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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 (5292 )
5 star
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4.1 (2376 )
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Story
4.2 (2374 )
5 star
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3 star
 (258)
2 star
 (83)
1 star
 (85)
Performance
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  •  
    Doghouse Riley 04-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    3
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    Story
    "NOT a Novel"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a well-written book, captivating and entertaining, but it is not a novel. Instead it's a novelization of various well-known historical events. The author creates believable characters and weaves them into the sequence of history, much like Forrest Gump was woven into history. Overall a tolerably good look at the intelligence game, and the method makes important historical events approachable and human. But you know how things are going to turn out before the book starts.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gman 04-13-14
    Gman 04-13-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hours into this and I'm lost"
    Would you try another book from Robert Littell and/or Scott Brick?

    One of the two books I have to return, I just can't follow it. I'm a huge fan of DeMille, Flynn, Eisler and the lot but this let me wondering when I'd get hooked. I never did. Maybe it's me, it gets great reviews, but I can't follow it, and I can follow Silva and Clancy!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Mount Airy, NC, United States 02-16-13
    Scott Mount Airy, NC, United States 02-16-13 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    92
    5
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    0
    1
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    "too graphic and explicit for me"

    They never offered the ability to return back when I got this one or it would not be in my library now. I like spy novels, Bourne, Jack Ryan, etc but while those do have some gratuitous language and violence this one goes beyond my ability to listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. J. Rodgers Bryn Mawr, PA 01-15-13
    T. J. Rodgers Bryn Mawr, PA 01-15-13 Member Since 2012

    Shopper

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    1
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    Story
    "boring"

    Extremely boring story that is old and not germain to today's life. Do not suggest it to anyone.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David pompano beach, FL, United States 12-27-12
    David pompano beach, FL, United States 12-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "dont buy"
    What disappointed you about The Company?

    This is so long spanning 50 years, loses you everywhere. No plot, no point. Garbage, waste of 40 hours if you choose to stick it through.


    What was most disappointing about Robert Littell’s story?

    boring, no plot, thinks he is a historian


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no problem


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    none


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry 11-23-12
    Larry 11-23-12

    メロンパン!! (れ・ω・な)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    11
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "One long run on sentence ..."

    First of all, this book might have been a lot better if it was narrated by someone else. Someone with a little more emotion who didn't try to make everyone sound Russian. Being better at female voices wouldn't hurt either.

    I was looking for a long book to listen to and being a fan of Tom Clancy novels I thought this might be an interesting book. I hate to say it, but I thought this book was rather lame. The overall story wasn't too bad, but it seemed poorly connected. There are no chapters in this book and the narrator rarely pauses for any length of time so most of the book feels like one long run on sentence.


    I think the author could have come up with better code names though. 'The Sorcerer' and 'The Wiz'. Seriously?? That's the best you could come up with? I think real names would have made the story easy to follow and give the characters a little more familiarity. At least then the narrator wouldn't have tried to keep saying them with so much efficacious as if they were names from Lord of the Rings.


    Most of the book was just boring and gritty stuff. The new recruit 'Training Exercise" was probably the most exciting part of the book, with the least interesting part being the "I want to be your friend! Please open up to me" B/S where one of The Company guys lies and pretends he wants to become friends with some emotionally damaged and unloved Russian woman who happened to have access to Russian secrets.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Phelps Palo Alto, CA United States 09-17-12
    W. Phelps Palo Alto, CA United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2014

    video guru

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    9
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    0
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    Overall
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    Story
    "Excellent & boring..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe - but be prepared to skip chunks of it


    Any additional comments?

    Wow, look at all the 5 star reviews! It was an interesting read (listen) but I completely agree with the reviewer that say it's too long. Many times during this one I kept shouting "get on with it!". When it does get going again it's great, and it's fun how the author wove actual events into the tale, but man it does drag one endlessly over details we don't really need to know...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Beavercreek, OH, United States 09-08-12
    John Beavercreek, OH, United States 09-08-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    45
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    "So incredibly long with so little action!!"

    I bought this book because so many of the reviews seemed to say it was almost life changing it was so good. It was only life changing in that it made for some background noise in my car. It is so incredibly long with far too much minutia of detail that adds nothing. There are a few gripping parts that make you want to keep on listening but they are so sparse that its just not worth it. I'm 21h into the book and giving up. It would probably have been a great book in an abridged form, but as is, it is just simply far too long to keep my attention and I am moving on. On the upside, the performance of it is very good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia 11-01-11
    Cynthia 11-01-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
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    131
    3
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    Story
    "So boring...."

    This is a 3 part book agonizingly stretched into 8......if you aren't in a coma now...you will be after this.....zzzzzzzz.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Fox Island, WA, United States 07-15-08
    Ron Fox Island, WA, United States 07-15-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    8
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "Very long & very good"

    Excellent

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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