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The Company Audiobook

The Company: A Novel of the CIA

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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

4.2 (6186 )
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Performance
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  •  
    AdamReviews 08-25-04
    AdamReviews 08-25-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suprisingly engageing"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy 08-21-04
    Nancy 08-21-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "disappointing"

    hackneyed prose, predictable plot. I prefer Le Carre, Len Deighton and Eric Ambler.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glen Phipps Delray Beach, FL USA 08-19-04
    Glen Phipps Delray Beach, FL USA 08-19-04 Member Since 2002

    GMP

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History as suspense"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid Hudson, MA, USA 08-12-04
    Ingrid Hudson, MA, USA 08-12-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ehhh..."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Brian Austin 08-10-04 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Littell is a potty mouth"

    If you like lots of "f" words and taking the name of diety in vain, you will like this book. I was very frustrated that I had to quit listening to what promised to be a great novel due to the never ending stream of foul and offensive language. I was surprised, because I had loved The Once and Future Spy, which had very little such language.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EJH 08-09-04
    EJH 08-09-04
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    "A tour de force."

    Excellent book. Excellent Read. Captures the human drama and intrique of the cold war. However, I agree with the reader who opines that the negative portrayal of Reagan brings into question the credibility of the book. Still, as a work of fiction it is worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Sandy Springs, GA, United States 07-29-04
    John Sandy Springs, GA, United States 07-29-04 Member Since 2016
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    "Histoical Novel or Political Hype??"

    I was enthralled with "The Company" until Littell decided to unload on President Reagan. Up until then the novel was very interesting and intriguing but the complete hammering of the Reagan Presidency made me question how much, if any, of the novel was actually historical or just another fictional work. Don't get me wrong, entertaining it is but factual, if at all......who knows? I would suggest spending $60+ somewhere else.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rich A. Falls Church, VA 07-20-04
    Rich A. Falls Church, VA 07-20-04 Member Since 2005
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    "Winds of War / War and Remembrance"

    A great book. A Winds of War / War and Remembrance for the Cold War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Grapevine, TX, United States 07-18-04
    James Grapevine, TX, United States 07-18-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm on my second full 40 hours...it's that good!"

    I enjoyed The Company so much that I am listening to it again...all 40 odd hours of it. There are parts that brought tears to my eyes, parts that made me laugh out loud, and parts that had me on the edge of my seat. What more can you ask for?

    Occasionally I got sidetracked with Littell's literary gimmicks (a Tom Swifty sneaked into one passage, I noted parenthetically) causing me to have to replay a section after regaining my composure, but it read like a play or movie, with all the accents and attitudes of the various characters, not to mention suspense and plot twists galore.

    I loved having front row seats for the Bay of Pigs as well as the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Scott Brick is the very best reader in audio books and with this material he presents an engrossing one-man show!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth raleigh, NC, USA 05-17-04
    Elizabeth raleigh, NC, USA 05-17-04 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
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    "Scott Brick makes any book great!"

    Anything with Scott Brick reading it is a joy on the ears! Frank Muller and Scott Brick - If they read it you can't go wrong!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Rachel
    Ireland
    12/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ian C Dando
    3/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Che
    2/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin
    Renfrew, United Kingdom
    1/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional"

    Fantastic book and fantastic delivery from SB. 40 hours was not enough. I still wanted more when it was done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    12/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great ride"
    What made the experience of listening to The Company the most enjoyable?

    Very good story, far better than our own Le Carre


    What other book might you compare The Company to, and why?

    Any Le Carre or similar


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Great consistency over such a long narration


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, well worth the time to listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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
  • Margo
    London
    5/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth the time commitment."
    What made the experience of listening to The Company the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The final denouement which underlined for me that nothing is ever as black and white as you would like it to be.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jacqueline bain
    4/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tony
    3/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bruce G.
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "45 hours of engaging espionage.."
    If you could sum up The Company in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging
    entertaining
    enthralling


    What did you like best about this story?

    The 'Sasha' thread throughout the book


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The bay of pigs schene


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The 'girlies' scenes throughout the book made me cry.


    Any additional comments?

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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