here's the deal with demille: he's a very mediocre writer but he's more compelling when he writes about the vietnam war, as he does in this book (and others). the story here isn't all that interesting or intriguing, and it certainly could be told in fewer than 860 pages. but the story did hold some worthwhile points about war and about the long lasting effects it has, for the countries involved and also the individuals.my real problem with demille is that he's a sexist and has no idea that he is. it seems to me that he'd probably be offended by my writing that, because he'd never identify that way, and because he doesn't think he's sexist, he thinks that that gives him the allowance to write sexist things for the sake of humor. (newsflash - racist and sexist things aren't funny, mr. demille.) it's so insidious because his sexism is most likely being read by millions of men (his books are often on the bestseller lists) who also don't think he's sexist. and his books are full of sexist, and sometimes racist, comments made by self-identified chivalrous men who somehow manage to consistently charm younger, attractive women.two examples (notice the pristine writing):at the end of a massage given at the hotel he was staying in:"Finally she turned me over on my back and somehow I'd lost my towel. She was kneeling between my legs, and she pointed to a place she hadn't massaged yet. I had a feeling the shiatsu part of the massage was over.She said, 'Ten dollar - okay?''Uhhh...'She smiled and nodded encouragingly. 'Yes?'Give this hotel another star."(now, his character is a moral, non-sexist guy so he didn't take the lady up on this, but he still finds it acceptable to make that comment.)and the other:"Colonel Mang regarded Susan a moment, wondering, I'm sure, why a woman was answering for a man. This country was so sexist, I might like it here."i'd love to sit down with this guy and explain a few things.