• The Book of Honor

  • The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives
  • By: Ted Gup
  • Narrated by: Frank Muller
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (196 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In the entrance of the CIA headquarters looms a huge marble wall in to which seventy-one stars are carved - each representing an agent who has died in the line of duty. At the base of this wall lies "The Book of Honor," in which the names of these agents are inscribed, or at least thirty-five of them. Beside the dates of the other thirty-six, there are no names. The identity of these "nameless stars" has been one of the CIA's most closely guarded secrets for the fifty-three years of the agency's existence. Even family members are told little - in some cases, the agency has denied the fact that the deceased were covert operatives at all.

But what the CIA keeps secret in the name of national security is often merely an effort to hide that which would embarrass the agency itself - even at the cost of denying peace of mind for the families and honor due the "nameless stars." In an extraordinary job of investigative reporting, Ted Gup has uncovered the identities, and the stories, of the men and women who died anonymously in the service of their country. In researching The Book of Honor, Gup interviewed over four hundred current and former covert CIA officers, immersed himself in archival records, death certificates, casualty lists from terrorist attacks, State Department and Defense Department personnel lists, cemetery records, obituaries, and tens of thousands of pages of personal letters and diaries.

In telling the agents' stories, Gup shows them to be complex, vibrant, and heroic individuals - nothing like the suave super spies of popular fiction or the amoral cynics of conspiracy buffs. The accounts of their lives - and deaths - are powerful and deeply moving, and in bringing them at long last to light, Gup manages to render an unprecedented history of covert operations at the CIA.

Listen to Ted Gup on C-SPAN's Booknotes (8/27/00).

©2000 Ted Gup (P)2000 Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Gup may have succeeded in humanizing the CIA." (AudioFile)

More from the same

What listeners say about The Book of Honor

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    94
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    80
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • RM
  • 08-16-19

Painfully narrated.

Still in 1st chapter but the narration is unbearable-breathy. Best I read vs listen to this one.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book on the hidden men who gave their lives

based on the description of the book and the author's introduction it's easy to assume the book is just another piece of liberal anti-CIA hurt feelings garbage. Turns out it's pretty informative and the author did a great deal of investigation to tell the story of men that paid the ultimate sacrifice and are otherwise unknown.... There was almost zero anti-CIA sentiment whatsoever.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Frank Muller

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not in this format. I'm not sure I will be able to finish it. The narration is too distracting.

Would you be willing to try another one of Frank Muller’s performances?

No. He is an award winning narrator, and has an interesting voice. However, from my perspective, his cadence is monotonous. The intonation in each sentence is spoken exactly like the next. He reminds me of Gregory Peck, but in a way where every sentence is spoken as if it is the most significant sentence in the paragraph. Each sentence separate and unconnected from anything else. I don't think I can get through this.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

poor reading cast

great book, the narrator sounded better suited for a horror novel though. a lot of spooky dramatic pauses.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

not a fan of narrator

Like the story! Narrator has a voice and reading cadence that's isn't for me

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gut-wrenching stories of unsung heroes

Essential information for every American. Narration is a bit distracting. Learned for the first time during the closing credits that this audio book is abridged.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly Enjoyable Read

This work takes individual names from the CIA's wall of honor, officers and agents killed in the line of duty, and tells their stories in a compelling narrative. The book is a collection of riveting short stories, all well researched, weaved together to form a history of covert actions little known. The narration adds to the action to form a very worthwhile read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good lord, why read it like that?

At present I am not far into the book but, already considering returning it due to the narrators whisper secret tone (like everything about “It’s Tuesday afternoon” is hush hush and top secret. It’s just horrible. Really going to try to finish this but, the narrator should look into reading mystery novels or something vs non-fiction.

Update: had to stop it, couldn’t get through the first story. Seriously needs a non-mystery/suspense book narrator to redo this. Just horrible.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bitter Sweet Book

Great book in the sense you learn these interesting stories about spies.

However , it is sad because you see how quickly lives are snuffed out, or people waste away in jail as a POW, and how we live in a world of different sovereign powers using its citizens as pawns to forward the ruling elites agendas.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dry account

Definitely a dry accounting of what could have been really exciting stories. I was hoping to get more background into each operative but what what should expect really from a 7 hour audiobook. Borderline if I ask for a refund or not.