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Publisher's Summary

Robert Littell creates a multigenerational, wickedly nostalgic saga of the ClA - "The Company" to insiders. The fictional and historical characters of Robert Littell's novel reveal much of the nearly 50 years of this complex and powerful organization. At the heart is a mole hunt involving the CIA, M16, KGB, and Mossad, a stunningly conceived trip down the rabbit hole to the labyrinthine Alice-in-Wonderland world of espionage, a "world where things have no names".

Racing across a landscape spanning the legendary Berlin Base of the '50s, the front line of the simmering Cold War 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, formidable.

Littell also lays bare the internecine warfare within "The Company" itself, adding another dimension to the spy vs. spy game. An atmosphere of distrust pits the counter-intelligence agents behind the desks in Washington, like the utterly obsessive real-life mole hunter James Jesus Angleton, against the covert action boys in the field, like "The Company's" Harvey Torriti, The Sorcerer, a brilliant and brash rules breaker, and his Apprentice, Jack McAuliffe, recruited fresh out of Yale, who learns both tradecraft and the hard truths of life in the field.

As this dazzling anatomy of the CIA unfolds, nothing less than the future is at stake. And the future is often only the day after tomorrow. At once a celebration of a long Cold War well fought and an elegy for the end of an era.

©2002 Robert Littell; (P)2006 Phoenix Audio

Critic Reviews

"It's gun-ho, hard-drinking, table-turning fun." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caryl
  • 23-06-2009

Narration good, story complex held my interest

A bit difficult to stay in tune with who is who; but this may the nature of trying to write a story about the CIA. Some bad language however not it fit the character/s and timing when it was used.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • 13-02-2008

Good Story

Great if you want the history of the CIA. Detailed and interesting and involved.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • 13-08-2015

Great story, needs slight production tweak

I really enjoyed this audio book with only one recurring problem - no gaps between chapters.

Someone there is no pause between the last sentence of a chapter and the first sentence of the next. ThIs meant that many times in the book two completely different thoughts were slammed together causing me to break my immersion to figure out what was going on.

It took me a good third of the book to figure out what was going on. And the next third of the book to start to get used to it. By the last third I was OK with it although it still was an annoyance. Hopefully by giving you, future reader, a heads up about this issue you can adjust to it earlier and enjoy the now.

Even better, hopefully the production company reads this review and can upload an edited version

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • MARY
  • 16-07-2014

So disappointed I gave up

I really wanted to like this book, but I had to give up after I was about half way through. The story was very slow and dull. The narrator made very little voice distinction between any of the characters, so I kept getting them confused.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hugo
  • 08-03-2008

Good book

It was very good enjoyed the suspense and the historical knowledge. Also very good narrator

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 24-07-2017

Fantastic from start to finish

I come back to this book once a year. Well read and a gripping 'based on real life' story of US / Soviet espionage from the 1950s to the 1990s.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 29-09-2013

couldn't get into it

Narration was a bit weird for me, the accents and all. The story just never seemed to go anywhere. Gave up about midway through.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Gabriel
  • 20-02-2008

thumbs down

This book is totally forgettable, not one saving grace, well perhaps one, the narrator did the best he could with what he had.

With perhaps 2 hours remaining, I decided to move on with my life and erase this book from my mp3 player

2 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Creeda
  • 25-07-2010

A fascinating book

I have now listened to this twice and shall listen again quite soon. It is a fascinating story of the CIA - interweaving facts and fiction - so that I almost feel as if I worked there myself!
The reader is great - does all the accents wonderfully and his voice never becomes boring.
The interesting thing is that most of the book is in dialogue form - or seems to be......

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Allan
  • 09-05-2007

A really good listen

Although I guessed who the real spy was long before he was uncovered, it did not detract in any way from my enjoyment of this audiobook which seamlessly mixes truth with fiction.

I don't think I can say more than is already said in the Publisher's Summary with which I completely agree.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Laurence
  • 05-04-2011

A short history of the CIA

A saga style book where we follow thwe adventures of CIA agents as they become wise in the ways of the world of intelligence. We all know that intelligence is mainly routine sifting and searching so this book with its emphasis on action and plotting is far from dull.
Nicely narrated and at no time did the fiction falterso a good listen.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful