The characters are well developed, the historical data is probably very accurate, his overrall knowledge of the spy business seems well researched, and his speculation of how and why events may have occured during the cold war, was at times very creative. But I personally, could not stay focused for 35 of 40 anticlimatic hours. Unless you're in the CIA, or a person who just plain enjoys long, long stories, you're better off waiting for the abridged version. He would have been better off creating a series of 4 stories, each with their own climax, while baiting us to impatiently anticipate the next release at $20 per release, rather than giving it to us all in one shot for $70.00.
This book has to go on my all time greats list. It is long, but not once did I lose interest even slightly. I would have loved to have another 40 hours after it was finished. It is virtually impossible to believe the stories are fiction. The author pulls you in and never releases his hold. The main characters are absolutely fully developed and weaved effortlessly into each strand.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
The Company, released in 2002, is the only Robert Littell novel in my Audible library. At more than 41 hours in length The Company could easily been more than one novel. It is the fictionalized story of the history of the CIA. The audiobook is riveting! Scott Brick narrates.
This is the best audio book I have ever listened to. I have listened to several fiction and non-fiction books but none of them come close to being as captivating as this one. When I tell my friends about this book I describe it as one of the best historical fiction books ever authored.
This book was an exceptional "history" of the CIA. I don't know how much is factual, but having been born in the early '50s I lived through most of the time and events and this book's story has the ring of plausability. I enjoyed it very much. My only complaint, and just a small one, is that it took a long time to get through. I judge a great book by how dissapointed I am when a great story comes to an end. While I was engrossed in the story, I also started to feel like a Marathoner at the 20th mile...exhausted. The scope is grand and the personalities built in the book are great. The narration is above average. I recommend the book, but don't be surprised if you need a few breaks along the way.
Loyal member since 1998
This book transported me into the story. Not many books are so compelling as to mesmerize a listner to such an extent. Of course the brilliant reading by Scott Brick helps. Brick does an outstanding job of bringing the characters to life. But back to Littels. The span of the story is just amazing. Covering half a century of the CIA's history must have been difficult. Littell makes it seem easy. Nearly all the major victory's and defeats of the spy agency are included. What a fascinating look inside spook work. I feel so strongly about the quality of this book, that I beg you to listen to it.
This is an excellent book that transfers perfectly to an audio format. It never seemed too long, but kept the listener engaged to the very end. Highest recommendation.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
One of the great cold-war, spy novel epics. Belongs on the shelf next to le Carré's Karla Trilogy: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy / The Honourable Schoolboy / Smiley's People and Mailer's Harlot's Ghost.
I wouldn't say that I am an expert in the genre of spy fiction. I have read some le Carre and Clancy but I've read nowhere near enough to count myself as a master critic.
That being said, "The Company" is a great novel, whatever genre you wish to place it in. It is a wholly reasonable picture of what the life of a Cold War C.I.A. agent must have been like. There are no great sexual escapades like those in an Ian Fleming novel. The agents here simply do their duty without hope of public glory.
Whether or not you feel the spy genre worthy of your credit, this is a novel that transcends genre and is well worth the money. And at 40 hours you get a lot of bang for your buck.
From 4/12/15 on, I will only rate a book 5 stars if it so good I will listen to it again. To date, the Bino series tops that list.
This is one book I make sure to revisit once a year. I love all the characters and especially the mystery. Really well done!