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  • Life Undercover

  • Coming of Age in the CIA
  • By: Amaryllis Fox
  • Narrated by: Amaryllis Fox
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Life Undercover

By: Amaryllis Fox
Narrated by: Amaryllis Fox
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Summary

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

"Fast and thrilling.... Life Undercover reads as if a John le Carré character landed in Eat Pray Love." (The New York Times)

Amaryllis Fox's riveting memoir tells the story of her 10 years in the most elite clandestine ops unit of the CIA, hunting the world's most dangerous terrorists in 16 countries while marrying and giving birth to a daughter

Amaryllis Fox was in her last year as an undergraduate at Oxford studying theology and international law when her writing mentor, Daniel Pearl, was captured and beheaded. Galvanized by this brutality, Fox applied to a master's program in conflict and terrorism at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, where she created an algorithm that predicted, with uncanny certainty, the likelihood of a terrorist cell arising in any village around the world.

At 21, she was recruited by the CIA. Her first assignment was reading and analyzing hundreds of classified cables a day from foreign governments and synthesizing them into daily briefs for the president. Her next assignment was at the Iraq desk in the Counterterrorism center.

At 22, she was fast-tracked into advanced operations training, sent from Langley to "the Farm", where she lived for six months in a simulated world learning how to use a Glock, how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, how to withstand torture, and the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity.

At the end of this training, she was deployed as a spy under non-official cover - the most difficult and coveted job in the field as an art dealer specializing in tribal and indigenous art and sent to infiltrate terrorist networks in remote areas of the Middle East and Asia.

Life Undercover is exhilarating, intimate, fiercely intelligent - an impossible-to-pause record of an extraordinary life, and of Amaryllis Fox's astonishing courage and passion. 

©2019 Amaryllis Fox (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"A riveting account of the decade the author spent risking her life in the CIA’s most clandestine unit." (People)

"Gripping...Fox masterfully conveys the exhilaration and loneliness of life undercover, and her memoir reads like a great espionage novel." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

"Extraordinary...[A] remarkable life...Fox engagingly - and transparently - describes her work as an undercover agent for the CIA." (Kirkus Reviews)

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  • Mr Dangerous
  • 16-10-19

Book of the year...

This is not just a book about being in the CIA. Being undercover. This is so much more. I was beyond surprised at how good this book was. So much depth, deep emotion, trade craft, intensity. Fox has a way with words, has a way with thoughts.

This is literature. I rarely say that about a book.

Fox gave and excellent read.

46 people found this helpful

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  • SD
  • 18-10-19

Beautiful prose and exciting

I’m not sure what I was expecting from this novel, I don’t usually read this genre but branching out was well rewarded. I enjoyed every minute of the book and was delighted with the descriptive and beautiful prose.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-10-19

A lot of extra, extra, extra talking.

The one unfortunate & reoccurring thing in books like this are the authors really like to hear themselves talk & think everything they do is interesting & important. The first 8 chapters of this book really don't need to be there. I get it's an "autobiography" but I bought it to hear about CIA things, GWOT details, not about the childhood of a stranger or a bunch of inside jokes. It has no value or relevance to the rest of the story. Honestly nothing at all grabbed me until chapter 10. The only reason I stuck it out was the curiousity to see if it got any better, not because the story was so intriguing.
I really wanted to like it. I tried.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mike langworthy
  • 17-10-19

great listen

a very well written account of the authots journey. really puts you in her shoes

11 people found this helpful

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  • Jay Jarvis
  • 26-10-19

profound

Very interesting true story. it certainly didn't end as I expected. she came to conclusions it took me more than 60 years to reach and half the time. I wish her much peace in her life and would love to meet her.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Eric Carlyle
  • 23-10-19

Amazing story and writer

Great story and some of the best writing I have seen in years. Highly recommend for young people who are called to service of their country

9 people found this helpful

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  • Megan Ket
  • 14-11-19

I couldn’t stop listening

I found this to be very well written. The way she describes childhood memories makes me wish I had her mother (and I had a good childhood). This was adventurous, honest, and indulged my curiosity about certain govt operations. Thank you for your service, Amaryllis, and for sharing your soul!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Hamilton
  • 17-12-19

Disappointing!

Reviews had me interested and excited to listen to this book. I persevered for a few hours hoping a slow start might reward my patience. Alas no.
Very thin and shallow telling of a story that failed to engage. The author's reading didn't help, as often it does.
It also had the feeling that padding and license was added for effect but I was left wondering....where's the story? Contrasted with "From Russia With Blood" by Heidi Blake which preceded this selection, it was very disappointing.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Susan M.
  • 02-12-19

Interesting but narration takes away

The narration was extremely flat and difficult to list to as there was little inflection. Even when talking about something very exciting or emotional, there was so little emotion or excitement.

The story was interesting, but could have been so much interesting with a better narrator.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Charles Singer
  • 24-11-19

wasted

I listen to audio to keep me awake on my daily drive to Los Angeles from the burbs. That monotonic voice of boring had me sleep driving. Story was crap. If you are interested in great story telling from an ex operative, read Jason Matthews Sparrow trilogy.

7 people found this helpful