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The Charm School Audiobook

The Charm School

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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

4.3 (2533 )
5 star
 (1328)
4 star
 (852)
3 star
 (239)
2 star
 (78)
1 star
 (36)
Overall
4.4 (1688 )
5 star
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3 star
 (162)
2 star
 (42)
1 star
 (20)
Story
4.5 (1689 )
5 star
 (1110)
4 star
 (427)
3 star
 (98)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (21)
Performance
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  •  
    Dennis United States 01-31-13
    Dennis United States 01-31-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    114
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    54
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
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    Story
    "Not as boring as watching paint dry but close !"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone must enjoy the book because it has over 4 stars and I like the author, I have read other books by him and enjoyed them but this book just dragged on and on. I finally started to jump forward hoping for a change but finally gave up. If you are new to the author try another of his books.


    What was most disappointing about Nelson DeMille’s story?

    Not as slow as watching paint dry but not as exciting as watching wheat grow.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Scott Brick?

    Yes. Scott is excellent and I have listened to several books which he narrated. I wonder if he was as bored reading this book as I was listening to it ?


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene 01-21-13
    Charlene 01-21-13 Member Since 2002

    Toronto, Canada. Audible enthusiast since 2001.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flat characters, decent plot"

    There is no compelling reason to like either of the protagonists in this book, making it difficult to stick it out through the entire thing even though the plot was good. Lisa is so weak and dependent she is a disgrace to women, and Sam is the strong, silent type with no redeeming features. Overall, there are too many stereotypes in this book to make anything but the plot interesting. I listened to the end, but I kept hoping it would hurry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 01-15-13
    Jennifer 01-15-13

    jenrising

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Starts Slow, But Worth the Wait!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great spy novel with complex characters and unexpected plot turns. It's a long book but worth it!


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved Scott Brick's Russian accents - he sounded very authentic. His Southern accent is horrible though!! Scott, please don't attempt Southern again!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lea 01-02-13
    Lea 01-02-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "compelling read in post cold war era"
    What made the experience of listening to The Charm School the most enjoyable?

    Great development of characters, story line and interesting insight into soviet/American relations. Historic perspective on Moscow and surrounding countryside curious, also.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Allevi - the director of the CIA's operations at the embassy was favorite b/c he was always plotting and planning his next move and how to best protect the embassy personnel and the budding soviet american relations.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither, but it did make me want to finish it.


    Any additional comments?

    Nelson DeMille's books always contain just enough grains of truth to make me speculate where the truth stops and the story line begins. This book is a couple years old, and reflects the times and diplomatic relations between the US and Russia at that time, but the possibility of such a Charm School existing and working today is chilling and very frightening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James CHANDLER, AZ, United States 12-26-12
    James CHANDLER, AZ, United States 12-26-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Very well written but very loooong!"

    This is a well written novel that provides a lot of background on what it's like to live in Russia in the 1980's. The author clearly did his homework as he appears to know the Russian people and culture very well. The problem I have with this book, is it's far too long. There are many many chapters that the book could do without but I'm sure the author would chalk them up to character building. I'm still listening to it and towards the end it's gotten a bit more exciting and tense but the middle of the book is rather boring. Nelson seems to revel in describing things in intricate detail that are just not necessary to the story. Besides all that, a good story and again, very well written. If there's an abridged version, I'd have to recommend that; however.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck 12-23-12
    Chuck 12-23-12 Member Since 2011

    Gadget Freak

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    6
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    0
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    Story
    "Good story, poor narrator"

    I liked the story, despite its overall gloomy nature. Sadly, the narration I found to be sub-par. OK - the Russian accents and phrases did SOUND Russian. But the two main protaganists (male and female) were almost indistinguishable, as were pretty much all of the Russians. The two main CIA characters also sounded an awful lot alike, with painful, NY-type accents. Made extended conversation maddeningly difficult to follow. Wish it could have been a better listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gimme some sugar 12-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    266
    21
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book is read too slowly"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    yes - if they aren't listening to it but are reading it


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader has a great voice however this story is read in slow motion.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 12-18-12
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 12-18-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    241
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    156
    153
    FOLLOWERS
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    15
    3
    Overall
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    Story
    "Good overall"

    I really enjoyed the first two thirds and the fact that the author weaves a lot of background and details into the narrative I enjoyed. I like a book that does that, that isn't only action oriented. One gets a unique view of the Soviet Union before its end in this book. Somehow in the last third it seemed to be slow, but it could have been me. The plot was intriguing, almost 'alt history'...unless it did happen, of course......and would we know if it had? I will probably read other Nelson DeMille (this was my first), but not right away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 12-05-12
    Charles 12-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would (and have) recommend this book. I enjoyed the depth of the story, characters, and learning about US / Russian relations and Russian culture, all while being entertained.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story has many unexpected twists and turns, and is very clever.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zara Altair Portland, OR, United States 12-01-12
    Zara Altair Portland, OR, United States 12-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    19
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    0
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    "An all-time favorite."

    Scott Brick does a marvelous job of reading. This story, even though from another time, is a great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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