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Eye of the Needle

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  79,873 ratings  ·  1,543 reviews
One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies’ greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin—code name: “The Needle”—who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is coming to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

Ken Follett’s unsurpassed and unforgettabl
Audio CD, 8 pages
Published January 25th 2007 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 1978)
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This was the novel that gave Follet star quality status in publishing circles. Not only was it a best seller but it also was adapted into a movie, starring Donald Sutherland.

Here are some reasons to read THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE:

(1) PRECISION: you like reading about cool, precise heroes or anti-heroes or villains who are painfully precise in their plans, the best at what they do and are totally "stone cold.";

(2) WWII BUFF: you love to read about the "big thrills" of WWII; this has it since the Ge
Today, most people know Ken Follett as the author of mammoth works of historical fiction. I mean, we’re talking novels that would make War and Peace turn and run like Napoleon’s troops from Moscow. (See what I did there?) It’s a known fact that you can construct a home able to withstand an F5 tornado solely from copies of Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and Fall of Giants. (Note: this house will not have doors, windows, a roof, or the ability to withstand an F5 tornado).

Before he starte
Jason Koivu
Eye of the Needle, a sharply-written WWII era thriller, is miles away in style and length from the mammoth, medieval epics Follett would later create. Though not a mindbendingly difficult read, the quality of the writing was already present at this early stage. Extra kudos must be given to any author who can switch gears and dabble in different genres. Working outside your comfortable corner can not be the easiest thing to do.
Carl Sandburg said (in another context) "it pays to have a good forgettery." In this case, a good forgettery allowed me to reread Ken Follett's EYE OF THE NEEDLE (British title, STORM ISLAND) with every bit as much enjoyment as when I first read it 30 years ago. Also, having recently reread THE DAY OF THE JACKAL, it was fun to compare these two similar, but different, thrillers.

Both books feature multiple points of view -- quite a few of them in Follett's case -- and on both sides of the good gu
Disciplinador no que à História se refere, O Estilete Assassino , estreia literária de Ken Follett, é um romance deslavado que, embora ceda a truísmos românticos, como a sobreavaliação do amor, tem um ritmo fogoso e imparável.
Il primo Ken Follett e, secondo me, il migliore. Rapido, incisivo, appassionante. Appassionato, anche. Ma, soprattutto, genuino nell'invenzione. Prima che la notorietà gli consentisse stuoli di ricercatori, complessità meno fresche e una vaga supponenza.
Sonia Gomes
Mar 14, 2009 Sonia Gomes rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every fan of World War II
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I would have read this book in a day, but I had to work when I started it. However, I did manage to finish it coming home after drinking wine & finishing with Heradura- rather than pass out I managed to complete it. Well Done, Mr Follet, Well Done!!

I loved this book so much, was reading on my nook and I was hooked after page 13. I gave it 5 stars, but I really would have given it 4.5 if I could, only because I would have preferred an alternate ending. Ken Follett is a genius. The whole time
This is my first Ken Follett book (much to the disappointment of my wife) but I wanted to tackle something small before attempting on of his epics. Eye of the Needle tells the story of a German master spy ‘The Needle’ and his attempt to uncover the plans of the English army during World War 2 (a few weeks before D-Day). This book was a little light on the espionage and too much focused on the generic thriller formula. I also felt the feeling of World War 2 was missed; this book could have been a ...more
Heinrich Faber is Jason Bourne before there was a Jason Bourne. He is a great ani-hero. The book is gritty and you have to keep in mind that you are in the world of the mid 1930s and 40s… to it can be painfully slow… It is not written in a “cool” American style with double back flips and “mind blowing” technology. It is more British, meaning there is a methodical story of detail. within the characters there are a lot of inner emotions. and the story tends to allow for a lot of complaining. But t ...more
Very satisfying book. Reminded me of drinking a glass of chocolate milk -- like I just enjoyed it so much I couldn't take a break until it was gone, and when I finished I was like, "ah, that was good." But I suspected somewhere deep down that it's junk-foodyness outweighed its nutritional value.
In an interview, Ken Follett said this was his first really successful novel (after having written about 10 previous ones that are now forgotten), and he thought the reason of its success was that for the first time he had put a lot of effort in building a great structure. This is pretty evident while reading this book: the best structure is the one you don't notice, because you are so drawn into the story.
Eye of the needle is a brilliant spy thriller with a clever plot, an accurate historic ba
Verovsky Brandão
Lewis Weinstein
Among the best thrillers ever. My comments about Follett's approach to the actual history in his historical novel "Eye of the Needle" can be found in my author blog ...

Follett starts with a one page historical preface about the D-Day deception. He ends the preface … “That much is history. What follows is fiction. Still and all, one suspects something like this must have happened.”

The high stakes of blowing the deception plan are emphasized several times …
A fast paced World War 2 thriller, set against the backdrop of D-Day plans secretly laid by the British. The story is very engrossing, making it a real turner and a thrilling experience, but I felt that there were a bit too many clichés. It started off pretty well, but by the end it felt like a Hollywood style spy-flick.

The writing is quite good at times, while on some occasions the lines were overtly simplistic, the romantic intrigue was mostly about sex and nothing more.

Throughout the readin
Wendy Welch
This is really sad. What I learned from this book was, when you clean a bookshelf in your bookstore and wind up handling 400 or so pulp thriller war novels, you automatically become interested in that genre for awhile. My husband and I spent the two snowstorm days of extra Christmas vacation cleaning our Westerns,War and Guys with Big Guns section and reshelving them so they can be seen - and thus purchased! Marketing is so simple. And then we packed a box of books and some wine and went down to ...more
Until I started sharing books with my retired father, suspense thrillers about spies weren't my thing at all. After reading Eye of the Needle I'm still not sure if the genre is for me. The book's basic idea is that a German spy must be stopped by MI-5 before he tells Hitler that the massive camp of Allied troops ready to invade Calais is a bluff. As plots go, it's pretty brilliant because it focuses on the limited task of finding and silencing the spy, yet manages to make the consequences hugely ...more
Joe Stamber
When the radio packed up in my car and I got fed up of listening to music, I came up with the idea of trying an audio book. In all my years of reading, audio is one format I've never tried, so it was a new experience for me. And was I pleased I gave it a chance! My half hour journey to work (same one for 19 years!) was a real drag, but now I almost look forward to taking a steady drive to work while listening to the latest installment. Admittedly, I may have slightly overrated EotN because of my ...more
Tara Moss
'She said: ‘Can I have a word with you?’
He seemed to hesitate, then said: ‘I’m undressed.’
‘So am I,’ she giggled, and she opened the door with her duplicate key. He was standing in front of the radio with some kind of screwdriver in his hand. He wore his trousers and no singlet. His face was white and he looked scared to death.
She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, not knowing what to say. Suddenly she remembered a line from an American film, and she said: ‘Would you buy a lonely
Dona Sarkar
Oh Ken Follett, you've fooled me again. You are so good at the spy cat-and-mouse game aspects of writing these great WWII spy novels. Generally the first 2/3 of your books have me waking up at night to finish reading a chapter or two. Such great and complex heroes and villians. But try to write sexy stuff. And honestly, you have no idea what women want or need.

I'm sorry, but a housewife is not going to wander into the next room to ravage the stranger she just met and bandaged up from
Victor Hugo
O primeiro contacto com este escritor talvez não tenha sido o melhor - coloquei em causa ler Os Pilares da Terra.
O que mais gostei nesta narrativa foi o contexto histórico, que consegue ser razoavelmente envolvente. O foco está, claro, num determinado espião e numa determinada área geográfica - tudo o resto é história documentada, cujo final já todos sabemos.
Ken Follett é bom no suspense, e este thriller é bom exemplo, mas no entanto fica a faltar algo; algo mais profundo... talvez recursos est
2.5/5 Downloaded this when I was in bed all day yesterday after a too late night out. I've read Follett before (Pillars of The Earth) which I enjoyed quite a bit more than this.
Aditya Jain
First of all, the 3-star rating should not disillusion anyone. This was not a bad read. But, it was a disappointment. I had expected a lot from this book.
This book deals with Operation Fortitude, which was undertake by the Allies to fuel the German notion that the invasion was going to take place at Calais and not Normandy. One spy digs it all out. And he is the best they have. They have to stop him.
Of course, everyone knows who won WWII. So, there is no doubt as to the climax. But, the book se
Everything about this book is masterful and pure entertainment. If you need a book to escape into this weekend, this is your book.
I wrote a review of this book and apparently it did not save.
I learned so much from reading it, hearing for the first time of actual practices during WWII:
--the existence of a German message scrambler machine during WWII and the secret existence by the British of a machine that could unscramble it.
--decoding techniques whereas those who intercepted messages attempted to do so routinely from the same spies, sometimes getting to know their code "personality" so that they could detect a fake mess
I wanted to like this book, and it started out with great promise, despite our knowledge that the D-Day invasion was a success because it was indeed a surprise. The spy was ruthless, calculating, and methodical, unlike his bumbling comrades, who served primarily as double agents.

The book seemed to reach what I thought would have been its climax almost halfway through, leaving me questioning why the sub-plot with David, his poor wife and son were included. I was baffled that The Needle did not t
Chris Gager
Pulled this one out of the pile for my next read. Time for some spy-war-adventure stuff. I saw the excellent movie years ago - on TV I think. So far as I can recall I haven't read this author before.

Got into it last night and the report is good. Very smooth and enjoyable so far. Gotta love those English spy writers!

We're getting to the nitty gritty as the MI5 bloodhounds are pursuing Nadel and he's washed up on Storm island with the fetching Lucy and the snarling David. As far as I know it'll en
André Nuno
Esta foi a minha primeira experiência (sem sentido bíblico) com Ken Follett.

Gostei da sua escrita. É rica, pormenorizada, descritiva e escorreita.
É muito agradável seguir este enredo, com episódios de uma certa violência mas sempre apropriados e bem enquadrados, embora por vezes se tornasse um pouco previsível.

Dado que se trata de um romance com um contexto histórico talvez o próprio enquadramento limitasse as opções do autor quanto ao que poderia utilizar como argumentos enriquecedores do enred
This book taught me that I was not immune to the charms of the "anti hero." Follett can make you forget everything he's just told you about a character that would make you detest him on so many levels; make you hope that he overcomes any obstacle to stand in the sun, and then yank you back with a jolt to find that your original estimation of the person's character proves him as vile as you had once believed and that you've been courted and won by a monster, right under your own nose. Obviously, ...more
Num dos primeiros livros escritos por Ken Follett já dá para perceber a predilecção que o autor tem pelo tema das guerras, sobretudo o da Segunda Guerra Mundial. Como entusiasta desta temática, é óbvio que fiquei em pulgas para ler.

O Estilete Assassino desenrola-se na base da espionagem da Segunda Grande Guerra. Um espião alemão é enviado para Londres a fim de tentar descobrir o desembarque militar dos Aliados. Calculista e bastante perspicaz, mata a sangue frio quem se atravessa pelo seu caminh
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Ken Follett burst onto the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar award and became an outstanding film.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple; The Key to Rebecca; The Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of ho
More about Ken Follett...
The Pillars of the Earth  (The Pillars of the Earth, #1) Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1) World Without End (The Pillars of the Earth, #2) Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2) Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3)

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“Blenkinsop sighed. "As usual, those of you who can think of better ways to win the war are invited to write directly to Mr. Winston Churchill, number 10 Downing Street, London South-West-One. Now, are there any questions, as opposed to stupid criticisms?” 1 likes
“The trouble with being inspired to perform the impossible was that the inspiration gave you no clues to the practical means.” 1 likes
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