©1999 Nelson DeMille; (P)2009 Hachette
"Long before the John Travolta film of The General's Daughter...Nelson DeMille's seventh mystery was the breakout hit of his career. The rapid-fire dialogue and scenes are cinematic, and the storytelling puts most movies to shame....This is one racy read, and it crackles with authenticity. DeMille is a Vietnam veteran who does for military justice what John Grisham does for civilians." (Amazon.com review)
Having been disappointed by some of the more recent DeMille books, I decided to listen to this one, in spite of having read it at least twice since it was published in 1992. I didn't see the 1999 film, but picking this one to listen to was one of my best ideas, ever. It's an amazing story, start to finish -- gripping and tense, but still funny, especially when DeMille's trademark smart-ass protagonist cuts loose. Just a great book.
It's always funny how differently a book comes off when you read it yourself, as compared to having it read to you by someone as excellent as Scott Brick. For this one, I knew 'who done it', I even knew why. And yet there was simply no good place to stop listening -- ever. This was one of those books where I kept manufacturing manual tasks so I could keep on listening.
The General's Daughter is a far more complex book than just "a murder mystery", as DeMille writes in a long and interesting foreword to this edition. As I was listening, I kept thinking that I wished I had a book club to discuss this one with -- there are so many issues, so many aspects of this tale that deserve discussion, that I longed for another reader to share ideas with.
As just one aspect of the story, the book deals with the integration of women into the armed services, not just as file clerks and secretaries, but equal to men in job assignments. DeMille makes the point in his introduction that he's all in favor of such equality in the military, but the book paints a slightly different picture -- or seems to. Even though I spent time as a Women Marine, I'm not at all as sure as DeMille is, that full equality for women across the board, including on the battlefield, is such a great idea. Men and women ARE different, in spite of a trend today to insist that they are not. Whether those differences can be sublimated so that they can easily serve together under battlefield conditions, is open to question -- at least in my mind. This isn't a battlefield book, but one of the plot elements still raises these questions.
The General's Daughter is a multi-layered tale - you can listen to it and enjoy nothing more than the uncovering of the murderer's identity, the why's and how's the very clever deed was accomplished. Or you can allow yourself to delve into many of the deeper issues the book raises. Whatever, it's not to be missed.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Nelson DeMille has been writing novels under his name and various pen names for over 40 years. He remains very active with the wonderful John Corey series. As I look back at DeMille stand alone books I have read, The General's Daughter stands out as my personal favorite. There is not a lot of action or suspense, but it is a sad and poignant mystery very well told. The book was originally published in 1992 and the movie version starring John Travolta and Madereine Stowe was released in 1999. The movie is not as good as the book. I purchased the Audible version when it was released in 2009. As a bonus, the story is told as only he can by narrator Scott Brick.
The main character in The General's Daughter is US Army CID investigator Paul Brenner. Brenner also appears as main character in DeMille's Upcountry as well as a relatively minor character in The Panther (Book 6 in the John Corey series).
The General's Daughter is set on a US Army Base where the general in charge of the base has a West Point grad and rising star daughter also on the base. The daughter is found dead on the base in some very unusual, indeed unique, circumstances. As I wrote above the story is very sad and the mystery great.
I highly recommend this novel! It is among DeMille's best.
First book I've listed to after seeing the movie. Both were enjoyable. Scott Brick was great as always and having background into the making of the movie cleared up some discrepancies between the two. Easily stands on its own though.
as a big demille / brick fan; this is a combo that can't be missed;
Brick does john corey/paul brenner perfectly, so this comes highly recommended
Although the book was well written in the classic DeMille style, I though the sexual escapades of Ann Campbell were way too graphic and could have been toned down. DeMille writes great supense and I have enjoyed all of his books until now. It was difficult to stay with this one to find out just 'who done it' and I have to admit I hurried though some of the more smutty portions to get to that point. I am a solid Scott Brick fan but this time I did not think Mr Brick did the voices of some of the male characters well at all. Most of the Officers voices sounded way to 'Fluffy' instead of the usual clipped voice of a man used to giving orders.
Fine book, not DeMille's best, not the worst.
Why, oh why it has to be precedeed by 23 minutes of DeMille's advertisement for the movie?
Sorry, but now my most vivid recollection from listening to the book is the annoyance of having to listen through 20+ minutes of the shameless self-promotion.
PLEASE REMOVE THAT. And fix the 3rd download part - you have 5 hours long Audible chapter that is a duplicate of the following chanpters.
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 14-year-old daughter.
I kept waiting for a twist or turn during the last third of this listen but it was never to be. Sometimes authors give us too many twists and turns. I think DeMille was guilty of just the opposite here. What saved this book were great characters and great interaction between and among these characters. I especially liked the way DeMille played the relationship between Brenner and Sunhill. Two strong characters who played the game to a draw. Scott Brick did a fair job with the narration. I think with a book of this length he would have done himself and his listeners a favor by picking up the pace just a tad. This is the third DeMille book I've listened to (The Gold Coast and The Gate House were the others). I'd listen to a fourth.
I liked the forward by DeMille about the movie adaptation of his novel. It was fascinating to get a candid perspective from the author about how his book was being translated to the silver screen... I'm also a big fan of Scott Brick's narrations --- but he seems to have a special connection and comfort level with Demille's writing style... I've listened to all of the DeMIlle/Brick collaborations and everyone is very entertaining.
DeMille fans will not be disappointed. Hits hard and fast and the suspense never let's up. One of those where you'll wish you had a few more miles to go on order to see what happens next. Truly entertaining and thought provoking.
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