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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

Critic Reviews

"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." (

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

entertaining spy novel

Some reviewers called it predictibale, but we all know what happened in Cuba, Berlin, Hungary etc ... But Littell manages to spin a good and interesting yarn around it, interesting character in a net of intrigue and mis-trust. You sometimes ask yourself how much is fiction and how much is the extract of some real spy stories. Scott Brick does an excellent job as the narrator, acting the different characters and bringing them to life.

  • Overall


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

  • Overall

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.

  • Overall
  • Ingrid
  • Hudson, MA, USA
  • 08-12-04


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.

  • Overall

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

  • Overall

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.

  • Overall
  • John
  • Sandy Springs, GA, United States
  • 07-29-04

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

  • Overall
  • Rich A.
  • Falls Church, VA
  • 07-20-04

Winds of War / War and Remembrance

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

  • Overall
  • James
  • Grapevine, TX, United States
  • 07-18-04

I'm on my second full 40'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!

  • Overall

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