about an adult instead of a spoiled child in a man's body, I'll happily read another book. He's actually a pretty good author except for this little peccadillo.

    8 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas San Jose, CA, United States 02-10-10
    Thomas San Jose, CA, United States 02-10-10 Member Since 2013
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    "Too much Russia with love too little action"

    I did not like the book because it was 90% on a once a time Russia, too much moral discussions and relationships and too little action 10%. I skipped often a couple minutes of on and on going dialogues and did not miss anything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Js Banks 01-25-10
    Js Banks 01-25-10
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    "Our Heroes?"

    Our hero shows his moral center by being oh so miffed at truly terrible things done by the U.S.for about... two or three pages. It isn't that I don't believe the CIA has lost its moral compass, it is just that I am sick of having my nose rubbed in it. The author also completely undercuts his action scenes when his characters have long and heart-felt moral explorations of life, love, and politics with the bullets chewing up their shelter. I just did like our believe in our "heroes". A morally exhausting work.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felton Emory, TX, United States 12-17-09
    Felton Emory, TX, United States 12-17-09 Member Since 2012
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    "Wow, What a Story"

    A great story and very well told by DeMille.This was definitely a "couldn't put down" for me. Although some of Demille's other books were dreary with excessive adjetives to describe each scene or event, I didn't find that to be the case in this book. This is a must read. One of DeMille's best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alfredo Dallas, TX, United States 12-17-09
    Alfredo Dallas, TX, United States 12-17-09 Member Since 2014
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    "Alfredo"

    Great book. I enjoyed it very much. Nelson De Mille does a great job describing all situations, and keeps a good level of suspense all through.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert E. Scarcelle 11-24-09 Member Since 2015
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    "Good Not Great"

    I am a big DeMille fan and a huge fan of books that are longer. That being said this book was too long, too much detail. If you want to gain insight to pre-democratic Russia this book is for you, but I felt it was more about the people, culture, land, etc... than the story of captured MIAs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Vosselaar, Belgium 10-26-09
    Robert Vosselaar, Belgium 10-26-09 Member Since 2014
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    "Certainly not Nelson DeMille's best"

    Although I am a fan of Nelson DeMille, I didn't finish this one. Too slow, too much patriottisme against a bad KGB.It reminds me of the story behind Rambo and some Chuck Norris movies. Sorry Nelson.
    As always, Scott Brick does a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett CAMARILLO, CA, United States 05-25-13
    Everett CAMARILLO, CA, United States 05-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    "I like Scott Brick"
    Would you listen to The Charm School again? Why?

    No.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Nelson DeMille? Why or why not?

    I have read of few of his books. This is the first one I have listened to.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Brings back the old Russia with a story you can believe.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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