JoJo's Reviews > Eye of the Needle

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
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's review
Apr 02, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: edge-of-your-seat
Read in April, 2011

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 I'm reading this book, an Espionage Thriller set in Britain 1940-44 I'm falling in love and pulling for Henry (Heinnrich) Faber, or 'Die Nadel'- the German spy who has information so vital that this individual could literally cost the war. He has such a strong reputation that the Fuhrer, in the story, personally reads Faber's messages and will trust his information over his own SS commanders. However, the story is about Faber's intelligence, stealth, and seemingly superhuman abilities as he evades the other 2 protagonists in the story: the British investigators reporting directly to Churchill, who are sent to catch him. This is a seemingly impossible task, as Faber is a true professional, has no close contacts, friends, even remaining celibate since 1938 to ensure he's never too careful.

The thing is, Faber is apolitical- you aren't pulling for the SS, you are pulling for the man. In fact, Faber doesn't think much of the Nazis, little more than pigs. The second son of an Aristocrat, he is well connected, and the Fuhrer has even stayed at his family's estate because of his family's socioeconomic and military status. He has no respect for authority, his messages insulting and condescending, but he's driven to do his job mostly due to his loyalty to his country, partly boredom, and part ego: he knows he the best spy the Germans have, which is why he gets away with his insubordination. Even when he kills in cold blood, his reasons seem quite logical in his mind. He avoids it if he can, but he weighs the consequences in his head, and if you pose a threat....well, you'll be dead before you figure out what happened. While he is obsessively independent, incredibly quick thinking, and probably the luckiest bastard ever- the human side of him is what seeps through, which is why I say you fall in love with the SS spy.

I won't report the ending here, but I'm disappointed. I mean, you know who wins the war, but I still was hoping for something different. It was still a good ending, but I have to admit I shook my fist at Mr Follett from across the ocean. I guess that means the book was pretty good! It was also quite unexpected, which I liked, too.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Tamy I have to agree with you. I was expecting a different ending. I developed simpathy for Faber and I thought the things he did was from loyalty for his country. I would have liked his love for lucy to exceed the loyalty for the country. I am sure that I will be blamed for wishing that by some as there were so many people that gave their lives for the war but I cannot help it to wish that they were together. They seemed so good for eachother and so similar in a way.

Dorothy loved the ending

JoJo that's what makes this book amazing; despite his affiliation, you develop sympathy for him as a person, and want the love story to work out. One of my favorite works by Follett.

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