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Up Country (Paul Brenner #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  10,170 ratings  ·  514 reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review

Nelson DeMille is a consummate storyteller whose wit, unstoppable narrative momentum, and edgy, sardonic authorial voice have won him legions of fans over his extensive career.

One of DeMille's most popular characters -- Paul Brenner, the brilliant, abrasive Army investigator first seen in The General's Daughter -- makes a welcome and long overd

Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Hachette Audio (first published January 1st 2002)
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This book was probably one of the most compelling representations of Vietnam I've ever been exposed to: the war, reflections on the war, and present-day - at least, when the main story takes place, in '97.

What I mean by that is that I developed a deeper understanding of the people, their tenacity, and various things that occurred during the war. I haven't changed my opinion that the Communist North should have been crushed like a bug (we could have done it, we just lacked the will - and the Sou...more
Not quite a terrible book but certainly not very good. I'm not even sure why I bothered to finish it, other than the fact that I read it while on vacation in Vietnam.

To begin with, hardly anything happened in the first 300 pages, other than Brenner's girlfriend smoking a lot. Why did he have to describe her everytime she lit up? At least he didn't bother us with descriptions of her trips to bathroom.

Secondly, there seemed to be some big gaps in logic. I'm still not sure why they hired the priva...more
Richard Small
Just finished reading Up Country by Nelson Demille for at least the third time. Enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it. If I can read a book three times and still feel it is as fresh and interesting as the first time I read it, then I believe the book deserves 5 stars.

If you are interested in gaining some insight into the Vietnam War, then this book will satisfy that desire. Demille, an officer who survived two deployments to Vietnam, offers clear and concise information about what...more
Tom Kjos
There was a story about novelist and Vietnam veteran Nelson DeMille in a recent issue of American Legion magazine. I was struck by the similarity between his Vietnam tour and my first one: to the 1st Cavalry Division in November 1967, battles in Bong Son, then north to Quang Tri for Tet, the relief of Khe Sanh, the A Shau Valley, finally back to “the world” a year later. A fraternity brother gave me the paperback just a week ago. Nelson DeMille seemed familiar, even though I’d not read any of hi...more
Andrew Smith
As a non-American, my knowledge if the Vietnam war was virtually nil. This book changed that significantly: it's not a chronological account of the battles but, as the story unfolds, it fulfils that role. It's set long after the war ended and features a veteran re-treading his steps as he carries out a mission on behalf of the military police. Anyone who has read The General's Daughter will recognise the lead character, Paul, Brenner.
The inspiration for the story was a post war visit made to Vi...more
One of my favorite characters, Paul Brenner, is back from one of my favorite authors. Having pissed off the brass in his last case, see The General's Daughter, Paul has been forcibly retired having pissed off a lot of brass His former boss, Colonel Helden, calls him up for a meeting at the Wall where he presents a most interesting proposal. They have a letter from a witness who says he say an army captain shot an army lieutenant in cold blood during the Tet offensive in Vietnam. The army wants t...more
Initially, this book can give the impression of being standard De Mille fare. Jack Brenner, by now retired military police investigator introduced to us in "General's Daughter", is being sent to Vietnam to investigate vague news about a murder committed in the middle of the Tet offensive 1968.

For those that know what kind of books De Mille usually writes, it would be easy to expect a story with twists and turns in the plot, with lots of action and one or two femme fatales in distress. And sure...more
I like Paul Brenner, but I prefer John Corey by far (from Plum Island, & The Lion's Game & Night Fall) due to the fact Paul Brenner can't seem to get past 3 paragraphs without having a 2 full-page Vietnam war flashback! Not to trivialize the war or whatever, but particularly the trip up to Quang Tri flashback section goes on way long to hold your interest. And yes, there's no less than 854 mentions of "Susan lighting up another cigarette again" references. We get it already! She's a smok...more
Good and bad, really. It was a great vehicle for a tour of Vietnam, past and present, and DeMille manages for the most part to keep up the pace over 650 pages - though an editor could have cut out a good quarter, in my opinion.

On the down side, he layers cliche up on cliche, and wrongly assumes that acknowledging the cliches by having the main character occasionally say things like "I felt like James Bond!" negated their predictability.

I was frustrated to once again encounter a strong, independ...more
Julie Whelan
Jan 19, 2014 Julie Whelan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julie by: Joanne Doucette
This is a page turner in the "James Bond" style starring a Vietnam veteran, Tom Brenner, now a retired investigator for the Army's Criminal Investigation Unit. Brenner is persuaded to return to Vietnam to help solve a murder that occurred decades earlier during the Tet Offensive. He meets and partners with a young American woman, Susan Weber, who appears to be a business executive for an American company with investments in Vietnam. Pursing them from Brenner's arrival in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon...more
The descriptions of the war, the land, and the people, as well as ties to actual history that I'd never learned about before (thanks to public school teachers who repeatedly spent too much time on the first two wars in American history and never got past 1945) saved this from being a boring book. The overall idea is interesting, but lacking for a thriller. Sure they get chased around and all that, but there could have been so many easier ways of accomplishing the end goal.

On top of that, the mai...more
A "5" for us boomers: truth, suspense, and sexual tension...

Nobody but a Vietnam War (in country) veteran could have written this book. Indeed, Nelson DeMille was an Army First Louie in 1968, a very troubled time for our country and the world. According to his web site, he returned for a nostalgic tour of Vietnam just a few years ago, and from that trip was hatched this book. Part travelogue, part intimate retrospective, it will probably hit home far harder for those of us over 50 than for thos...more
Mikey B.
This is vintage DeMille. There is abundant humour and plot resolution. It is really two stories.

One is a murder investigation which brings our protagonist to Vietnam. At that stage it also becomes a Vietnamese travelogue with many reminisces by our investigator of his Vietnam War years. This takes up at least one-third of the book with stirring flash-backs of the war.

Our investigator of course has a female accomplice as they both journey the length and breath of Vietnam. The different character...more
Not bad but could have been a lot better. Usual DeMille quality in atmosphere and dialogue. But--it takes a long time for anything to happen. Basically the first third of the book could have been cut drastically. Another problem I had was with the obnoxiousness of the main character. I realize that Brenner showed up in a previous book, which I have not read, but he is also very similar to the main character in the Gold Coast and Plum Island. That is, the typical DeMille main character is a tough...more
Dennis Timothy
I am a huge fan of Nelson DeMille. So when this book became available to me I couldn't wait to start reading it. It soon became apparent that this was a different sort of DeMille story. A reluctant Jack Brenner is returned to Vietnam twenty years later to investigate a murder that happened in 1968 during the Tet Offensive.

While there are the usual Demille plot twists, the action was pretty tame as compared to his earlier works. The author is a Vietnam War Veteran, who has returned to Vietnam hi...more
As a kid growing up during the Vietnam years, I remember seeing "body counts" on the nightly news. This book has a good story line, but the descriptions of Vietnam and the major battles during that time frame brought home what really went on over there.

I usually listen to Nelson DeMille books on audio because Scott Brick is such an amazing reader but this one I read on my Kindle.
Lee Ann
Paul Brenner called back into service and returns to Vietnam 30 years after two tours during the 60's and 70's. The story is strong and kept me reading, but the resolution left something to be desired, but understandable. I enjoyed this one, but often think DeMille uses many more words than necessary to tell the story.
مدلول الشمري
رواية مذهلة..إن أعالي البحار هي إحدى أفضل روايات دي ميل، ففيها يصارع برينر المشاعر الحقيقية لرفيقته سوزان وير وشعوره بالخيانة والخداع والندم انها أكثر من مجرد رواية مثيرة، انها رواية تعالج ببصيرة نافذة وأسلوب مؤثر ومرهف الحس ما فعلته الحرب ببلد وشعبه وأعدائه ... اوافق ما قيل عنها ولذلك أحببت ان يطابق شعوري الاقاويل
Carole Anderson
This book dragged a little. I kept waiting for more action. Having graduated from high school in 1968, I did find the Vietnam information interesting. And I was as much in the dark as Paul was during his investigation, so that was good. I kept reading, so guess that meant it was good.
My 2nd DeMille novel. And it was very action pack, the way I like them.
The main character, a former Vietnam War, Paul Brenner is a retired intelligence investigator. He must go back to kill ghosts from old wars. Still has boy meets girl and well you know,it is a DeMille book I like it
Donald Gallinger
Up Country is Nelson Demille's suspense thriller set in post-Vietnam. Full of exciting escapes and tense drama, Demille takes the reader on a dangerous adventure through a country teaming with ghosts from previous wars. Superbly researched. Brilliantly paced. A must read for DeMille fans.
Mitch Johnston
A very strong follow-up to The General's Daughter. In addition to a highly entertaining work of fiction, DeMille provides readers with a history lesson on Vietnam. A must read for fans of DeMille's John Corey series and The General's Daughter (Paul Brenner).
Nic D'Anna
I've read most of Nelson DeMille's books and this is the best. DeMille is a Vietnam Vet and it shows in this gripping tale of a vet returning to Nam to solve a murder mystery leftover from the war. Paul Brenner, the hero, is a re-occuring character in many of DeMille's novels. He's tough, no-nonsense, with a great sense of humor. His journey through Vietnam with a female accomplice who's more than she appears to be is fraught with danger and intrigue. And along the way Brenner struggles to come...more
This book is different than others written by DeMille as he actually served 2 tours in Vietnam and knows Vietnam & the War first-hand. The book is about a retired Criminal Investigative Division officer in the US Army who is asked to go back to Vietnam (as a tourist) to investigate a murder during the TET offensive in 1968 and travels the country from Saigon to Hanoi. Along the way he has to outwit not only the Vietnamese secret police but the US Government which has decided he "knows too mu...more
Maria Saylor
DeMille's best, I think.
“The dead, if they could speak, would tell you why they died, but the living have no answers”

“I make jokes when I’m stressed, and when I sense danger..”


After a gap of almost 4 months, I once again read a political thriller. The last one I had read was “Key to Rebecca” by Ken Follett. But, UP COUNTRY was nothing like it. Moreover, just like Key.., this one would also stay as one of my favourite books of all time.

The plot starts where ex-military CID, Paul Brenner is asked to return to...more
Denis Farley
Nice mystery set in Vietnam in 1968 around the time of the Tet Offensive.

This book was a gift. Having been sucked up into this maelstrom and led blindfolded to the brink of the precipice as a young provencial, I somehow with luck and a certain innate determination, avoided jumping over.

I suppose I turned the corner in bayonet training. I had been in better physical shape then 95% of my comrades, taking many firsts in physical events and competitions, including staff pugilism . . . but I had disc...more
Sridhar Babu
..Late 1n 1968 during the American war in Vietnam, near Quan Tri city an American soldier was murdered by fellow American Captain at that time, the murder was witnessed by an Viet-Cong soldier, he in turn writes a letter to his brother about the murder, and this letter was taken as a trophy by American soldier and after 30 years, the letter has been translated, and an viet vet, Paul Brenner sent to Vietnam as an undercover for investigating the murder..and later in his investigation Paul realize...more
I’ve had this on my bookshelf for some time; the person who gave it to me recommended it, since I had been to Vietnam. This is a sequel to Mr. DeMille’s book (also movie), The General’s Daughter, about Paul Brenner, military criminal investigator, looking into the murder of, you guessed it, the general’s daughter. In the process, he uncovers several layers of corruption and nasty behavior in high places, solving the murder but getting himself discharged from the Army.
Paul had been an infantry s...more
Since we are going to Vietnam in a few months, I wanted to read this book. It was recommended for its descriptive detail of various parts of the country within the context of a secret service thriller adventure.

Paul Breener, a former army homicide investigator, is a bit of a renegade who gets talked into a third trip back to Vietnam, this time as an undercover tourist to investigate a suspected U.S. military murder during war time Vietnam. His mission isn't entirely clear and is cloaked in secr...more
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Mansfield Public ...: Up Country Review by Julia Joseph 1 4 Aug 05, 2013 09:47AM  
Vietnam 7 47 Jan 29, 2012 07:41PM  
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an...more
More about Nelson DeMille...
The General's Daughter Plum Island The Charm School The Lion's Game (John Corey, #2) The Lion (John Corey, #5)

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“Most guys arrived here normal, and they were shocked and sickened by the behavior of the guys who'd been here a while. Then within a few weeks, they'd stop being shocked, and within a few months a lot of them joined the club of the crazies. And most of them, I think, went home and became normal again, though some didn't. But I never once saw anyone here who had gone around the bend ever return to normal while they were still here. It only got worse because in this environment they'd lost any sense of. . . humanity. Or you could be nice and say they'd become desensitized. It was actually more frightening than sickening. A guy who'd sliced off the ear of a VC he'd killed that morning would be joking with the village kids and the old Mama-sans that afternoon and handing out candy. I mean, they weren't evil or psychotic, we were normal, which is was really scared the hell out of me.” 8 likes
“Nostalgia is basically the ability to forget the things that sucked.” 6 likes
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