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The Big Needle

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  375 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Success came easily to Chad Carstairs. Then, without warning evil invaded his pleasure-filled life... a chilling evil that sent him racing from an elegant English country estate to the sleazy clubs of London's West End, from the drug-ridden streets of Marseilles to a farmhouse on the desolate coast of Wales. Driven by revenge, he was a man willing to risk his fortune, his ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 18th 1996 by Zebra (first published 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rob Smith
Jun 15, 2016 Rob Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
This second try at Follett was a winner. This was a taut thriller that is also fun to read. The down side, for me, was the surprising amount of sex and drug use through out.

Apparently Follett wrote this first of a three part series under the name of Symon Myles. The main character is named 'Apples'. An odd name with a lousy reason for using such a lousy name. Despite the name the character is well developed as are most all of the characters in this short novel.

A big plus to this story is Follett
Eric Herr
I beleive this was Follett's first novel and was originally released under the pen name Symon Myles. I had just finished "World Without End" and enjoyed it so much that I decided to go back through and read all the other Follett novels on my bookshelf.

It is amazing to see how the quality of his writing changed/improved over from the time "The Big Needle" was written in 1974 and today.
Aug 11, 2008 Patrick rated it did not like it
Wow, this was unbelievably awful. I couldn't get through this 150 page book, even though I slogged through Jane Eyre and White Noise earlier in the summer. Absolute garbage, like a 16 year old's fantasy. Lesbians become bisexual after watching the insipid narrator copulate with his other comic book character-bodied partner, every 20 pages has a meaningless fantastical sex scene, etc. Totally intolerable.
This book reads like much of the early pulp fiction of the fifties. What is so interesting is that Ken Follett develops into one of the finest mystery fiction writers of his day, but this early book written under a pseudonym shows him early in his journey. A fast paced book which seemed to be selling explicit behavior more than the story.
Joe Peters
Sep 18, 2012 Joe Peters rated it liked it
Shelves: adventure
Nice and short, exciting and fun. The little things are great, but it's the plot where this book falls way short. It's so contrived and cliche. I still don't know why a guy like the protagonist would risk his fortune, his life, and the well being of those closest to him, to go after the bad guys. The more I think about the book, the more I think it's just a bunch of fluff.
Jun 21, 2014 Deborah rated it it was ok
Eh a good wee read! At only 180 pages this book is easily read in one sitting. It helps when the sun is shining and you're off work for the afternoon.

I was content reading from start to finish, it wasn't amazing, in fact it wasn't all that good but it was a short entertaining period of my life.
Oct 22, 2010 Randy rated it liked it
Sweet and short book. The crime, sex, and drugs keep it interesting. Yet the ending was unfulfilling. A child could have dreamt up a better one with all that happened leading up to it...
Kevin Sorenson
Feb 14, 2013 Kevin Sorenson rated it liked it
This was his first novel and I can definitely see flashes of the greatness of his later work, but he is not there yet.
Jan 27, 2015 Rory rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Not one of his best works but entertaining. Sex, drugs, fast cars, and double cross mixed in a way that could only be fiction.
Erin Caldwell
Jul 19, 2015 Erin Caldwell rated it it was ok
Definitely not one of Follett's gems. underdeveloped characters, plot full of holes, no real hero to root for... but it was a quick and easy summer read.
Oct 27, 2009 Wendi rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it. I'm trying to work up the gumption to read another of his books as this was my first attempt.
Barbara rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2014
Jeffrey Perren
Jeffrey Perren rated it it was ok
Mar 01, 2012
Erik Twisk
Erik Twisk rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2013
Emily rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2008
Dudley rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2013
N. rated it it was ok
Mar 24, 2014
Wendy rated it really liked it
Jul 26, 2011
Richard Bomyea
Richard Bomyea rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2014
Kristof Czeczko
Kristof Czeczko rated it liked it
Jul 11, 2015
Lisa rated it really liked it
Feb 18, 2013
April rated it it was amazing
Oct 13, 2010
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Apr 26, 2015
Sarah rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2014
Alex Lefty
Alex Lefty rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2013
Gerry rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2009
Jessica Setzer
Jessica Setzer rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2012
Bob Sipes
Bob Sipes rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2012
Line rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2016
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Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 160 million copies of the 30 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.

Born on June 5, 1949, in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in philosophy. He was made a fellow of the coll
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