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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 (1651 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    Char Omaha, NE, United States 11-07-09
    Char Omaha, NE, United States 11-07-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredibly Good"

    I have read at least 200 books in the last couple of years and mostly murder mysteries. This book falls into that category but also a great history lesson with Russia in years past and possibly present. It is fiction, but truly possible. Maybe the Charm School itself is not truly realistic but it doesn't matter. This was a book that made me want to call in sick from work and just get into it until the end. It is not a happy book and not totally a happy ending but it is a glimpse of a piece of our history with Russia that certainly could have happened and in other ways, probably did. I consider this book one of two that I have read that I consider the best I've ever listened to. The other book of this caliber is "Black Cross" by Greg Iles. Do not miss this one either. I love murder mysteries with cops and robbers and all of that but these are truly special and not to be missed. I will definitely read this book and Black Cross again in the future. They are both astounding in my estimation.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 07-22-12
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 07-22-12 Member Since 2007

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Creepy. And terrific."

    This is a bit like "The Truman Show" mixed in with espionage and the KGB. The premise is plausible and that's what makes it SO terrifying. Of course there are some unbelievable events - that's fiction for you - but listening to this now reminded me of the fear we all had of the Russians back when I was a kid.

    I never really knew how this would go and that's what I like about DeMille as an author. His books are just as good today as they are when they were new. This is a good, long listen.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xavier Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-05-11
    Xavier Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love to predict plot? Forget it! What a thriller!!"

    This book does not insult the intelligence. It feeds thrills upon thrills of unexpected plot twist and turns. I lost so many hours of sleep because I could not turn off my bedside compact audio book player tuned for 30 min and then sleep. I kept resetting it for another 30 min....and then another 30 minutes...and then...heck, I was so stimulated I could not sleep and had to take a sleep aid if I wanted 6.5 hours sleep before work. Nelson Demille has created a true fan in me. Just get this book. It is one of the best I have read in 60 years, to include 4.5 years as a USMC officer. Love spy craft? This is a fine read.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinne Washington, DC, United States 11-26-09
    Corinne Washington, DC, United States 11-26-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gripping and disturbing"

    Very very gripping. Scott Brick's reading is superb. He imitates accents and inflections really well. While I know the book is fiction. It's also feasible at least by analogy and in that disturbing.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn J. Sickler Orlando, FL 12-12-09
    Evelyn J. Sickler Orlando, FL 12-12-09

    cindersmom

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    "Long But Worth The Time"

    DeMille has a talent of making me laugh even in the most outrageous circumstances. This was a very different setting than the typical DeMille books, but I found it to be very informative and entertaining. No matter what the subject matter, his dry humor and wit make his books interesting plus this one adds a history lesson. A little long and rambling in some spots, but easy to overlook if you just enjoy the story rather than analyze the circumstances behind it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy RarotongaCook Islands 10-18-09
    Dorothy RarotongaCook Islands 10-18-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Charm School"

    This is the best Audio Book I have listened to since joining many years ago. Scott Brick's naration is superb.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Eileen Surprise, AZ, USA 11-16-09
    Mary Eileen Surprise, AZ, USA 11-16-09
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    "Really Chilling Book"

    I almost passed on this book. I could not see how
    this supposed 'thriller' could be related to a 'Charm School'. Wow! Was I ever wrong.
    The detailed description of the Country was so thorough I felt as though I were on a tour.
    I love this author. Mr. Brick did a yeoman's job
    The last quarter of the story was totally unexpected.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marietta 10-20-09
    Marietta 10-20-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Superb"

    I have listened to 2-3 books per month for 3 years. This is a top 5, for sure. I am going back to see what other Nelson DeMille books I will download next!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Naknek, AK, USA 11-28-09
    Tom Naknek, AK, USA 11-28-09
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    "Scott Brick"

    I know a lot of you love Scott Brick as a narrator, and I will give him credit for his Russian. That being said, I find his sing-song narrating obnoxious. There! I said it!

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca VERNON, CT, United States 11-02-09
    Rebecca VERNON, CT, United States 11-02-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started off great but...."

    I have listened to all of Nelson DeMille's books that audible has and I've read others in print. I have to say, this book had real potential and then went absolutely nowhere. This is the first book I've actually fast forwarded through. Also, I used to love listening to Scott Brick but he's really wearing on me. Far too dramatic. There were times where he may have been reading a non-dramatic sentence but read it with such thrust and drama that I was becoming annoyed.

    This book could have been cut in half and it might have been better. The xenophobia was over the top in this one. Bad, bad Russia -- enough already! We get it! Overall, I was very disappointed.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
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