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)
An interesting fictional account of major intelligence events in US history since the end of World War Two, told through the lives of a group of CIA officials. The story telling raises a number of interesting "what-ifs" as to each event (Hungarian revolution, Bay of Pigs, etc.) with the author's thumb generally on the scale in favor of greater US intervention in other countries, or at least more wholehearted where we do intervene. The story drags in places, but is above average for its genre. The actor does a good job with the material, but you end up with the feeling that some of the characters are typecast between the writing and some of the accents.
I found the book very entertaining. I would like to think the book is based on real facts, because then the listen would provide important insight into a largely hidden US institution. But it was worth the 30 or so hours in any event in my view.
Great recap of the cold war period. Great characters, a litte difficult to keep track of all of them in the beginning. This book was a great contributor for taking me through my 1000 miles plus marathon preparation.
You will not find a better audiobook than The Company. It is so long that one might expect a sprawling, flabby tale. In fact, it feels like not a word is wasted. There seems to be a lot of hunger out there for historical fiction; but, often what passes for it addresses history and context with the depth of a USA Today article. Here is a book whose context is very recent history, but the completeness of the subject matter, and the passion of the historical perspective is very satisfying. One niggle: the pedophile subplot is perhaps a bit gratuitous. Do we need that to disapprove of the actions of a police state? Scott Brick is as fine a reader as there is, and completely up to the material.
I can honestly say that this is DEFINATELY one of the best audiobooks that I've ever listened to. Scott Brick (Narrator) did an absolutely fabulous job of putting you in the charachter's shoes. Although this book is long, you find yourself sitting anxiously through every second of it.
I was at first intimidated by the sheer size of this book but I thought what the heck and got it. I was totally entranced the whole time and I wanted more when I finally did run out of CDs! I was guessing and re-evaluating my expectations of the ending the whole time and was STILL surprised at the end! This book was the bomb!
I stayed up all night listening to parts 2 and 3! I still have a few hours to go but will actually be sad when it's finished. You have to listen to this.
I do agree that I was disappointed that the Cuban Missile Crisis and JFK assassignation were pretty much glossed over. I was riveted by the in-depth section on the Bay of Pigs. I don't know how accurate the historical references are. I did hear one glaring error--he called Judith Campbell by Judith Exner. She didn't marry Exner until the mid 1970's.
"The Company - Fantastic Read!"
Don't be daunted by the length of this book as it breaks nicely into sections/time capsules. I'm usually a fan of crime thrillers but I'll try anything that grabs my attention and then manages to hold it. Littell's style and Scott Brick's performance proved to be a perfect match.
I was first attracted to Robert Littell after watching the TV series Legends on Netflix. My husband and I gulped it down in three evenings. I decided to see what was available by this author on Audible. Seeing the length of the book I was put off but thought what the heck if it doesn't measure up I can return it. I found myself riveted. At several points I went online to see how close the book followed recorded history, especially the Bay of Pigs and the Gorbachev/Yeltsin era. Except for the names of the fictional characters, the book closely followed actual events.
Give this book a try even if it's not you're usual genre. The Company has taken me off into a whole new genre. Can't wait to read more from this author!
Had me hooked straight away. An often uncomfortable journey through generations, reflecting true friendship, loyalty, paranoia and ultimately betrayal. One of my favourite books of all time. That's not an easy list to get on! Very well narrated.
"No other story like this "
In this genre no other book compares to it, for its audacity and Complexity and sheer scope. Espionage at its best.. Scott Brick has given a performance nearly equal to the author himself
Fantastic book and fantastic delivery from SB. 40 hours was not enough. I still wanted more when it was done.
"A great ride"
Very good story, far better than our own Le Carre
Any Le Carre or similar
Great consistency over such a long narration
Good book, well worth the time to listen
"Long but Very interesting And you really need to pay attention"
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
More than one all the twists and turns In every little story in a story On the attention to detail
The amazing way he Gave the characters their own accents throughout, And made all the people actually sound different ,
A very interesting book at the same time in history lesson
"Worth the time commitment."
Really interested in the background of some of the most important world events of this period but in a way that the fictionalised story made it more personal.
His portrayal of the characters enables you to visualise them and separate them out, which is very important when there are so many of them.
The final denouement which underlined for me that nothing is ever as black and white as you would like it to be.
It's a heavy commitment in terms of time, so best to listen to when you have at least 60 mins at a time, otherwise it's difficult to keep up with strands.
"Gripping page turner"
Took a while for the story to get going and to get used to the characters.
When I got into it I didn't want to put the book down.
Realistic, empathetic and myriad twists and turns.
Would heartily recommend it.
"Now I Sort-of Understand"
I need to understand how Russia became. I knew about Stalin and his dreadful regime, but clearly the country was badly affected by WW2 and what Hitler did. It is not over yet, judging by Putin's behaviour, but I can see and understand the history of the 40 plus years covered by this excellent book
"45 hours of engaging espionage.."
The 'Sasha' thread throughout the book
The bay of pigs schene
The 'girlies' scenes throughout the book made me cry.
The Company is nothing less than an epic history of the Cold War, the period in which the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics tried to undermine each other without resorting to nuclear weapons.
One reason why Littell’s novel is so effective is the skill with which he blends such historical events as the Cuban Missile Crisis with the lives of his fictional characters. Those invented personalities range from the alcoholic head of America’s Berlin Base, Harvey Torriti, to the pedophile who runs Soviet counterintelligence, the man known only as “Starick.”
What ultimately makes this massive work so enjoyable is the decades-long search by the CIA for the Soviet mole, Sasha
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