El Ocho
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El Ocho (The Eight #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  19,592 ratings  ·  1,716 reviews
Catherine Velis, una alta ejecutiva experta en ordenadores, se ve atrapada sin quererlo en la búsqueda de un legendario ajedrez que perteneció al emperador Carlomagno. El campeón soviético de este deporte, de gira por Nueva York, le advierte que corre un grave riesgo si se empeña en encontrar las piezas, pues en ellas reside la clave de una antigua fórmula ligada a la alqu...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published 2000 by Punto de lectura (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamal
Three weeks ago I held a yard sale. To pass the time I picked up this book I'd never seen from a box of books none of which I'd ever read and none of which I remember buying.

Of the many surreal happenings of that day one of the most strange was when, immediately after reading the first page, a well-groomed homeless man or a poorly groomed homed man rode past on a bike. He looked over and upon seeing The Eight lurched off his bike stumbled to my gate and, grasping it with all the force and desper...more
Robert Beveridge
Katherine Neville, The Eight (Ballantine, 1988)

This novel has achieved almost cult status in some circles, and many people consider it one of the best adventure novels ever written. It's a useful way to separate folks you know into two categories: those who are more interested in plot, and those who are more interested in writing.

The plot is pretty darn good, when it comes right down to it. The novel takes place in two parallel times, the first being 1972 and the second the years during and afte...more
Diana
I was told by several people whose books tastes I generally respect that I would love this book - sadly, that wasn't the case. I found it tiresome, hard to follow, and the writing was almost impossible to slog through in several places. The characters were never fully developed, I never got invested in any of the characters, and I found the book too plot-driven to an irritating degree - with too many historical elements "dropped in" (almost like name dropping) in order to tie the events to histo...more
Laura
The two more recent books that most closely resemble The Eight are The Da Vinci Code and Kate Mosse's The Labyrinth, but I found The Eight a more enjoyable read than either of them. The novel is utterly audacious in its (ab)use of historical characters, completely, joyfully implausible in its plotting, and I'm not certain whether the language of Romantic page-turners the author makes frequent use of ("dear reader, little did I know that in two hours' time I would be running for my life trying to...more
LJ
The Eight - Ex
Kathleen Neville

The Montglane Service, an ornate, jeweled chess set given to Charlemagne by the Moors, is said to hold a code which when deciphered will bring great power. Nations and individuals have schemed to possess all the pieces. As the set is dispersed during the French Revolution, a young novice risks her life to safeguard it. Alternating with her story are the present-day efforts of a U.S. computer expert and a Russian chess master to assemble the set and solve its mystery...more
Deborah Harkness
This book was the first of its kind: a historical thriller/whodunnit/magical story that was published in 1988. In a way, all the similar books that have come after (Dan Brown, Kostova's The Historian) are following in Neville's footsteps. If you read it now, it may seem flat in comparison with these later works, which have taken a genre that in many ways Neville created and taken it to new levels. However, I'm giving it this rating because I still remember back more than two decades to my first...more
Ray
Sometimes you read a book and find yourself wishing it'll never end. If you want that, this is a book for you. I thought it'd never end, and I don't mean that in a good way. The book has been compared to the DaVinci Code, but I think that's an unfortunate comparison. The story alternates between the 1970's and the late 1700's, both periods linked by the individuals quest for lost ancient knowledge. To me, the action and dangers are contrived, as is the object of the search. If you can get caught...more
Ben
I read this book for the first time in 1992 when I was fourteen. I just finished rereading it. I dug up my copy when I moved to NYC 2 years ago and had been curious to pick it up again since then - partly because I had vague recollections of a couple of hot sex scenes, but largely because over a decade after I originally read it, there was a complete cultural explosion centering around another book featuring ancient secrets playing out amid high-paced modern day intrigue, namely The Da Vinci Cod...more
Mike (the Paladin)
FLASH! Definition of the word "thriller" changes. Now the word "thriller" can be deemed to include slow moving, overly convoluted stories that wander from point to point with little actual plot covered!

Yes we have another story here apparently inspired by love of The Da Vinci Code. Taking place in both the past and the future with "countless" number based clues, cues and proofs.

That's right the number.....8! FIGURES HEAVILY in the story, duh,duh,duh.

Beginning back in the time of Charlemagne (or...more
Sarah Sammis
I've had The Eight on the TBR shelf next to my bed for two or three years. I got it right around the time I had just finished reading The Da Vinci Code and the blurb on the back compared it to Brown's book and the Bookcrosser who gave me the book had liked the intricacies of the plot.

This 600 page mystery involves a formula for an elixir of life, a rare chess set and some Cold War era espionage. The story jumps between the close of the 18th century and "modern day" 1972. To make the chess theme...more
Keith
Jan 07, 2008 Keith rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: afficionados of European history
"The Eight" reads like a student attempting to wow her professor by using as many similies as she can (irony intended). I think Neville chose the name "The Eight," because there are roughly eight sentences per chapter that don't contain a forced, awkward similie.

At least that was true for the first 90% of the novel, which was almost Dickensien in its detail. For the last 10%, it is writen more like a short story, with months of time being skiped and important, climactic scenes being rushed into...more
Linda
In 1972, Catherine Velis, a computer expert, is given a special assignment in Algeria, and when an antique dealer hears about it he approaches her with a request. Even before her departure, strange things starts to happen and she realizes that she is part of something she doesn't understand. Everything seems to be connected to an ancient quest.

People from different parts of the world search for an ancient, moorish chess service given to Charlemagne and hidden in Montglane Abbey. The Montglane se...more
Andy
The absolute worst. Intolerable.

The kind of endless, deluded, humorless, self-satisfied, tone-deaf, utterly witless manuscript that I'm sure publishers find in the mail all the time but must NEVER EVER PUBLISH. Picked it up hoping for approximately the literary equivalent of "National Treasure," instead got the literary equivalent of diarrhea. That this is beloved by anyone anywhere, and that it ever elicited the press quotes inside the front cover, absolutely boggles my mind. There is NO dimen...more
ruzmarì
The Eight accomplishes what Da Vinci Code aims for - a sweeping, quasi-religious collaboration between historical, supernatural and scientific forces. The novel traces the history of chess, and uses the game as an allegory of sorts for the modern (and anient, and postmodern) world. Not terribly believable, as plotlines go, it is nonetheless a gripping page-turner of a book, a wild ride through history and mystery, from the desert of Algeria to the cobblestone courtyards of Paris.
Vasia
it's a bit complex and confusing because it has many characteres and many significant facts but apart from that it's nice book
Barry
Nov 25, 2008 Barry rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barry by: Laura
The story was not bad, although quite contrived and some interesting twists. The style was laborious - I wish someone could just walk into a room instead of entering the room lit by the amber glow of an oversized fireplace, in front of it were arrayed couches in a floral fabric and overstuffed pillows strewn on an leather ottoman. I mean sometimes you just walk into a room. The excessive floral and overstuffed language got in the way of the plot. And I was waiting for the Velis = Lives anagram t...more
Alyson
What do King Charlemagne, a gaggle of nuns, just about every historical celebrity from late 18th century Paris to Venice to St. Petersburg, more than a few chess prodigies, and the formation of OPEC have to do with each other? More than you could imagine. Katherine Neville out-Dan-Browns Dan Brown, skipping across continents and centuries, connecting far-fetched dots, and name dropping all along the way.[return][return]The book starts strong--the classic cryptic fortune telling of doom, a stubbo...more
Simone Sinna
Along with Shantaram, reviewed previously, this is a book that spoke to me. Grabbed me and wound its magic around me, seeping into my soul. I have probably read it at least ten times and several sections more than that.
Is it literary genius? No. Is it well written and engrossing? Yes. Fast paced, can’t be put down? Yes. Is it perfect? No. The concept is so good though it had me wanting to rewrite and re-imagine parts of it, trying to think of ways of making the chess game metaphor stronger.
In br...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
Sep 30, 2008 Tattered Cover Book Store added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tattered Cover by: Cathy G, Jinx
Shelves: staff-recommends
Cathy G says:
"This is one of my all-time favorite reads! I re-read it periodically, with an atlas nearby so I can visualize all the characters' travels. The plot centers around a fabulous Moorish filigreed chess set originally given to Charlemagne, which possesses such powers that over the ages, people play the parts of the chess pieces in life--black or white team--as they hunt for the actual pieces. The stakes for winning the game are awesome power, to be used to good or evil depending on who...more
Gail
I was given this novel to read, as a similar level of enjoyment as The DaVinci Code.
I'm here to say, not even close.
It has all the hallmarks that lead to an enjoyable read for me - historical figures, layered storylines, small details that add to great importance as the story develops, and zzzzzz.....

Let me state that I enjoy playing chess. However, reading about it is something of a completely different nature. Figures, playing methodologies, inside references, et al just made my eyes glaze ove...more
Stacy Green
I would give this book more than 5 stars if I could. The plot Katherine Neville created with The Eight is incredible, intertwined with history and myth and science. Her characters are wonderful, and she does a great job of keeping us wondering until the end who is really on the "good" side. As a writer, I am truly stunned by the intricacy of this plot. Anyone who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code should enjoy The Eight, and it is a better book, in my opinion. A must read, especially for writers learning...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Probably about 3.5 stars, actually.

Strong on plot; not so much on characterization. The plot's a doozy, though.
Debbie
The first time I read this was back in the early 90s. It was actually an assigned reading book for my Modern European History class. I have to say I am so glad we had to read it because it became one of my favorite books of all time. I’ve re-read it so many times my copy is near falling apart and I just bought a replacement copy.

I loved both the story lines although I have to say following Cat’s story was my favorite. She along with the help of a friend, Lily Rad, and the handsome chess champ, S...more
Kathleen
I first read this slightly paranormal, somewhat sexy suspense novel about ten years ago, after completing a similar book, The Da Vinci Code. Keep in mind, The Eight was published in 1988, more than a decade before TDVC.

In my view, Neville is the better storyteller, comparatively more interesting than Dan Brown. While their books are similar in several aspects — a frenzied, globe-trotting hunt for clues, immortality, immense power, a man and woman teaming up and falling in love — Neville penned...more
Vichy
Η Κάθριν Βέλλις βρίσκεται μπλεγμένη σ'ένα παιχνίδι σκακιού. Ζωντανά πιόνια ψάχνουν για το σκάκι του Μονγκλάν, τα κομμάτια του οποίου είναι διάσπαρτα ανά τον κόσμο και το οποίο, εν τη ολότητι του, κρύβει ένα μυστικό (το οποίο και αυτό ψάχνουν).
(view spoiler)
Όταν οι Μαυριτανοί δώρισαν ένα σκάκι στον Καρλομάγνο, αυτός το δώρισε στο στρατιώτη του Γκαρέν και αυτός το έδωσε για φύλαξη στο Αβαείο του Μονγκλάν, όλοι φοβούμενοι τη μυστικιστική του...more
Tyler
I have never written anything beyond a few pages so am utterly unqualified to make this statement, but this book is not good.

The story itself is interesting and makes a decent effort to be enjoyable, but the storytelling does everything it can to keep that from happening. The writing lacks character and detail: story just happen, location is no more than where, suspense and urgency feel absent. It just wasn't fun to read.

Add to that an intertwining past and present story line, which adds value b...more
Marie
I've been trying for months to finish this book. It's interesting enough that I'm curious to see what happens, yet slow enough that reading it feels like a chore.

Some things about this book that rubbed me the wrong way:
- The author's insistence on using the phrase "little did they know" in as many permutations as possible.
- Characters either knew nothing about the Montglane Service or they saw it as intriguing, dangerous, and mysterious beyond belief and imparted everything they knew about it...more
Joyce Lagow
Published in 1988, the same year as Umberto Eco� s Foucault� s Pendulum, which is more or less in the same genre, The Eight was a forerunner of thrillers such as The Da Vinci Code. It is set in two time frames� the � historical present,� meaning 1972, and at the time of the French Revolution, during the Terror, in 1790 and beyond. The plot, which revolves around a mysterious, fabulous chess set that once belonged to the Emperor Charlemagne and which is credited with unknown but terrifying powers...more
Deda Makinde
Aug 29, 2007 Deda Makinde added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: favourites
This book is a lovely read. It actually uses flashbacks very effectively, and the author is a genius - she did her research very very well to be able to involve almost every major thing that has happened in the world in the story. The fibonacci number series, The Egyptian Pyramids, The French Revolution, Napoleon's rise and fall, Bach and other famous composers and many more. Name it, its in there, and its all linked to the present. Now. I could not put it down, and after all this time I still r...more
Mia
The story was great! Made me wish I had the mind for chess, and a friend with a Rolls, and a mystery to run around the world solving. I don't know if the hard copy has maps in it, but I had to read with the Algeria map open. In fact there were quite a few things history wise I had to look up, which is always fun. There were a few things left unexplained, which I still don't understand... Maybe in the follow up? I just wasn't a complete fan of the writing, to much of, "...we are making this decis...more
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  • The Last Cato
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  • Day Of Confession
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  • Sepulchre (Languedoc, #2)
  • Interred with Their Bones (Kate Stanley, #1)
  • La catedral del mar
  • The Last Secret Of The Temple
  • The African Quest (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #5)
  • Ark of Fire (Caedmon Aisquith, #1)
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  • The Assassini
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  • The Third Secret
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Katherine Neville is an American author. Her novels include The Eight, A Calculated Risk, and The Magic Circle. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and she previously worked as a photographer, a model, a consultant at the Department of Energy, and a vice president of the local Bank of America.
-Wikipedia

More about Katherine Neville...
The Fire (The Eight #2) The Magic Circle A Calculated Risk El Ocho: Vol. 1 Katherine Neville Coffret 3 volumes : Le Huit ; Le cercle magique ; Un risque calculé

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