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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

4.2 (5325 )
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4.2 (2406 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rahul Cranbury, IL, USA 08-12-03
    Rahul Cranbury, IL, USA 08-12-03
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Increases the Joy of Driving"

    The best part of comuting to work is that I get to listen to this book. The book is gripping from page 1 to the end. The discriptions of operations sounds real. It did not impress me much as the way 2 important personals of this story were eliminated. But other then that this is a must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Izzy Thornhill, Ontario, Canada 08-05-03
    Izzy Thornhill, Ontario, Canada 08-05-03 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    17
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Another GREAT audible presentation"

    Intriguing story, interesting characters and phenomenal historic perspective. Captivating plot kept me riveted to the player to the point where my family was screaming for me to take the headphones off. It was interesting to follow the story with respect to the history of the cold war since the world war two. As usual the narrator makes the story come to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Davie, FL, USA 07-31-03
    Dan Davie, FL, USA 07-31-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "One of the best titles I have ever listened to!"

    This is quite a long book covering a lot of the CIA's past yet brings the reader right up to date. It is full of fascinating twists and turns, and is narrated exceedingly well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and highly recommend it. I also found it to be very educational, from a geopolitical perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham Hong KongHong Kong 07-17-03
    Graham Hong KongHong Kong 07-17-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    9
    7
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    "Great Book"

    This was a truly enjoyable listen. Littel builds the plot well, and follows well-constructed, believeble characters through decades of intrigue.
    I was very impressed indeed, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this title to listeners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aide Regina, SK, Canada 07-16-03
    Aide Regina, SK, Canada 07-16-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    Overall
    "Fantasic"

    Truly a well-crafted story. If your looking for a new author in the spy relm and are sick of Tom Clancy. Get this you won't be disappointed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Everett, PA, USA 07-16-03
    Doug Everett, PA, USA 07-16-03 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "The Company (Unabridged)"

    Long but worth the read! (I mean listen)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eesti Haymarket, VA, United States 12-07-07
    eesti Haymarket, VA, United States 12-07-07 Member Since 2005

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
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    209
    8
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    "This is not Russian novel…"

    I would say, it is most boring American novel I have ever read or listened. I am a Platinum member of Audible and have listened more over 40 books from them, and I love long and serious books. This is the worst one! Russia, Russians, and KGB displayed as a bunch of perverts and idiots. What a shame! It’s a beautiful country with great culture and great potential. They hire the best minds to serve in intelligence, with high requirements for moral qualities; same as here! For some reviewers it was hurtful to read about Reagan being insulted by the author. I feel same way about Russians shown as boors. I used to love Scott Brick, not anymore! He mispronounced all Russian, Spanish, Italian and other words and names. Accents are all same, and all wrong, awfully irritating! Russian is my language, but I could not understand what narrator was saying?! How difficult was it to find one poor Russian in this country to inquire and do it right? And how about all these factual mistakes? Washington didn't have a subway system in 1974 and I-95 did not exist in 1949! I guess, Robert Littell was not able to find this information in France either? “Thanks” to my American husband I made it to the end! In future we better stick with John Corey (by Nelson DeMIlle) and Mitch Rapp (by Vince Flynn). Merry Christmas to everyone!

    17 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edouard Grass Valley, CA, United States 02-12-10
    Edouard Grass Valley, CA, United States 02-12-10 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
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    116
    8
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "A Nadir."

    It came in six parts, and it needn't have. Zero would have sufficed. The story is disjointed and uninspired and rises to be formulaic when it strives to reach that high. Picture the most brilliant fictional spy essay you could have possibly written in the fifth grade. Now picture reading that same essay 20 or 30 years later. That's the feeling I got listening to this book. Play the demo clip before deciding that I'm a liar.

    As bad and as juvenile as the book is, its lack of qualities are further highlighted in the story-telling by Scott Brick, whose verbal reading skills go through the book in the same way his name's sake would go through a window pane. I can only believe that someone conducted him to a sound-proof booth, shoved a book in his hands, and said "Read this... you've got 38 hours to finish it." Picture an AM-radio disc jockey taking the next step down on an ever-spiraling career, and you'll understand where I am trying to go with my impression of Mr. Brick's interpretation of this book. I never thought I would say that I had wasted my money on an Audible selection (after all, I have chosen carefully all along), but the quality of this particular work makes me wonder if my judgment or the quality-control at Audible is slipping. It's a horrible book. Badly written and worse-read. It angers me to think that I have wasted a portion of my life on it. This review will be the last occasion that I give any of my time to this fetid excuse for what passes as literature, in the hopes that I may save someone else from wasting their time and money.

    For comparison - Books downloaded from Audible that I consider worth reading: Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy/John leCarre - Guards!Guards!/Terry Pratchett - A Short History of Nearly Everything/Bill Bryson.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Huntsville, AL, USA 06-04-05
    Paul Huntsville, AL, USA 06-04-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    11
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    "Interesting book until bias takes over"

    I'm not an idealogue that cannot handle challenges to my beliefs, but to listen to this book disparage Ronald Reagan and discount everything he did was a disappointment. Because this book covers so much history it was almost an educational read, but like so many others Littrel takes potshots at Reagan with cliches that have long since been disproven. By the time the book got to the 1980s I was tiring of the plot, anyway. I did listen all the way to the end and found the resolution disappointing.

    Not something I'll ever listen to again.

    13 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mgrahn Sacramento, CA USA 10-15-08
    mgrahn Sacramento, CA USA 10-15-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    2
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    "A well written novel"

    The best audio book so far for me. Rich in characters and a top-notch narration.

    One little annoyance is the author's obvious disdain of Ronald Reagan. His character reminded me of the SNL Phil Hartman imitation which was goofy and cartoonish.

    What was totally omitted was Carter's inept handling of the middle east.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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