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Jackdaws Unabridged Audio

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  29,824 ratings  ·  1,407 reviews
D-Day is approaching. They don't know where or when, but the Germans know it'll be soon, and for Felicity "Flick" Clariet, the stakes have never been higher. A senior agent in the ranks of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) responsible for sabotage, Flick has survived to become oe of Britain's most effective operatives in Northern France. She knows that the Germans' ab ...more
Audio Cassette, 8 pages
Published December 3rd 2001 by Penguin Audio USA
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Tom I found this to be one of the best novels I have ever read and I read about a book at least every week. Follett has done it again! Eye of the Needle w…moreI found this to be one of the best novels I have ever read and I read about a book at least every week. Follett has done it again! Eye of the Needle was another one of my favorites.
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  29,824 ratings  ·  1,407 reviews

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Dana Ilie
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a heart-racing, brilliantly fast-paced and gripping read. To merely call it 'exciting' would be an understatement. The plot is fantastically well-written, bringing together drama, history and tangible emotion. This is certainly not a book which can be easily put down.
Follett not only knows how to tell a fantastic story and captivate the reader, he also knows exactly what the reader wants. The ending is just as gripping as the rest of the book and I can guarantee you will not be disappoin
Aug 01, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Jackdaws, like other Ken Follett titles I've read, is kind of like riding a moped. It's a lot of fun, but all the same you really don't want to be seen enjoying it. For me reading Follett is one of those guilty pleasures, where you know it isn't the best writing out there, the characters aren't particularly well developed, and in general the book isn't ground breaking or noteworthy in any way -- and yet you keep reading, because secretly it's kind of fun.
If you like WWII fiction with lot
I’m not even going to attempt to be diplomatic, so buckle yourselves in because this book made me angry.

Note: I am aware that I am in the minority for this one, as a few people have ungraciously pointed out. Whilst I welcome informed debate, I will not tolerate hateful comments. Please don't take it personally if I block you.

I’m surprised this has such a decent rating. Jackdaws is a grim mockery of the dedication and fierce bravery of the SOE girls. It exploits a very real and turbulent episode
Kristen Schrader (Wenke)
"Exactly fifty women were sent into France as secret agents by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. Of those, thirty-six survived the war. The other fourteen gave their lives. This book is dedicated to all of them."

So. Damn. Good.

Ken Follett is best known for his sweeping epics Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, and Fall of Giants which span decades, but in Jackdaws he manages to apply his same talent for engrossing description into a story that takes 10 days. The
Aug 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who claims they like spy novels but secretly loves harlequin romance
Shelves: book-club
Either KF is a dirty old man or he's taken the adage "sex sells" to heart. For a spy novel, there was an awful lot of flirting and crushes and sex — each instance intended to be more shocking than the last. Rather, each was more ridiculous than the last, resulting in sighs and eye rolling. Lots of eye rolling.

When the author wasn't writing amateur porn and got around to writing the spy part of his spy novel, things didn't pick up as much as you'd think. The plot never gets any serious momentum.
First off, I feel this is a 3.5 but I'm giving it 4, as some of the reviewers on here have been too harsh.

JACKDAWS takes the standard D-Day spy stories but twists it by focusing on the Historical female agents, or, as they were known, something of the unsung heroes.

This particular tale focuses on a female agent who is trying to knock down the phone lines of an SS HQ but needs to do it as cleaning ladies. So, after failing her first attempt, she heads back to the UK where she, and other govt of
Dec 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jackdaws could have been a very good World War II novel. It's about a group of women operatives (most of them criminals or malcontents) who are given a chance to serve their country and clear their records if they undertake a dangerous mission in France to blow up a Nazi communications center just as the D-Day invasion begins. Yes, the premise is very much a female Dirty Dozen.

The action and characterization of the book are okay but typical. There were just too many sex scenes. And the sad thin
May 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popcorn-reading
I picked this up on holiday because I'd read through the books I'd brought and this was the only one among the English-language secondhand paperbacks at the hotel I thought I could stand. It's okay, for what it is. Follett keeps the adrenaline going, but there's not much else here. The main characters are all impossibly good-looking and/or bursting with raw sexual energy (one can practically cast it with the appropriate Hollywood A-listers as one reads). The plot is full of twists, as one would ...more

After a chunk of the French resistance in Reims is killed, a ragtag band of (mostly) English female saboteurs are recruited and trained to take their places and blow up an important telephone exchange operated by the Nazis. (They must be female because they're going in undercover as cleaners.)

Follett is from the Captain Obvious school of writing. In my favorite example, the protagonist Flick and her gay brother Mark go to a gay club in London.

A waiter said, "Hello, Markie," and put a hand on Mar
Another stellar entry into the mind and brilliance of Ken Follett!


Follet brings us back into the chaos and madness of WW2, and again brilliantly narrates a story that is filled with action, with engaging characters, and most incredibly based on real events! A group of British amateur 'spies' are recruited to lead a suicide mission into occupied France, and infiltrate and explode a key communication relay center north of Paris. Their mission is a-la 'Mission Impossible' scenario. 5 women are ch
Benjamin Thomas
Whenever I read a Ken Follett novel, I expect a lot. Not every book I’ve read by him has been outstanding but most have and so I always hope for one of those. This one certainly qualifies.

It’s a story that takes place during the ten days just prior to the D-Day landings in 1944 during WWII. The French resistance is in full gear, expecting the imminent invasion, even if they don’t know the exact date. The SOE (Special Operations Executive) in London has determined to support the French resistance
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
That's the last time I take a book recommendation from the head cashier at Barnes. The fact that she also recommended The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks should have been warning enough. I think I'll be pulling the fluff out of my eyes for days. Good try, Mr Follet, with your Nazi insignia designed cover and scattering of knowledge about code breaking and writing of LGBT characters. It was not a story about women fighting in the war effort so much as women arguing with each other and hooking up, some ...more
Kenny Bellew
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another historical fiction by Ken Follett. It was published about 15 years ago. This time, it's a about the women of the French Resistance who attempt to help the allied evasion by going after a highly-guarded military target. One of the women is gay man who works as a cross-dressing performer and identifies as a woman. The author calls her female for the whole book. ...more
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, fiction
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Typically, war based stories are so full of minute details that they detract from the story for me. The plot sounded intriguing though, so I decided to give it a shot. It ended up being one of the better WWII stories that I have read. There was enough background information for me to underdstand the historical reference of the story, but it was balanced by a well developed plot. I like reading stories from a non-American perspective since it is a view ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A spy/war suspense book. The historical context and atmosphere of the book is nice, as expected from Ken Follett. The plot is interesting but many times I found myself thinking, did they really have to send complete amateurs to do the job? Couldn’t they find more skilled people for this (local or imported)? I admit that I do not know if the WW2 spy part of this book does represent real events or is just complete fantasy.

Bottom line, it was a good read but some of the decision making of the char

Read by Kate Reading. Unabridged, on 9 1/2 Tapes

blurb from Publishers Weekly- Time is running out. With D-Day rapidly approaching, the Nazis are actively trying to quash the French resistance. Meanwhile, Britain's Special Operations branch is working hard to supply the resistance with intelligence, supplies and agents. Felicity "Flick" Clairet is one of England's most effective operatives in northern France. Having failed in an assault on the Nazis' main European telephone exchange, she regroups
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii

"Exactly fifty women were sent into France as secret agents by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. Of those, thirty-six survived the war. The other fourteen gave their lives. This book is dedicated to all of them."
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is dedicated to the 50 unbelievably brave, female secret agents that parachuted into France to gather intelligence or to prepare the invasion on hostile territory during the Second World War. This is one of their (fictional) stories, that is unfortunately all wrong.

First of all, the women: they are basically tough and randy men who just tend to burst into tears, are overly beautiful or just plain stupid.

Second, the plot: we already know the outcome, yes D-Day happened and yes it was a
Donald Gallinger
Ken Follet achieves the nearly impossible task of creating genuine suspense about an event that is well-known, with fresh characters, clever plotting, and surprising twists on an old story. You will enjoy this book on a long plane flight, or just sitting out on your porch during the lazy days of summer. I always enjoy Ken Follet's approach to history--crackerjack pacing, strong dialogue, and a deep desire to entertain. If only all writers cared as much about their audience's enjoyment as Follet ...more
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwi-wwii
Jackdaws focuses on the approaching days before D Day when British Special Operations Executive, Felicity "Flick" Claret, has been tasked with taking down the Germans' communications center in France with a ragtag team of women that she has chosen for the mission to prevent interference with the Allied plans. What transpires is a riveting tale. Author Ken Follett dedicates this book to the fifty women sent into France as secret agents by the SOE during World War II, noting that thirty-six surviv ...more
J.F. Penn
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Full video review here :

I have always found Ken Follett too verbose but this book was an excellent fast read with a great female lead character. Flick Clairet is one of a select group of women helping the French Resistance during the final years of the Second World War. She is married to a French man, the leader of the resistance in Reims and in the opening sequence we see a group of them fail to overcome a telephone exchange that is crucial to the German
Jan 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Irene by: Rebecca Schneider
Shelves: fiction
The problem I have with historical fiction is that I always figure there must be plenty of amazing true stories from the same time period, so why not read about those? Jackdaws brings attention to the Special Operations Executive, the British military division responsible for secret operatives sent behind enemy lines. According to a note in the book, fifty women really were sent into France as spies during World War II. So what are their stories? I'm sure they're as fascinating, or even more so, ...more
Mr. Gottshalk
A team of six women are sent from England to France just before the Allied invasion of Normandy in June, 1944. Their job is to destroy a German communications system that sends information for the bad guys from France back to Germany. The problem is, it's not that easy. They are parachuted on to enemy soil and have to work very, very hard to avoid all the traps laid for them. A terrific character named Flick Claret is opposed by an evil Gestapo torture master by the name of Dieter Franck. You ca ...more
Cathy Sites
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite good, story line keeps you engaged making it a quick read. Yet another reference to Ravensbruck, a part of WWII history that should receive more attention.
Cassandra Yorke
A top-notch spy thriller - a team of badass chicks and a high-stakes mission where so much more can go wrong than right. Historical fiction doesn't get any better than this.

(I read this for my History of Espionage class during my senior year of college and liked it so much more than I expected to. I guess not all professor-assigned reading is bad.)
Kristin Hirsch
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked seeing a different style of Ken Follett's writing and I think he did a really good job telling the story. Reminded me a lot of The Nightingale and All the Light we Cannot See. ...more
rating: 3/5

Days before D-Day there is a high priority Nazi target on French soil that needs to be destroyed. However, there is a catch, only an all-female team can gain access to it. Flick is put in charge of this quickly formed, ragtag team as they attempt to fulfill their dangerous mission.

Loved the action, the plot, and the kick-ass female protagonist. The POV mostly alternated between Flick, the British agent on French soil, and Dieter, a Nazi commander. I had chills from viewing through a
Sep 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy story and Follett fans.
This offering of Ken Follett, while not up to Eye of the Needle or The Pillars of the Earth was nevertheless a good book to have on a trip with many delays due to weather and mechanical problems.

It chronicles the travails of a group of British women who are tasked to destroy a German telephone exchange just before D-Day, important because it was the main conduit for most of the military phone traffic between France and Berlin .

The plot is well-developed but I find Follett's characterizations to
May 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: worldwartwo
Let me preface this by saying that I love historical fiction having anything to do with Europe between the years 1900-1945. World War Two dramas are usually filled with such drama and atmosphere that I can't help but be excited by it. I'm not sure why, but I love it.

This book found me while I was on my French Resistance kick, and it's about a squad of British Female Spies that parachute into occupied France to aid in the Resistance. Sure, it's a mass-market paperback thriller, but it's a fun, fa
Jul 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am an avid reader. My husband, not so much. This is one of the few books that he brought into our married bookshelves, and that's because he had to read it for a class. I read anything I can get my little hands on, so I grabbed this one up.

I loved it. I loved the main characters, the gathering of the team, the constant action, all that friction.... everything. It kept me excited and I couldn't put it down. I love tough, unique, women characters and this was full of them. I feel like it'd be a
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Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 170 million copies of the 36 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 t

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