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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." (

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Marius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • 02-03-05

Spooks R Us

Really good Cold War 'faction' stuff here. Very well read, very plausible, riveting. Long, but you won't regret it. Not just a guy book, as might be implied - it will definitely appeal to anyone who wants a good read, which is simultaneously escapist and realistic. A minor criticism is that while the Western (US and UK) characters are three-dimensional, the Russians are generally drawn either sketchily or as obvious nasties.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geoff
  • Naperville, IL, USA
  • 01-20-05

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • mexico, N/A, Mexico
  • 01-11-05

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • New Orleans, LA, USA
  • 12-16-04

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth
  • Sterling , VA, USA
  • 12-11-04

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rajesh
  • Ahmedabad Gujarat India
  • 12-07-04

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!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars


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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars


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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gene
  • Eden Prairie, MN, USA
  • 10-31-04


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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jesus
  • Mercedes, TX, USA
  • 10-29-04

Great Book

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