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
"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)
This is the best book I have experienced in the last ten years. No spy novel I have read has so closely woven decades of actual events into an intricate fictional plot and pulled it off so successfully. A truly outstanding piece of work. I have a new favorite author. I have downloaded and listened to all of Littell's recorded books. This is clearly the best, although The Sisters is also excellent. I will be looking for more of his work.
This is a VERY well written book about one of my favorite subjects. As someone who is fluent in both Russian and English I was very impressed by 'proper' translations in this book - not the usual literal translations in other spy books. Only glaring problem in the audio version is the mispronunciation of dacha as dacka (its a ch sound) which is summer house or cabin in Russian.
This book got me in trouble. I would find myself sitting in my car, my parked car, listning to this story, and waiting for a good place to stop only to find my wife knocking on the car window asking what I was doing and why I had been sitting in my car for 20 minutes. This book spans the cold war fusing fiction and history flawlessly. One does not have to suspend ones belief, you have to remind yourself its "fiction". While I'm no expert the book seems to accuratly portray the role of the spy and the CIA during the cold war. The characters are rich and multifaucited. I also loved the ever expanding cast and the exploration of how this career effects the family life of the spies. If you are a fan of audio this is an awesome book with not only a riviting story but excellent delivery by the reader. Listen to The Company and take a trip Through the Looking Glass into the world of espionage.
Some reviewers called it predictibale, but we all know what happened in Cuba, Berlin, Hungary etc ... But Littell manages to spin a good and interesting yarn around it, interesting character in a net of intrigue and mis-trust. You sometimes ask yourself how much is fiction and how much is the extract of some real spy stories. Scott Brick does an excellent job as the narrator, acting the different characters and bringing them to life.
This is a good value. It is more like a series of books rather than one. It encompasses the story of the CIA from the cold war to the present. But you have to like spy stories and politics in order to really enjoy it. The narrator is good and as a whole it did a good job holding my attention without confusing me.
I enjoyed the storytelling, and I especially enjoyed listening to a history of the CIA. I learned a bit and listened to a ripping good yarn in the process.
It was okay. I really like long books, and this one certainly fits the bill, but I think it might have been better were it condensed by a third. The subject matter was interesting enough, but every single event was pounded into the ground, and then stomped on. Okay, okay, the Bay of Pigs was tough, Jack was brave, I get it! It just got tiresome.
Adding insult to injury, the reader (Scott Brick, one of my very favorites, and one of the reasons I chose this title), sounded like so much like Side-Show Bob as to be distracting.
A few weeks after finishing this book, there are no characters that I miss, no fond memories of great scenes, nothing that stands out as memorable for me. Clearly I am in the minority; I hope that you will like this book better than I did.
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