BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

The Company

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Littell's Magnum Opus!!!!

I first encountered Robert Littell's work about 20 years ago with his novel, The Amateur. I 'walked back the cat' to the Defection of A.J. Lewinter and have tried to keep up with his work ever since. The end of the Cold War has, in some respects, has left the spy nove...
I first encountered Robert Littell's work about 20 years ago with his novel, The Amateur. I 'walked back the cat' to the Defection of A.J. Lewinter and have tried to keep up with his work ever since. The end of the Cold War has, in some respects, has left the spy novel languishing, and like NATO, looking for a purpose or a mission. The post-September 11th novel of spies and espionage has yet to be written. That is why Robert Littell's The Company is such a pleasure to read. It is a wonderful nostalgic trip that brings the reader back to the chaos and uncertainty in the post-war years in building the Company during the Cold War. The reader has sense of immediacy in the historical set pieces at the Berlin Station, the Hungarian Uprising,the Bay of Pigs invasion,the 'assassination' of Pope John Paul I, Afghanistan and its consequences,and the 1991 coup against Gorbachev. One knows what's going to happen in these events, nevertheless, Littell's genius style keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat wanting to know what will happen next. One breezes through the pages without realizing that you've read almost 900 pages.The pacing keeps one glued to the book turning page after page and not wanting the story to end. Littell's other strength in this novel is the seamless blending of fictional and non-fictional characters. The wonderful historical 'walk throughs' from James Jesus Angleton,'Kim' Philby, Nixon, the Kennedy brothers, Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the attempted coup (Mstislav Rostropovich's advice on how to use an AK-47 is memorable), and Vladimir Putin give the story is powerful historical immediacy. The strengths and weaknesses of the fictional and non-fictional characters and the growth of the fictional ones gives one the sense that the Cold War involved human beings as well as ideologies. These human characters are flawed, but not presented as evil incarnate. Perhaps the only 'evil' character is Starik (the old man), the KGB controller of Yevgeney and SASHA, who is portrayed as a blind fanatic for 'the truth', an anti-Semite, and a child molester who dies an ignoble and unheroic death. This wonderful nostalgic trip has a disappointing denoument. This perhaps is the only major weakness in the work as the end of the novel and the end of the Cold War coincide and it leaves the reader languishing and feeling aimless. Perhaps this is Littell's intention. It certainly is historically accurate.

posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2003

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Fantastic!

Book started out slow, but it really picks up speed as you read on. The Hungarian uprising chapters were incredible on their own! Really well written.

posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2006

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2003

    Littell's Magnum Opus!!!!

    I first encountered Robert Littell's work about 20 years ago with his novel, The Amateur. I 'walked back the cat' to the Defection of A.J. Lewinter and have tried to keep up with his work ever since. The end of the Cold War has, in some respects, has left the spy novel languishing, and like NATO, looking for a purpose or a mission. The post-September 11th novel of spies and espionage has yet to be written. That is why Robert Littell's The Company is such a pleasure to read. It is a wonderful nostalgic trip that brings the reader back to the chaos and uncertainty in the post-war years in building the Company during the Cold War. The reader has sense of immediacy in the historical set pieces at the Berlin Station, the Hungarian Uprising,the Bay of Pigs invasion,the 'assassination' of Pope John Paul I, Afghanistan and its consequences,and the 1991 coup against Gorbachev. One knows what's going to happen in these events, nevertheless, Littell's genius style keeps the reader on the edge of his/her seat wanting to know what will happen next. One breezes through the pages without realizing that you've read almost 900 pages.The pacing keeps one glued to the book turning page after page and not wanting the story to end. Littell's other strength in this novel is the seamless blending of fictional and non-fictional characters. The wonderful historical 'walk throughs' from James Jesus Angleton,'Kim' Philby, Nixon, the Kennedy brothers, Gorbachev, Yeltsin and the attempted coup (Mstislav Rostropovich's advice on how to use an AK-47 is memorable), and Vladimir Putin give the story is powerful historical immediacy. The strengths and weaknesses of the fictional and non-fictional characters and the growth of the fictional ones gives one the sense that the Cold War involved human beings as well as ideologies. These human characters are flawed, but not presented as evil incarnate. Perhaps the only 'evil' character is Starik (the old man), the KGB controller of Yevgeney and SASHA, who is portrayed as a blind fanatic for 'the truth', an anti-Semite, and a child molester who dies an ignoble and unheroic death. This wonderful nostalgic trip has a disappointing denoument. This perhaps is the only major weakness in the work as the end of the novel and the end of the Cold War coincide and it leaves the reader languishing and feeling aimless. Perhaps this is Littell's intention. It certainly is historically accurate.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    Fantastic!

    Book started out slow, but it really picks up speed as you read on. The Hungarian uprising chapters were incredible on their own! Really well written.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2003

    Simply Amazing

    I read espionage. This book is wonderful. I read a lot of John Le carre and Fredrick Forsyth but this book take us through the entire cold war. Lot of guys complain about the length but I don't think anybody can wrap the cold war in say 500 pages. Hats off to Robert.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    EXCELLENT

    This book is a tribute to all those CIA men and women who lost their lives to save us from commies and jhehadis of the world. This is one of the finest books i have read in last few years.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2003

    Highly recommend this book

    I couldn't wait to get back to reading, really. The writing is great, the characters are so 'alive'... Cannot give 5 because of weakness of the 'Russian' parts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2002

    Absolutely loved it....

    Fascinating story, spanning 40 years of time...the best read in a long time!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2002

    Fantastic book

    If you're a fan of the spy novel genre, this is a must read. The story is fantastic following the lives of Leo, Jack, and Ebby for the better part of 40 years. For a book of nearly 900 pages, the biggest compliment I can give it is that you don't feel the length. It make take some time to read the whole thing but it is well worth it. The search for SASHA as well Hungarian revolution kept me reading all night long. The use of historical figures such as Kim Philby and James Jesus Angelton really makes the novel feel authentic even if it is fiction. I almost gave this novel 4 stars on the fact that whoever edited this book should be immediately fired. Many words were misspelled, 'capitol' for 'capital' and the like. Also, idioms were overused such a 'paw' for describing hands. You could also tell that Littell doesn't live in the US anymore with some of the phrases he uses such as having 'a cup of champagne'. Finally, I didn't quite understand the loathing descriptions that Littell used for the Sorcerer. Yes he was overweight and an alcoholic, but for me he was my favorite character in the book. All that said, The Company was a joy to read and in my opinion the definitive Cold War novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Hard to Believe it's a work of Fiction !!!

    This very lenghty book was a page turner from start to finish. It seemed as though I was there with the characters experiencing all of the historic episodes I grew up with from the 40s until the late 90s. I'd recommend this book to anyone who appreciates the history amd imtrigue of the Cold War.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This book is great!

    This is apparently the longest spy novel ever, and also one of the best! It weaves real events in with fictional ones, and is suspenseful. It has fantastically real characters and much factual information. I would recommend it to readers of spy novels and thrillers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 23, 2009

    Fantastic... great read

    I blazed through 900 pages and could have read another 900. That's how much I enjoyed this book. Some very memorable characters. An epic story spanning decades. I'm a big historical fiction fan and this is one of the best. The cold war comes to life in living color. It illuminates the world of the spy and the lives of the characters.
    Buy it, borrow it, read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    totally engrossing

    this is one of the best books of any genre I have ever read. Taut prose, rich three-dimensional characters, the reader doesn't know where reality ends and fiction begins. Kind of like Oliver Stone's 'JFK' meets 'Forrest Gump'. Only regret is that it was only 900 pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2003

    Outstanding

    This book made me look at the Cold War in a whole new way. It was very well told and it kept me wanting to read more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2003

    a good story if it was only 600 pages long

    It was an interesting book. But it ran on for to long. There were personal effects best left out. I would not read it again. It doesn't come close to anything Tom Clancy writes. I couldn't wait till it came to and end.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2002

    Excellent spy action thriller

    The Company is the best spy action thriller published this year and possibly the next couple of years. It's hard to tell which parts of are fiction and documentary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2002

    Things that go bump in the night.

    Clandestine and covert operations, espionage and spying, shadow boxing with the Chinese or the North Koreans, and other things that go bump in the night. Secrets are what we most want to hear; secret things are what the ¿gray people¿ at our CIA do best. We want to be on the inside and Robert Littell stands ready to give it to us. It stands to reason that ¿The Company¿ would have broad appeal. This book is basically a fictionalized version of Bob Woodward¿s ¿Veil¿ published by Simon and Schuster, Inc. in 1987. In Woodward¿s ¿Veil¿ we got a snapshot of the CIA from 1981 to 1987. While ¿The Company¿ is broader in scope, the story covers a time period from 1950 to 1991. I assume that much of Mr. Littell¿s fiction is based on fact. Although former CIA chief William Casey was mentioned in the story I saw his character E. Winstrom Ebbitt II as Casey, who also left a successful New York law practice to join the CIA. Wether it is fact or fiction, I had to laugh at one of the CIA's hair-brained ideas. The plan was to drop thousands of jumbo sized condoms, from planes, flying over Russia. The label on the condom read ¿medium.¿ The objective of the plan was to demoralize the Russian women. I chuckled because the planners must not have known that the women in Russia already suffer from low self-esteem. Even with out the CIA's help. So what was the point? In John le Carre¿s ¿The Perfect Spy¿ he wrote, ¿In every operation there is an above the line and a below the line. Above the line is what you do by the book. Below the line is how you do the job.¿ That is stock CIA, and that is the essence of Littell¿s ¿The Company. Robert Littell, a journalist and author of over ten books, has given us a well-told and well-researched story. His style has been likened to le Carre. I don¿t agree, Robert Littell is his own writer. Highly recommended. Cammy Diaz

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 2