- Paperback: 1296 pages
- Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (16 Nov. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330372890
- ISBN-13: 978-0330372893
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 5.8 x 17.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 504,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Company: A Novel of the CIA Paperback – Unabridged, 16 Nov 2007
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More About the Author
'The American le Carre' New York Times; 'If Robert Littell didn't invent the American Spy novel, he should have' Tom Clancy
About the Author
Connoisseurs of the literary spy thriller have elevated Robert Littell to the genre's highest ranks - along with John le Carre, Len Deighton and Graham Greene. Littell's novels include The Defection of A.J. Lewinter, The October Circle, Mother Russia, The Amateur (which was made into a feature film), The Once and Future Spy, An Agent in Place and Walking Back the Cat. A former Newsweek journalist, Robert Littell is American, currently living in France.
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Top Customer Reviews
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys edge-of-your-seat cold war thrillers. I have read many cold war novels and none of them compare to this book. This is the book that everyone is talking about, and don't be put off by its size, its worth savouring every page!!!!!!!!!
The powerful story takes in spymasters on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and it's nice to see a book which isn't just from the US side. A major theme in the book is the identity of SASHA, a mole in the CIA and there is a fair amount of detail about his handling from the Soviet side.
Unfortunately, the writing style isn't up to the excellent story. The dialogue and the love lives of the main characters is in large parts cliched/over dramatic. The main character in the USSR is portrayed as a paedophile and is a one dimensional character. A number of the othe rmain characters seem to be littl emore than cardoboard cutouts. (All the wives of agents blend into one, to be honest) And the twists and turns in the SASHA sub-plot are fairly predictable - with more than half the book to go, I knew who SASHA was and how he would be captured.
That said, it's a gripping read and the operational sections are fantastic. Would make a great holiday read, worth a look if you enjoy spy stuff but don't expect great literature.
As a lover of spy fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Yes, it's very long - the only problem you will face is trying to stay awake so you can carry on reading at 3am! I do agree with some of the other reviewers that important episodes seem to have been left out. On reflection, though, I prefer the detail with which the main episodes have been sketched. This book did for me what a really good book will do - it incentivised me to go and find out more about particular events such as the Hungary uprising.
Two caveats: the social and especially romantic lives of the main characters are a bit "soapy", and while the book doesn't really shy away from criticizing the CIA, it does so in a very guarded way. I do think a bit of wider reading should be done also just to put some of the things in perspective. Having said all that, the book is highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am currently reading this excellent novel. The period covers the international affairs that I all too readily remember and Littell style is for me excellent with only a few... Read morePublished 13 months ago by NEIL CLEMENT
Dialogue so leaden it could sink a battleship. Couldn't make it past page 15.Published 16 months ago by Dr Maturin
Robert Littell has a long established reputation as a major spy novelist, which this book has done much to enhance. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jon Corelis
I first read this book many years ago and it has neither aged nor lost its appeal. The weaving of fact and what I presume is fiction/speculation on the part of the author is... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Terry de Boo
If you're into Ian Fleming, john Grisham, John le Carre or similar in the espionage thriller genre you need this book. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2013 by Serious Snapper
This book details the several infiltrations by the KGB and the damage done by these episodes to the credibility of the CIA. Read morePublished on 29 April 2012 by BruceL