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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 (6521 )
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4.3 (3507 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Geoff Naperville, IL, USA 01-20-05
    Geoff Naperville, IL, USA 01-20-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "Great story"

    Great story? I should actually say great stories. This book has it all, and it should at 40 plus hours. I would not pick this as a first audio book because of the length. You kind of have to work your way up to a book this long. But I enjoyed it so much, I was sad to have it end. I had fun researching some of the stories in this book and learned a bit about our history. And as usual Scott Brick is a great narrator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian mexico, N/A, Mexico 01-11-05
    Brian mexico, N/A, Mexico 01-11-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Interested on a VERY long book? BE CAREFULL."

    This is more a warning than a review, since this was one of my first audio books many months ago and I still cannot make it past the first 3 hours. I'm sure after more than 800 reviews this book must be great, but trust me, it takes some patience. I did books of more than 8 hours with no problem, but this one was a waste of money for me, so if you click to purchase, keep in mind you could have herd 3 or 4 good books on the time it took you to listen to this one (also, I'm sure, a good book).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John New Orleans, LA, USA 12-16-04
    John New Orleans, LA, USA 12-16-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    19
    3
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    Overall
    "40 hours of fun"

    I couldn't believe how fast 40 hours could go by. I was engrossed by the tail. I am still wondering about which parts are completely fictional and which parts are fact.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Sterling , VA, USA 12-11-04
    Kenneth Sterling , VA, USA 12-11-04 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Two thumbs up!"

    The speaker is just superb! His rendition of the emotional scenes moved me (well) to tears. This book gave me an appreciation of what spies go through: their loyalty, their contribution, their struggles. The author painted a picture of Good Guys versus Bad Guys; with a stroke of a pen he made it blurred, and then indistinguishable. In the end, it was only men doing, in their own ways, what is sufficiently good and honorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 12-07-04
    Rajesh Johanneburg, South Africa 12-07-04 Member Since 2016

    Legal Thrillers, crime, fiction. humor and a bit of management sprinkled with some self improvement. All through Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    291
    ratings
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    324
    72
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    6
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    Overall
    "The ?Realistic? Fiction about the cold war"

    In case the other reviewers have forgotten to mention this, this book is mainly about the cold war and USSR! It spans a period of 30 years so at the end of the book we get a whiff of Osama and team. It goes on till ?perostrika? is compete. The central plot, if there is one in the book, is a question of a mole in the CIA that keeps surfacing while historical events take place around the globe.

    So if you like the old spy stories with dead drops, safe houses, interrogations, planned revolutions intertwined with real history you are in for a very good time like I did! This book has spies, moles, defectors, revolutionaries, presidents and a dash of mafia. Since the history lessons taken by the author are well embedded in the story, it is not possible to differentiate the fiction from history. One only notices that this is fiction when we start noticing the characters, they are FICTION. There is an alcoholic head of Berlin station during the peak of the cold war. His mind is as alert as Gary Kasporov while he drinks and spies through the day, intelligently interrogates potential defectors and continues drinking. The characters running the CIA are remarkably amusing and interesting. The book has James Bond style love stories on the fringes to thicken the plot whenever it becomes too spy-ish!

    It will keep you gripped. Your attention will not drift. You will enjoy the compete 40 hrs. Let not the size intimidate you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven m. 11-27-04
    Steven m. 11-27-04
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    4
    Overall
    "Compelling"

    The book is 30+ hours long and kept my attention throughout. The transistions from one chapter to another were great and most of the events were not predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 11-11-04
    Richard 11-11-04 Member Since 2002
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    1
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Eden Prairie, MN, USA 10-31-04
    Gene Eden Prairie, MN, USA 10-31-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    3
    3
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    "AWESOME"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesus Mercedes, TX, USA 10-29-04
    Jesus Mercedes, TX, USA 10-29-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    12
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    "Great Book"

    This book had my attention from beginning to end. Did not feel like 40 hours! Narrator is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Bovenzi 09-24-04 Listener Since 2002
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    1
    Overall
    "Must Hear"

    By FAR the most entertaining recording I've heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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!

    2 of 2 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
  • Vikas Krishan
    2/6/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An American Le Carre"

    Meticulous, detailed and well written. This long book was bought to life by the excellent narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Ashford
    12/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Company"

    Excellent. Held my attention for all 40-odd hours. Names and events from the Cold War cleverly drawn together. Would recommend this to everyone.

    0 of 0 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

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