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Eye of the Needle

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  121,301 ratings  ·  2,706 reviews
His weapon is the stiletto, his codename: The Needle. He is Henry Faber, a coldly professional killer and Germany's most feared deep-cover agent in Britain. His task: to discover the Allies' plans for D-Day, and get them to Germany at all costs. It's a task he undertakes with customary relish and ruthlessness - until he encounters Storm Island, and a woman called Lucy . . ...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published (first published May 1978)
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Theresa Draper I think you would like this book. It was his first best-seller. He writes a lot of political thrillers which I like, but he also writes literature. I…moreI think you would like this book. It was his first best-seller. He writes a lot of political thrillers which I like, but he also writes literature. I would suggest you read his trilogy of Kingsbridge, starting with the enormously successful "Pillars of the Earth", great historical fiction. (less)
Jerry Davis He had a radio, but didn't trust the operatives on the receiving end with accurately relaying his information. This was mentioned after he took the…moreHe had a radio, but didn't trust the operatives on the receiving end with accurately relaying his information. This was mentioned after he took the pictures, escaped and reached a town. He felt he made the right decision after the pictures he sent to the Portugal embassy were turned over to British intelligence.(less)
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Shannon
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
...more
Matt
Today, most people know Ken Follett as the author of mammoth works of historical fiction. I mean, were talking novels that would make War and Peace turn and run like Napoleons troops from Moscow. (See what I did there?) Its 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 started
...more
Dana Ilie
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have never read any of Follett's work, then this is a good place to start. The paperback is 368 pages, which is shorter than many of his other books. If you like his style, then his other books have even more point-of-view characters that he rotates his narration around. I'm guessing that Follett realized he had a solid formula for creating tension. He just added more characters to prevent telegraphing too many plot points.

This spy thriller delivers quite the adventure! No master work of
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Eye of the Needle, Ken Follett
Eye of the Needle is a spy thriller novel written by Welsh author Ken Follett. It was originally published in 1978. In 1940 Henry Faber is the alias used by a German spy, nicknamed 'die Nadel' ('The Needle') due to his preference for the use of a stiletto as his trademark weapon. He is working at a London railway depot, collecting information on troop movements. Faber is halfway through radioing this information to Berlin when his widowed landlady stumbles into his
...more
Sanjay Gautam
Dec 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Clichéd and predictable: an ultimate disaster. Wasted my precious time on this one.
Jason Koivu
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
ChopinFC
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, follett
full review

Again I am truly mesmerized by Ken Follett's imagination his writing style and this absolute gem of a book Eye of the Neddle. This is an incredible novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with massive suspense, thriller and the elaborate machinations that only Follet could design! I'm truly shook!





"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies. "

Winston Churchill



Eye of the Needle became Folletts first breakthrough book, the one
...more
Stjepan Cobets
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent thriller where the action is happening at the time of the Second World War.
Nikki
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
...more
Nandakishore Varma
This is undoubtedly one of the best thrillers to come out of World War II. The Allies are planning for invading Europe, and where is it going to be? Normandy or Calais? The outcome of the war depends on fooling Hitler - and the German spy, known as "The Needle", may yet prove spoilsport.

The story moves at a rapid pace as the Needle and his pursuers move across Britain - but what makes it stand apart is its exquisite climax, set on an island, involving the protagonist, an Englishwoman who has
...more
Abubakar Mehdi
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
...more
Eli Easton
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read for my lifetime challenge (1978).

This is a fantastic page-turner that outshines most contemporary thrillers. I could hardly bear to put it down for the day and a half it took me to devour it!

The story is set during WWII just before the allies invade at Normandy. This first offensive by British, US and allied forces could determine the entire war. The only chance they have is if they can land where the Germans aren't expecting them. Otherwise they'll be decimated as they try to get their
...more
Pavellit
This is my first Follett book I have read and he has a very enjoyable, concise and precise style of writing. The year is 1944, and a German spy (code-name: "the Needle") has photos that could damage the Allies' plans for D-Day. While trying to get the photos to a U-boat, he is shipwrecked on a remote island off the coast of Scotland, which is home to a loveless and amputee man, his lonely wife, and their three-year-old child. This is an enthralling wartime (WW2) thriller with a interesting plot ...more
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 ... http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/201...

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
...more
Mohammed M. Sheikh
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, welsh
Eye of the needle a thriller novel set on the second world war. "Die nadel" or the needle the german undercover agent whose job is to find the plans of the allies on doomsday and get back to Germany. the needle who is doing the job quite swiftly despite the whole british police is after him, until he is shipwrecked and forcefully he have to take rest at storm island which is separated from the mainland. and then he met lucy and his attitude just get changed.

what i like about this book : overall
...more
JoJo
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sonia Gomes
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Michael
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
Gary
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A WW11 thriller that in a strange way leads you into rooting for both sides. Strange I admit but because the author writes the story from both angles you can't help wanting the spy to at times succeed. My first Ken Follett book and I will certainly try others.
Tom LA
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
ALLEN
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 1978 debut novel by master of suspense and espionage Ken Follett is an almost perfect example of its kind. It's 1944, and a Nazi spy stationed in London is sent out to discover what he can about Allied invasion plans. Along the way he must deal ruthlessly with ordinary English people who have no idea what he's about. It's books like this that sent Follett to the top of his profession. Gripping.
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 then...you 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
...more
RJ from the LBC
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in WWII, this excellent spy novel begins with the premise that a top German operative has discovered the deception behind Operation Fortitude, placing the D-Day invasion plans at risk. The insertion of fictional characters into a real-life event, one in which the reader already knows the outcome, is similar in feel to The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, and in both cases it is the author's skill that keeps us in suspense until the final pages. Follett deserves some credit for a ...more
Tara Moss
Aug 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
'She said: Can I have a word with you?
He seemed to hesitate, then said: Im 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 girl a
...more
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
Bill
Aug 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 the ...more
Laura
Eye of the Needle is a spy thriller novel written by Welsh author Ken Follett. It was originally published in 1978 by the Penguin Group under the title Storm Island. This novel was Follett's first successful, best-selling effort as a novelist, and it earned him the 1979 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. The revised title is an allusion to the "eye of a needle" aphorism.

The book was made into a motion picture of the same title in 1981, starring Donald Sutherland,
...more
Ming Wei
Betrayal, a thrilling, spy novel, The movie is one of my favourite spy movies of all time, the book does not disappoint, the book is well written, gives depth to the characters, characters that implement both fake and true personalities. A very good spy novel, easy to read, the story flows, keeps your concentration right to the end. A thrilling ride across the UK. Very enjoyable book. Suitable to all people interested in the 2nd world war, only negative, I think the front cover is a bit plain, ...more
Lisa
WWII spy is on the run but closely followed. I kept switching loyalties throughout which was a good tactic by Follett. Who do I trust? The story moves between the spy and a newly married couple living on an island. Of course they'll eventually meet. This seemed too formulaic and cliche, but liked most of the writing. Very different from other sweeping Follett novels which I love. Probably better to have read than listened. Dramatic voice overs not appreciated.
Anne
May 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Ken Follett is one of the worlds most successful authors. Over 165 million copies of the 31 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.
Born on June 5th, 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 later to be made a Fellow of
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