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The Company: A Novel of the CIA | [Robert Littell]

The Company: A Novel of the CIA

"If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Think of Mario Puzo doing a spy novel and you get a sense of the scope Littell achieves. Spanning over 40 years of CIA history, The Company is a multi-generational saga of men and women trying to do right in a world where deceit is a tool of the trade. Narrator-extraordinaire Scott Brick gives individuality to a large cast of characters, keeping the listener connected to them from The Bay of Pigs to the Reagan White House. (Ed Walloga)

Publisher's Summary

Crisis constantly lurks around the corner, monitored by spies who are always with us. In his career-capping thirteenth novel, master of the espionage thriller Robert Littell has crafted a breathtaking story of the legendary CIA - "The Company" to insiders.

At its heart lies a spectacular mole hunt involving the CIA, MI6, KGB and Mossad - a stunningly conceived trip down the rabbit hole to the labyrinthine Alice-in-Wonderland world of espionage, "a wood where things have no names."

Racing across a landscape spanning the legendary Berlin Base of the 1950s - the front line of the simmering Cold War - the Soviet invasion of Hungary, the Bay of Pigs, Afghanistan, and the Gorbachev putsch, The Company tells the thrilling story of agents imprisoned in double lives, fighting an enemy that is amoral, elusive, and formidable. It also lays bare the internecine warfare within the company itself, adding another dimension to the spy vs. spy game.

©2013 Robert Littell (P)2013 Phoenix Audio

What the Critics Say

"If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel, he should have." (Tom Clancy, author of Patriot Games) "If le Carre is the Joyce of spy novelists, Littell is the Dickens." (Booklist, starred review). "An epic tale...peopled by heroes and villains who seem almost mythological in retrospect...Keeps you riveted." (Nelson DeMille, author of Up Country)
"Destined to become the definitive novel about the CIA." (Amazon.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5106 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Los Gatos, CA United States 02-27-09
    Jennifer Los Gatos, CA United States 02-27-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding"

    An exciting story that sustains throughout and delivers a one-two punch from start to finish. A well written spy novel, modern-day mystery, and character study wrapped up in great style and delivered through the brilliant narration of Scott Brick. If you want to relive the cold war through real people, true events, and a step-by step walk through a dark corridor of history -- don't miss this book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-08-12
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 01-08-12 Member Since 2005

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1084
    ratings
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    162
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    "Worth the time!"

    I cant believe that this book is as long as it was because it didnt seem that long when I was listening. The characters and the plots never got dull and it was an interesting look at history along the way. I rented the movie after listening and was very dissapointed as the book was far superior. For any fans of espionage novels this is a must listen. Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators and as usual he does an amazing job!

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Franceen Dahlgren, VA, USA 12-21-02
    Franceen Dahlgren, VA, USA 12-21-02 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mind Boggling"

    You wouldn't know this is fiction - if you know American Intel History you would think this is a non-fiction accounting the CIA past.
    Long, but keeps you interested.

    59 of 66 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Hippy PA 08-30-11
    Old Hippy PA 08-30-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb! Gripping! Highest Praise!"

    Now I don't often wax on about how great these audio books are. As you've probably figured out, there's occasional diamonds, and a whole lot of stones. This one is rare indeed! Essentially a fictionalized narrative history of the CIA from post-WW II through the end of the Cold War, it's a wonderful story! Scott Brick does an outstanding job with the voices, nuances, and accents. He's a great narrator! Littell's epic tale follows a number of actual historic characters through the years ... there are a number of international espionage accounts, with one overall mystery running through to the final end: who is the longstanding mole in CIA working with the Russians since the beginning(?). I found myself regularly jumping off to look up characters and events on Wikipedia to see how real history paralleled the narrative. It's really fantastic how Littell weaves it all together. Wonderfully intriguing and historic characters such as "The Sorcerer", James Jesus Alexander, Kim Philby, "The Rabbi", and on and on. The ending does not disappoint and is inspired. Hell, it might even be real! Try it, you'll like it!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed from Virginia Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, US 08-14-05
    Ed from Virginia Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, US 08-14-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Over too soon!!"

    I was initially reluctant to start a 40 hours book, but I was astonished at how quickly the time passed. It was over far too soon. I realize this book is a fictionalized version of history, but the foundations in fact make this a very compelling commentary on practices and policies of this country during the Cold War, and beyond. I only wish this book had been twice as long!!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Tampa, FL, United States 08-07-03
    Paul Tampa, FL, United States 08-07-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pay Attention--It's worth it!"

    Excellent character development and plot, but can at times leave you in the dust if you're not paying attention to the names and AKAs. You WILL use rewind, but it's well worth it. The story is compelling and timely. The references make you feel like you're getting the behind the scenes 'real' story of the CIA and it's role in historical events. It will drive you to listen long after you should stop and get on with life. The narrator is fantastic and brings life to all the characters. A must read!

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Madison, WI, USA 01-26-03
    Todd Madison, WI, USA 01-26-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    18
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    "A great book"

    This is my first Rober Littell book and I really enjoyed it. It keeps you guessing right up until the very end. I thought I might be getting sick of it by the end of 40 hours, but not so.

    Scott Brick is an excellent narrator. Although, he could be more consistent in volume. There are times when listening through the cassette adapter in my car that I couldn't hear him well at all. I know that changes in volume can add some drama, but if you can't hear what he's saying, drama gives way to frustration.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Mount Nelson, TAS, Australia 12-29-05
    Steve Mount Nelson, TAS, Australia 12-29-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic - will take over your life !"

    This book is huge.....long.....and captivating all the way......
    It had me wanting to continue listening for more at every minute of it's (40?) hours. It is the most enjoyable listen I have had to date and gave a seemingly realistic insight into the workings of the CIA and other spy agencies.
    The character development is excellent, from the Uni study days, through recruitment , training , first posts and on to senior positions and eventually end of careers.
    It nicely ties in realistic events in great detail, such as the Bay of Pigs invasion and leaves you wondering if this is a non fiction or a novel.
    Be warned...it will take over your life ! Your family will be sicj of seeing you listening and wearing your earphones - you won't be able to stop listening.
    Excellent narration. Highly recomended

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 06-29-04
    Johnnie Walker Blaine, WA 06-29-04 Member Since 2003

    Black

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Re-living my history"

    This was one of the first audible books I purchased - I think I was going for quantity. I listed to the first CD twice at different points in time but abandoned the effort each time. However, I have great faith in Audible reviewers and this book was one of the highest rated, widely read books on the site. I tried again and finally broke into the second CD. From there on, I was transported back to times and events I could remember but this book both refreshed that history and gave it a new perspective. How could one so quickly forget living the Cold War?

    Unlike a few other reviewers, I applaud the reading by Brick as I could swear he recorded the Kennedy and Reagan White House conversations they seemed so real. Maybe you have to be of a certain age to truly appreciate this reading.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Bagwell Alpharetta, Georgia USA 03-09-03
    Sam Bagwell Alpharetta, Georgia USA 03-09-03

    SEB

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Completely Absorbing"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • Carl
    8/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long but Very interesting And you really need to pay attention"
    What would have made The Company better?

    A little bit more action , Linking a few more stores together, considering it was 40 hours the ending was fairly quick,
    But still doesn't change my opinion of it be an amazing book enjoyed


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Company?

    More than one all the twists and turns In every little story in a story On the attention to detail


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    The amazing way he Gave the characters their own accents throughout, And made all the people actually sound different ,


    Any additional comments?

    A very interesting book at the same time in history lesson

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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