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Download The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story Audiobook, by Robert Baer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.12 out of 53.12 out of 53.12 out of 53.12 out of 53.12 out of 5 3.12 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Baer, Dayna Baer Narrator: Robert Baer, Dayna Baer, Richard McGonagle Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9780307878496
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Robert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East. Over several decades he served everywhere from Iraq to New Delhi and racked up such an impressive list of accomplishments that he was eventually awarded the Career Intelligence Medal. But if his career was everything a spy might aspire to, his personal life was a brutal illustration of everything a spy is asked to sacrifice. Bob had few enduring non-work friendships, only contacts and acquaintances. His prolonged absences destroyed his marriage, and he felt intense guilt at spending so little time with his children. Sworn to secrecy and constantly driven by ulterior motives, he was a man apart wherever he went.

Dayna Williamson thought of herself as just an ordinary California girl, admittedly one born into a comfortable lifestyle. But she was always looking to get closer to the edge. When she joined the CIA, she was initially tasked with Agency background checks, but the attractive Berkeley graduate quickly distinguished herself as someone who could thrive in the field, and she was eventually assigned to “Protective Operations” training where she learned to handle weapons and explosives and conduct high-speed escape and evasion. Tapped to serve in some of the world’s most dangerous places, she discovered an inner strength and resourcefulness she’d never known, but she also came to see that the spy life exacts a heavy toll. Her marriage crumbled, her parents grew distant, and she lost touch with friends who’d once meant everything to her.

When Bob and Dayna met on a mission in Sarajevo, it wasn’t love at first sight. They were both too jaded for that. But there was something there, a spark. And as the danger escalated and their affection for each other grew, they realized it was time to leave “the Company,” to somehow rediscover the people they’d once been.

As worldly as both were, the couple didn’t realize at first that turning in their Agency ID cards would not be enough to put their covert past behind. The fact was, their clandestine relationships remained. Living as “civilians” in conflict-ridden Beirut, they fielded assassination proposals, met with Arab sheiks, wily oil tycoons, terrorists, and assorted outlaws, and came perilously close to dying. But even then they couldn’t know that their most formidable challenge lay ahead.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A breezy, often fascinating account of this CIA romance.”

    Washington Post

  • “Propulsive momentum…The authors give a good sense of the improvisational nature of the CIA…Both Baers write affectingly of their experiences.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An engaging narrative that should appeal to readers of spy-themed literature, factual or fictional.”

    Booklist

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camilla | 2/12/2014

    " I thought spies were only in James Bond movies till I read this book. Their lives read like a movie and it's only when you read about the losses in their personal lives that it hits home they are real people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kylee | 2/8/2014

    " i lovvvvvvvvvvvvvve backdoor diplomacy. and dal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Weeks | 2/4/2014

    " Each chapter was a vignette about their time in the CIA. It was interesting to learn more about what the CIA does. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Lou | 1/31/2014

    " Although it took some time to finish, (kept putting it down in favor of fiction titles), I enjoyed this part-memoir, part-travelogue, part-espionage thriller. There were sections that read like James Bond. I appreciated the additional background and information this account provided on the Bosnian situation in the 90s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chuck | 1/28/2014

    " This book does give some insights to the lives of a CIA operative, but that aspect is limited particularly when it is acknowledged that the CIA has reviewed the book to assure that classified info is not revealed {you know, the interesting stuff}. To my surprise, the value of the book lies in its revealing the tragedies and triumphs of this couples personal lives which are profoundly effected by constantly living on the edge of reality, or lack of reality. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lorraine | 1/19/2014

    " Book was okay. Like to break up fiction with true stories. Not enough cohesive connection between stories. Will try see no evil. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie Baker | 1/18/2014

    " A really interesting book, but it dragged towards the end and it was a chore to finish. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma K. | 1/17/2014

    " Another book club book. OK, but it's not actually the page turner that the cover claims it to be (never judge a book by its cover...oops). An interesting insight into the boredom of a CIA operative, which eventually spins down into an adoption story (?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 1/12/2014

    " This book gives you some idea of what life is like in the CIA. I'm sure a lot of it is watered down. Also, the writing is not the best. On the whole, it was an interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 1/7/2014

    " This account of how two CIA operating officers met, married and began settling into life after the CIA treats the dissolution of each of their first marriages rather offhandedly, but does make the point that the only path to true relationships is to settle in and work on maintaining them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam | 11/30/2013

    " Entertaining insight into how the CIA works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen B | 11/21/2013

    " I would not have read this book if it hadn't been a monthly read for the Book Hoarders Anonymous podcast, but I ended up really liking it. It was a fairly quick read for me and very enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Em | 7/31/2013

    " This book got 5 stars, not because it was deep or life-changing, but because it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doyle | 6/10/2013

    " This a dual memoir with a very happy ending. In all honesty, it does show the value and operational uses (other than honey traps) of female operatives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 12/25/2012

    " As a spy book I give it a one star. But it's a decent biography. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larissa Wowk | 5/2/2012

    " interesting look into the lives of real CIA agents "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin Statz | 4/26/2012

    " it was only ok. nothing spectacular. i feel like there are better books out there about the CIA "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 3/30/2012

    " This real-life CIA tale should appeal to anyone who enjoys good spy fiction. "Syriana" was based on one of Robert Baer's books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robin Keef | 12/8/2011

    " I truly enjoyef the peek into the real lives of two CIA operatives. The glimpses imclufe the mundane, humorous and exciting. I learned a lot and lived a little, if only vicariously. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 7/1/2011

    " I found this book to be a surprising page-turner (nook screen-tapper?). You get the sense that being a CIA agent is comprised of long stretches of waiting punctuated with high drama. And it takes a toll on the family. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Epic.rdr | 6/5/2011

    " I truly enjoyef the peek into the real lives of two CIA operatives. The glimpses imclufe the mundane, humorous and exciting. I learned a lot and lived a little, if only vicariously. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 5/30/2011

    " This book was a birthday present from my wife. I enjoyed it very much. It was an easy read. I learned quite a bit of culture, geography, and history in between the telling of tales--a good book. Thank you Ciarra.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 5/24/2011

    " Really 2.5 stars. The CIA stuff is interesting, but the personal story never connects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 5/22/2011

    " very interesting story of ex-CIA agents all over the world.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/4/2011

    " A really interesting book, but it dragged towards the end and it was a chore to finish. "

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About the Author
Robert Baer spent twenty years running agents from inside the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, operating against Hizballah, Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations, and “was considered perhaps the best on-the-ground field officer in the Middle East” (Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker). His memoir See No Evil was a New York Times bestseller and inspired the movie Syriana starring George Clooney. He lives in Colorado.
About the Narrators

Dayna Baer before leaving the CIA to settle down with her husband Robert, was an accomplished intelligence operative.

Richard McGonagle is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and an experienced film, television, and voice-over actor. He has appeared in such films as Rules of Engagement and such television shows as The Practice and JAG.