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Code to Zero

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A man wakes up to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station, his mind stripped bare of all recollection. He has no idea how he got there; he does not even know his own name. Convinced he is a drunken down and out, it isn’t until a newspaper report about a satellite launch catches his eye that he suspects all is not what it seems…

The year is 1958, and America is about to launch its first satellite in a desperate attempt to match the Soviet Sputnik and regain the lead in the space race. As Luke Lucas gradually unravels the mystery of his amnesia, he realizes that his fate is bound up with that of the rocket that stands ready on launch pad 26B at Cape Canaveral.

And as he relearns the story of his life, he uncovers long-kept secrets about his wife, his best friend and the woman he once loved more than life itself…

Code to Zero deals with one of the most ruthlessly contested arenas of the Cold War. Deceit and betrayal, love and trust interweave at the most political and personal levels, while the spectre of mind-control hovers constantly above. Each second brings destruction closer…

384 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2000

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About the author

Ken Follett

350 books50.7k followers
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 the College in 1995.

He started his career as a reporter, first with his hometown newspaper the South Wales Echo and then with the London Evening News. Subsequently, he worked for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director.

Ken’s first major success came with the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978. A World War II thriller set in England, this book earned him the 1979 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. It remains one of Ken’s most popular books.

In 1989, Ken’s epic novel about the building of a medieval cathedral, The Pillars of the Earth, was published. It reached number one on best-seller lists everywhere and was turned into a major television series produced by Ridley Scott, which aired in 2010. World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, proved equally popular when it was published in 2007.

Ken’s new book, The Evening and the Morning, will be published in September 2020. It is a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth and is set around the year 1,000, when Kingsbridge was an Anglo-Saxon settlement threatened by Viking invaders.

Ken has been active in numerous literacy charities and was president of Dyslexia Action for ten years. He was chair of the National Year of Reading, a joint initiative between government and businesses. He is also active in many Stevenage charities and is President of the Stevenage Community Trust and Patron of Home-Start Hertfordshire.

Ken, who loves music almost as much as he loves books, is an enthusiastic bass guitar player. He lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with his wife Barbara, the former Labour Member of Parliament for Stevenage. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren and two Labradors.

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5 stars
5,479 (24%)
4 stars
8,865 (39%)
3 stars
6,303 (28%)
2 stars
1,267 (5%)
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259 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,210 reviews
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,007 reviews354 followers
January 30, 2020
Um Mistério Fragmentado

Tombado ao comprido no chão duma casa de banho pública, Luke não sabe quem é nem como foi ali parar.
Dir-se-ia que nascera ali, naquele instante, sobre aquele chão húmido, e com um gosto a ressaca de uísque a amargar-lhe a boca!
Não tem um chavo. Para comer depende da bondade alheia que não raras vezes se converte em pontapés naquele ponto onde as costas perdem o nome!

Vá onde vá, duas sombras o seguem — o Chapéu de Feltro e a Gabardina Ambulante colam-se a todos os passos que dá!
Porquê e para quê, é um mistério que o transcende!...

E quanto ao Júpiter C?
E os cientistas?
E a CIA?
E Pete, o seu companheiro vagabundo?
E o Monstro Anthony?...

Que enigmas se escondem neste quadro fragmentado, tão misterioso e carente de sentido?!
Um empolgante puzzle que ansiaremos ver resolvido em contagem decrescente!!! 😉

É um 4+ para mais uma brilhante façanha de Ken Follet! 🥰👍
Profile Image for Marilena ⚓.
594 reviews77 followers
September 6, 2018

Έχουν περάσει τόσες μέρες και ακόμα το έχω στο μυαλό μου..

Ο Λουκ ξυπνάει στις τουαλέτες του σιδηροδρομικού σταθμού και δεν θυμάται απολύτως τίποτα.
Ούτε πως τον λένε ούτε πως βρέθηκε εκεί.Έτσι προσπαθεί ν' ανακαλύψει μια ζωή που δεν θυμάται και να βρει τι του έχει συμβεί και έχασε ξαφνικά την μνήμη του.
Θα ανακαλύψει ποιος και γιατί τον έφερε σε αυτή την κατάσταση?
Ποιον θα πρέπει να εμπιστευτεί και ποιον όχι?
Ο πύραυλος θα εκτοξευτεί και ο Λουκ πρέπει μάθει τι του έχει συμβεί πριν την εκτόξευση,γιατί το μελλον της Αμερικής θα κριθεί από εκείνον!
Η αντίστροφη μέτρηση ξεκίνησε..

Ένα βιβλίο με πολλή αγωνία και δράση που δύσκολα θα αφήσεις απ΄τα χέρια σου.
Έχω ενθουσιαστεί!Πρώτη μου επαφή με τον συγγραφέα και σίγουρα όχι τελευταία!

Αν το πετύχετε σε κανένα βιβλιοπωλείο πάρτε το!!!
Profile Image for Tim.
2,110 reviews193 followers
February 2, 2021
Decent thriller centered around the space race of the late 50s & 60s. Solid 6 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Shannon.
885 reviews221 followers
April 6, 2014
I'm a big fan of Follett's works so I was surprised that this turned out to be one of his lesser materials. The idea is interesting enough and the opening scene holds promise but I found it to be a lackluster presentation and after about 80 pages or so I gave up on the novel.

It felt like a dumbed down novel in characters and plot demonstrations. Hard to go into more details without giving spoilers.

If you want to see Follet at his height read PILLARS OF THE EARTH or THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE or THE KEY TO REBECCA.

WHEN READ: November 2011; MY GRADE: C plus.
Profile Image for Blair.
130 reviews113 followers
August 29, 2020
I remember, as a young fella, really enjoying Ken Follet's early works: The Man from St. Petersburg, The Eye of the Needle, The Key to Rebecca, to name a few. Maybe I wouldn't like them as much now, I'm not sure, but Code to Zero, another espionage novel -this time revolving around the Cold War space race, I found to be cheesy as hell. Juvenile writing, almost insulting to the reader. The author holds your hand as he walks you through the plot, guiding you as a parent guides a small child through a crowded shopping centre....
The plot is unbelievable, full of holes , and the dialogue is painfully, painfully bad. What the hell happened Ken? Is it you? Is it me?
I even enjoyed your historical novel, Pillars of the Earth, but this, this...offering has me flabbergasted. Why did I even finish it?
12 reviews
July 17, 2009
I loved it. When I was about 60% through with the book, I thought it was going to be one of my favorite books. The ending was a little disappointing and didn't have a marvelous ending, but I thought the story-line was great. I really enjoyed the fact that the plot was unpredictable for such a long time. Normally, as the book winds down the ending becomes more and more predictable as was the case with this book, but it took so long for that to happen, that I had to keep re-guessing how it would end.

So, not one of my favorites, but very very good.
Profile Image for Wendy Carlyle.
163 reviews
November 9, 2014
So I need to know what happened to the spaghetti and tomato sauce? At one point the hero Luke is stirring it in the kitchen when he is called to the bathroom to remove some soap from the eye of the very attractive Elspeth and we all know where that leads! Did the pan boil dry and set fire to the kitchen?

Also, why didn't Anthony just shoot Luke on the first page......ah because then we wouldn't have a story!

Finally, if thousands were turning up to watch the Jupiter space rocket take off at Canaveral, how come there were always spare rooms on demand at the Starlite Motel?

These apart, it's a good yarn and easy reading.
568 reviews1 follower
September 23, 2009
I found this book exceedingly entertaining. In most spy thriller books you know from the beginning the good guy, the bad guy, and the basic construction of the final confrontation scene. In this book because of the main character's amnesia, I spend almost the entire book wondering is he good? Or is this a Bourne Identity (movie not book) situation? The same applied to the ancillary characters. Who is the Russian spy? Was anybody an actual spy? Were the people pursuing the hero doing so because they were loyal Americans mistaking him for a spy, or because they were spies themselves? I found the final actions of the final antagonist bizarre and unrealistic, but otherwise I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Jeanette.
388 reviews44 followers
April 28, 2021
Ken Follett never fails to deliver and this read is no exception with a firm plot and events unfolding quickly. Only towards the end did I get frustrated with the main character's inability to see the traitors in his midst.

1958 and the United States is on the verge of sending their first rocket into space. The Russians have already achieved this and so there is that added pressure to stop the Russians from dominating the space race. This launch has to be successful. The author has tapped into the times when the KGB already had on their payroll numerous American spies for which this read has three operatives.

In a public toilet gazing at his reflection of a hobo the man asks "who am I?" The hobo has no recollection of his identity and he has a thumping headache that one would expect from a heavy night on the grog. He discovers a fellow hobo and repeats the question who answers him with the name, Luke.

The read takes us back to a time when (Claude) Luke Lucas, Anthony Carroll, Elspeth Twomey and Billie Josephson are students, WW2 comes to the USA when Pearl Harbour is bombed. This event plays an important part in the development of these four people.

Forward to the present, Luke starts to realise that he isn't a hobo, certain instincts have come into play with his physical reactions and he realises they are learnt elements in his life. After some advice from a street walker he determines to risk stealing money, a traveller's suitcase and car. Cleaned up in his stolen clothes he begins his investigations into finding out who he is and why he has memory loss. One aspect that concerns him is that he is being followed by two very obvious men. Tricking one of his followers, in his frustration he almost kills the man, alarmed by his actions Luke lets him go.

CIA where Anthony Carroll is now Head of Technology Services has the two agents in his office drilling them about losing track of Luke Lucas. Anthony has convinced everyone that in fact Luke is a spy. It was his decision and actions to have the concoction of lethal drugs administered to Luke to ensure that he lost his memory along with his discovery of alarming elements that could bring down Anthony's and his two conspirators plans for the rocket launch.

Elspeth, now married to Luke, is in contact with Anthony, anxious about the disappearance of her husband. However, along with Anthony their concerns about Luke are not personal, their concerns are about their own survival and continuance of their plans. Elspeth has a brilliant mind but her working role within the space agency is a minor one but a role she has accepted in order to achieve her own objectives. Both are concerned that even with Luke unable to remember his name they realise that all his training for undercover operations during the war are still very much part of him.

Luke starts to piece together things that may lead to someone recognising him which sees him gate crashing a meeting of a group of academics and where he is recognised. He is given the name of a person to contact, a memory expert, Dr Billie Josephson. He recognises the name and Billie greets him with understanding and assurance.

Anthony becomes aware of Luke's whereabouts and realises that drastic actions now need to take place to stop him. Retrieving his memory will destroy all that he, Elspeth and the third spy, have worked for.
Profile Image for JBradford.
230 reviews3 followers
April 22, 2012
This story seemed a little dated to me, and I was surprised to see that it was published in 2000; the storyline action took place in the late 1950s with a lot of flashback chapters to 1941 and 1945 (and a final leaping ahead to 1969), and it actually felt that old! On top of that, there were a couple key points to the plot that I simply could not accept as realistic—thinking “Nonsense, he (or she) would not have behaved that way.” Despite that fact, I read it in one day, staying up until 3:40 a.m. to finish it, so I have to conclude it was readable! If I cannot stop turning the pages, it has to be considered a success!

The novel begins when the third-person protagonist wakes up, finding that he has been sleeping on the floor of a men’s room in Union Station in Washington DC, dressed in rags, that he appears to have a hangover, and that he has absolutely no idea who he is. He and another bum, who has been sleeping there with him, get chased out of the station and find sustenance in a nearby church mission. Setting out to find out who he really is, he comes to the conclusion that he is being followed by professional stalkers--but that he apparently is even more professional, as he easily eludes them. Gradually, he figures out from the kinds of things he knows by instinct the kind of work he does (or did), and then he finds a way to locate someone who knows who he is, even as the people who had been following him begin to close in again. Through a series of flashbacks (which we see, but he does not), we begin to get a handle on the mystery, as we meet the people who knew him when eh went to Harvard, who worked with him in the OSS during World War II, and even who work with him in his current endeavors.

The problem is that Follett is using his third-person point of view to let us know things that the protagonist cannot know … while at the same time hiding things from us that would make everything clear form the very beginning. I wound up feeling as if I had been toyed with.
Profile Image for Raashee.
38 reviews91 followers
October 7, 2020
Suspense thrillers are new for me, as I have recently started reading that genre. But after reading this book I can confidently say that I'm on the right track.
The starting was confusing , I'll admit that. But along with that it was gripping too, and I applaud the author for that. A fast-paced book with one of the most interesting plots I've ever come across( YET!).
The ending did justice to the book, which is not usually easy with a good suspense book. Will surely read more books by the author. If you like Jeffery Archer's books (who doesn't?) then you HAVE to give Ken Follet a go.
Profile Image for Mikheil Samkharadze.
220 reviews31 followers
March 21, 2016
რამდენიმე დღის წინ პატივი მხვდა, რადიო პალიტრ���ს ეთერში წარმედგინა ეს ძალიან კარგი წიგნი. იმის გამო, რომ რადიოს პირდაპირ ეთერში პირველად ვიჯექი და დროშიც საკმაოდ ვიყავით შეზღუდულები (თან აშკარად ვნერვიულობდი), ბევრი ვერაფერი ვთქვი. რამდენიმე წუთი სრულიად არასაკმარისია ამ წიგნზე სასაუბროდ. ამ პოსტში კი ვეცდები უფრო ვრცლად ვისაუბრო.

კენ ფოლეტის “უკუათვლა” (Code To Zero) მოგვითხრობს 1950-იანი წლების პერიოდზე, როდესაც ორი ზესახელმწიფო – ამერიკის შეერთებული შტატები და საბჭოთა კავშირი – კოსმოსურ შეჯიბრებაში ჩაებნენ. ძირითადი ამბის პარალელურად ავტორი ხშირად იყენებს “ფლეშბექებს” და მკითხველს უკან 1940-1945 წლებში მეორე მსოფლიო ომის პერიოდში გვაბრუნებს. საბჭოთა კავშირმა დედამიწის პირველი ხელოვნური თანამგზავრი “სპუტნიკ I“გაიყვანა ორბიტაზე და ეს იქცა გამოწვევად ამერიკელებისათვის. თუმცა ამერიკელების მცდელობა კრახით დასრულდა. პირველი რაკეტა Vanguard TV3, რომელსაც უნდა გაეყვანა ამერიკელთა ხელოვნური თანამგზავრი დედამიწის ორბიტაზე, 1957 წელს აფრენიდან რამდენიმე წამში აფეთქდა. 1958 წელს Jupiter-C გახდა პირველი ამერიკული რაკეტა, რომელიც წარმატებით გაფრინდა და გაიყვანა ამერიკელების ხელოვნური თანამგზავრი ორბიტაზე. ეს წიგნი სწორედ ამ რაკეტის გაშვებას ეხება.

Jupiter-C-ის გაშვებამდე ერთი დღით ადრე მთავარი პერსონაჟი იღვიძებს მამაკაცების საპირფარეშოში, აცვია უსახლკაროს შესაფერისად, საშინლად სტკივა თავი, არ ახსოვს ვინ არის, რა ჰქვია, რა გვარია, რას საქმიანობს, აქ როგორ მოხვდა. გვერდით მყოფი სხვა უსახლკარო ახსენებს, რომ მას ლიუკი ჰქვია და წინა ღამით მთელი ბოთლი ბურბონი გამოცალა. საპიფარეშოდან გამოსული ლიუკი იწყებს ლოგიკურ აზროვნებას: ამჩნევს, რომ მას ალკოჰოლიკისათვის დამახასიათებელი ნიშნები არ აქვს, ხელის თითები მოვლილი, კანი რბილი, მისდა გასაოცრად ერთი ამოსუნთქვით შეავსო კროსვორდი და აღმოაჩინა, რომ ფრანგულიც ბრწყინვალედ იცის. აბეზარი უსახლკაროს ჩამოშორების შემდეგ ლიუკი გადაწყვეტს, გაარკვიოს თავისი ვინაობა და როგორ აღმოჩნდა იგი ასეთ მდგომარეობაში. სწორედ ამ ფიქრებში მყოფი მთავარი გმირის მახვილ მზერას არ გამორჩენია მდევარი, რომელიც მუდამ შორიახლოს მიჰყვება. რაც კიდევ უფრო ამყარებს მის ეჭვებს, რომ რაღაც სერიოზული ხდება მის თავს. ყველაზე უცნაური კი მაშინ იწყება, როდესაც ლიუკი თვალის კუთხით, რაღაც მისთვის საინტერესოს მოჰკრავს თვალს, მისი გონება აშკარად რეაგირებს რაღაც თემაზე, ოღონდ რაზე – ვერ ხვდება. შემობრუნებული კი მხოლოდ პრესის ჯიხურს ხედავს, სადაც ყველა გაზეთზე მომავალ დღეს რაკეტის გაშვების შესახებ წერენ. სწორედ აქ იწყება, თავდაუზოგავი რბოლა გადარჩენისთვის, მიზნის მიგნებისთვის, შეკითხვებზე პასუხების მისაღებად და ცხოვრების დასაბრუნებლად.

ავტორი იმდენად ბუნდოვან სურათს ხატავს, რომ წიგნის თითქმის ნახევრამდე, ვერ გაერკვე���ი ვინ დადებითი პერსონაჟია და ვინ უარყოფითი. ვინ საბჭოთა ჯაშუშია და ვინ – ჯაშუშებზე მონადირე. კენ ფოლეტი ნელ-ნელა ლუკმა-ლუკმა გაწვდის ფლეშბექებს და ლიუკის სტუდენტობის პერიოდში გადაჰყავხარ, სადაც ავტორი ნელ-ნელა გვაცნობს წიგნის სხვა მთავარ მოქმედ გმირებს, რომლებიც ამავდროულად ლიუკის სტუდენტობის მეგობრები არიან. სწორედ ეს ფლეშბექებია, დოზირებულად რომ ჰფენენ ნათელს წიგნში არსებულ ბუნდოვან სურათს. გამოვტყდები და ვიტყვი, რომ 1940-1945 წლების პერიოდები ძალიან შთამბეჭდავად არის აღწერილი და მის გარეშე, ეს წიგნი საერთოდ აღარ იქნებოდა ასეთი საინტერესო.

ყველაზე კარგი კი ისაა, რომ მთელი წიგნის ბოლომდე ხარ დაძაბული, კვანძი არა და არ იხსნება, იმდენჯერ იცვლება პერსონაჟების მიმართ დამოკიდებულება, რომ ბოლოსკენ თავში ყველაფერი არეული გაქვს და მხოლოდ ის გინდა, მალე გაარკვიო საგნების რეალური არსი. სიმართლე კი შოკის მომგვრელი იქნება, დამერწმუნეთ. თან ამ ყველაფერს ემატება ამბების რეალურობა – არავისთვის არაა ახალი ამბავი, რომ საბჭოთა კავშირიც და აშშ-ც აქტიურად ცდილობდა, ჯაშუშების დახმარებით ერთმანეთის სამეცნიერო მიღწევები ხელში ჩაეგდოთ. ინტრიგას ისიც ამწვავებს, რომ თუ ამერიკელების მეორე მცდელობაც კრახით დამთავრდებოდა, ისინი უარს იტყოდნენ კოსმოსურ შეჯიბრში მონაწილეობაზე და ამ სფეროს სრულიად გადაულოცავდნენ საბჭოთა კავშირს, რაც წითლების უდიდესი გამარჯვება იქნებოდა. ჰოდა, წარმოიდგინეთ, რამდენად ეცდებოდა სსრკ, Jupiter-C-ს არ დაეტოვებინა დედამიწა!

ვისაც კარგი თრილერის წაკითხვა მოენატრა, ეს წიგნი გელით! ძალიან სწრაფად იკითხება და ძალიან დამაინტრიგებელია! კიდევ ერთი დიდი პლუსი, რაც აღნიშვნის ღირსია: კოსმოსურ შეჯიბრზე წიგნები იშვიათია და ისტორიის ეს მონაკვეთი კენ ფოლეტმა ძალიან საინტერესოდ გადმოსცა ამ წიგნში.

“უკუათვლა” ამ სერიის ერთ-ერთი საუკეთესო ნაწარმოებია და ძალიან მიკვირს, რატომ არ არის ამ წიგნის მიხედვით გადაღებული ფილმი. სცენარისთვის იდეალური მასალაა

Profile Image for Mihaela Abrudan.
159 reviews9 followers
March 18, 2023
4,5 Ken Follett chiar are o imaginație bogată. Combinația dintre lansarea primarului satelit spațial american și un experiment CAI din 1947 are ca rezultat un roman plin de secrete, suspans, tradari și răsturnări neașteptate. Războiul rece a fost "vânătoarea de vrăjitoare" a secolului XX, astfel că orice roman bazat pe acest subiect este unul reușit.
Profile Image for Sean Randall.
1,883 reviews40 followers
September 23, 2011
"We lie more to our loved ones, because we care about them so damn much. Why do you think we tell the truth to priests, and shrinks, and total strangers we meet on trains? It's because we don't love them, so we don't care what they think."

This was recommended to me as a good read and I'll admit the start, and indeed the whole idea, is a gripping one. Luke's race to solve his personal mystery could have been engaging and the space race is fascinating material with which to work. The trouble is, and I say this as a person who rarely tweaks to the TV whodoneit or your average mystery novel, the end is so obvious you might as well just not bother reading it. The implication is that Luke is a Soviet agent, which we of course know to be balderdash in pretty short order: the plain-as-day guilt trips of the actual saboteurs render any pretence of mystery null and void.

I did like the scene where Luke's driving through Georgetown and Nosy Rosie Sims is threatening to call the cops on him. The flashbacks to the nineteen forties could have worked well, but even there, the history came too early for the future effects to have any impact - the sex between Luke and billie laid the groundwork for the abortion, their first meeting pretty much trashed Elspeth and Luke's relationship, just to name a few instances.

I recently reread The Bourne Identity, where repetition was used to great effect; mantra-like, for the amnesiac. Here, things are repeated (Pete's prostitution offence, Harry's contempt for women) with no appreciable gain - in fact, it smacked of sloppy editing to me, the book simply isn't long enough to warrant it.

To conclude, then; the story had potential. The dating is done wwell; the mores of the referenced periods and location especially as regards sex and race are particularly well executed, given that the novel was published in 2000. However, the sloppiness of the repetition and the sheer transparency of the plot ruined this for me somewhat, so much so that I wondered if it were a young adult book in places.
Profile Image for ChopinFC.
267 reviews75 followers
February 21, 2019

It's sad to say that 'Code to Zero' was Follett's first real flop and disappointment!

The book is filled with unnecessary cheesy hyperboles, and a plot that tries to be creative but it goes nowhere! Sadly, the idea of writing a book about USA vs U.S.S.R cold war, in the likes of a character that suffers 'amnesia' becomes a little too daunting, even to the master Follett. The characters are so poorly developed, mostly due to Follett's insistence of contrasting the story in the present and with irritating flashbacks! Some ideas are downright incoherent, and that left me frustrated and waiting to finish the book!

Follett was bound to err at some point! Even Michael Jordan has flubbed the winning point at the buzzard and missed the winning shot; Usain Bolt the fastest in the world finished his career with a disappointing 3rd place finish, and even Michael Phelps failed to medal gold in the Olympics... Humans are humans after all, and we're bound to fail at times.

Ken Follett is an absolute master of storytelling, and he's able to weave stories that are rich, with well developed characters and historical accuracies that astounds the soul! Follett's 'Pillars of the Earth' is astonishing achievement in literary composition. This frighteningly mediore book 'Code to Zero' is certainly an anomaly, and I don't really recommend it to anyone.. unless you have 5 hours to kill and enjoy the occasional mental torture.


"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
- Michael Jordan

2 sad Stars :(
Profile Image for Lorna.
653 reviews352 followers
December 13, 2018
Code to Zero is a thriller taking place during the height of the Cold War as the fledgling space program race between the United States and Russia wages on. Each chapter opens with an epigraph highlighting the progress of the launch of Explorer I at Cape Canaveral, Florida. What transpires is a race for time as it becomes apparent that there are intervening forces to sabotage the launch as the story rapidly moves from the Space Center at Cape Canaveral to Washington, DC to Huntsville, Alabama to its stunning conclusion.
Profile Image for Sabrina Marielle.
10 reviews1 follower
November 28, 2013
To tell you the truth, I never knew Ken Follett until the day my office mate told me about him.. She specifically told me that I will love his works because he was an exceptional author. And here I was telling you guys how much i love his story. I am a huge fan of books in which the main setting is NASA, NSA, CIA and CERN. This all started because of Dan Brown's books. Psh. He gave me all these dreams I have in mind. One of those is working for the NSA that's why I keep on pursuing my studies as a programmer. But of course, I am also dreaming of working to CERN and NASA.. That's the reason why I bought this book.

As I was randomly looking to the books that they have on Books and Mags (this was a book thrift shop), I came to see this book and I was moved because I saw the word NASA on the back of the book. There is no thinking twice or thrice.. In that instant, i bought this book and I am not regretting that decision that I made. This book is awesome! Deception. Betrayal. Love. And also, there were spies on this book. LOL. Being a spy is one of my dream of course. ;) Getting back, I really love this book. It took me a while to finish it due to some complications but still I managed to finish it. And I must say that if you are a fan of Dan Brown then you will definitely love this book. This book is one of the best books that I have. THIS IS INDEED A MUST READ!!!

P.S. If you happen to read this book because of this book review, please contact me so that we can talk about it. It's fun to talk about something like this with someone you can share your fantasies with. ;)

P.P.S. I'll read JACKDAWS next. ;) (Maybe I'll read The Historian first.. LOL.)
Profile Image for Giota Kariofilla.
210 reviews23 followers
February 21, 2020
Είναι κάποια βιβλία που δεν θέλεις να τελειώσουν ποτέ...είναι κάποια βιβλία που πραγματικά τα ζεις.
Ένα από αυτά τα βιβλία λοιπόν είναι η Αντίστροφη μέτρηση.
Μια γρήγορη περιπέτεια που διαβάζεις με κομμένη την ανάσα με εκπληκτικές κινηματογραφικές σκηνές και ένα τέλος σκέτη ανατριχίλα.
Ο Κen Follet αποδεικνύει για μια ακόμη φορά, ότι μπορεί να γράψει τα πάντα με τεράστια επιτυχία.
Profile Image for Shahjahan Shourov.
162 reviews18 followers
May 20, 2016
পাঠ-প্রতিক্রিয়াঃ কোড টু জিরো
রচনাঃ ক���ন ফলেট (KEN FOLLETT)
অনুবাদঃ মানিক চন্দ্র দাস
প্রচ্ছদঃ মশিউর রহমান (মূল প্রচ্ছদ অবলম্বনে)
প্রকাশনীঃ অন্বেষা
১ম প্রকাশঃ একুশে গ্রন্থমেলা ২০১৬

কমপ্লিট প্যাকেজ। পরিপূর্ণ তৃপ্ত হবার মতো একটা গল্প। হ্যাঁ জনরার বিচারে “কোড টু জিরো” থৃলার তবে যথাযথ পরিমাণে এতে সব পাবেন। বন্ধুত্ব, প্রেম, বিশ্বাসঘাতকতা, ভালবাসা খুঁজে নেয়া-খুঁজে পাওয়া, সূক্ষ্ন ছোঁয়ায় হিউমর, দ্য রাইট ওয়ান পেয়ে হারানো আর না পেয়ে খোঁজার অভিব্যক্তি, সব আছে এতে এবং সুষম মাত্রায়।

ল্যুক নামের এক লোক, নিজেকে আবিষ্কার করে স্মৃতিভ্রষ্ট অবস্থায় এবং সে যে মদ্যপ, খাম-খেয়ালী মানুষ; সেটা বিশ্বাস করবার মতো সবগুলো কারণ ছিল তার চোখের সামনে। ঠিক সে সময়, মহাশূণ্য যাত্রার জন্য পুরোপুরি প্রস্তুত আমেরিকা। ল্যুক তার স্মৃতি ফিরে পাবার, তার পরিচয়, তার নিজেকে ফিরে পাবার চেষ্টায় একটু একটু করে যখন সফল হচ্ছে; তখন পাঠক আবিষ্কার করে ইউ.এস.এ’র মহাশূণ্য যাত্রার সাথে ল্যুক জড়িয়ে আছে অবিচ্ছেদ্য ভাবে।

থৃলারের বহুল চর্চিত একটা পন্থা হল “কে করেছে”। কেন ফলেট একেবারেই সে প্রশ্ন রাখেননি সেটা বলা যাবেনা কিন্তু “কোড টু জিরো”র প্রথম প্রশ্নটা হল “কি”। এই গল্পে ল্যুকের প্রয়োজনীয়তা (বা অবস্থান) কি। সে প্রশ্নের উত্তর পেতে পেতে পরবর্তী প্রশ্নের স্লাইড চলে আসে, “কেন”। প্রটাগনিস্ট কেন এমন? কেন তার সাথে এমন করা হল? তার পরের অর্থাৎ ৩য় প্রশ্নটা হল “কে করেছে?” এবং ২য় প্রশ্নটাও এখানে রয়ে যায় “কেন করা হল এমন?”।

গল্পটা আলাদা। অন্যরকম। গল্পের ক্রাইসিসগুলো ক্লিশে না। পড়তে পড়তে গপ্পো ফাঁদাটাও আলাদা মনে হবে। গল্পের বর্তমানে আছেন আপনি, পরের অধ্যায়ে আবার চলে গ্যালেন ১৫/২০ বছর পেছনে। না দুটো টাইমলাইনে গল্প বলা একেবারেই নতুন কিছু না। “কোড টু জিরো” স্বতন্ত্র হয় ২ টাইমলাইনের ২ ভিন্ন স্বাদের গল্প দিয়ে। গল্পদুটো মোটা দাগে, একে অন্যকে এগিয়ে দেয়না এতটুকুও। এক ইঞ্চিও না। তারপরও পড়তে খারাপ লাগেনা। গল্প দুটোকে আলাদা করে দুটো বই আকারে প্রকাশ করলেও সেগুলো সুখপাঠ্য হতো বোধকরি। কোড টু জিরো, এ জায়গায় আলাদা হয়েছে অন্যদের থেকে। দুটো গল্পের একেবারে ভিন্ন স্বাদ, জনরাও বলতে পারেন। তার জন্যেই, বইটাতে পরিপূর্ণ তৃপ্তি এসছে, শুরুতে বলে এসছিলাম। দুটো ভিন্ন জনরার গল্প এক মলাটে আটকে নিয়ে, তাতে সব ধরণের অনুভূতি নিয়ে খেলা হল।

দুই টাইমলাইনের গল্প যে এক বিন্দুতে মেলেনি একেবারে, তা নয়। মিলতে হয়েছে কিন্তু সেই “অ্যাটনমেন্ট” এর আগে দুটো বিপরীতমুখী জনরা প্রেমী পাঠক তাদের পছন্দের বইয়ের তালিকায় “কোড টু জিরো” কে স্থান দিয়ে দেবেন হয়তো।

থৃলারের বাইরে আরেকটা যে জনরা, সে জনরার গল্পের শেষ টা; বলতে গেলে বইয়ের শেষটাই (কারণ অ্যাটনমেন্ট হয়ে গেছে ততক্ষণে) জনপ্রিয় একটা সিনেমার সাথে খুব মেলে, তারপরও ভাল লাগে। পড়ার পর মনে হবে, “পরিসমাপ্তি এমন না হলে জমতোনা। ঠিকই আছে।”

“কোড টু জিরো” তে থৃল পাওয়া যায়, ক্লিশে কোন উপায়ে না। দুটো ভিন্ন স্বাদের গল্প আছে, যেগুলোর আকর্ষণও ভিন্ন ভিন্ন রকম। পরিস্থিতি অনুযায়ী চরিত্রগুলোর মনস্তত্ত্ব আপনার-আমার চে অনেক বেশি আলাদা না যে রিলেট করা যায়না, তাদের অনুভূতি অনুভব করতে পারা যায়, তাদের ভাবনার খুব কাছে যাওয়া যায় সহজে এবং এ্যান্টিক্লাইম্যাক্সের পর চরিত্রেরা আপনার ভেতর একটা কমনীয় কোণ (সফট কর্ণার) তৈরি করে নেবে। গল্পের ২য় টাইমলাইনটা এই কাজটুুকু করে দিয়ে গ্যাছে; হাসি মুখে একটা বই শেষ করতে এসবের চে আর বেশি কিছু কি দরকার হয়?

অনুবাদক মানিক চন্দ্র দাস যতটুকু বাহবা পেতে পারতেন, তার চেয়ে বেশি দেয়া যায়। একেবারে সহজিয়া অনুবাদ, ভীষণ ���োলায়েম। তার ওপর, চরিত্রের স্ট্যান্ড অনুযায়ী সংলাপের আক্ষরিক তর্জমা না করে বরং ওই পরিস্থিতিতে, ওই স্ট্যান্ডার্ডের একটা বাঙালি চরিত্র যেভাবে কথা বলতে পারে, অনুবাদ টা ঠিক সেভাবেই করা হয়েয়ে সংলাপের। দারুণ ব্যাপার-স্যাপার।
লেখক, অনুবাদক, সর্বোপরি প্রকাশনী তাদের নিজের নিজের নাম মগজে নাম গেঁথে দিল, দারুণ একটা সুখস্মৃতি হয়ে, “কোড টু জিরো”। সময় খুব ভাল গ্যাছে বইটার সাথে।
July 24, 2021
Хубава е книгата - пренася ни през 50-те години, когато американците се готвят да изпратят спътник в Космоса след неуспешен първи опит и след като са изпреварени в това отношение от руснаците. Студената война е в разгара си, а шпионажа е взел връх в развитието си - не се знае кой чий агент е, а някои са толкова добри, че "играят" и за двата отбора.
Когато мъж с дрехите на клошар се събужда на гарата, той е загубил паметта си и изобщо не знае кой е, но макар да е загубил всеки спомен от автобиографията си, помни учудващо специфични умения достойни за таен агент, а отделно с това знанията му по математика, физика и астрономия са феноменални, без да знае от къде ги има. Люк е една от ключовите фигури в подготовката за изстрелването на спътника, но той не го знае. И все пак находчивият му и бърз ум веднага му създава план за действие и той скоро попада на приятели, с чиято помощ започва да намества парченцата.
Книгата е построена изключително увл��кателно и читателят заедно с Люк открива кой е той и защо е трябвало да бъде отстранен от играта. Отделно с настоящето има епизоди от миналото - обучението в Харвард, приятелите от там, първата любов, участието във ВСВ, но тези епизоди са кратки, колкото да дадат светлина върху даден момент от настоящето и не утежняват сюжета. Отделно от това политическите игри на ЦРУ и отчасти КГБ също са загатнати така, че хем да хвърлят светлина върху ставащото, хем да не се прекалява с много обяснения. Книгата показва как в този период никой не може да има доверие дори в н��й-близките си хора, защото може да се окаже, че сътрудничат на врага и да станат предатели.
Отново се убеждавам, че Кен Фолет разказва много хубави истории с напрегнати моменти и неочаквани обрати.
Profile Image for ❤Marie Gentilcore.
874 reviews40 followers
April 16, 2018
This is the second book I’ve read by Ken Follett. I like his writing style. This is one of his older books and it was suspenseful and I enjoyed reading it. It is about the space race between the US and Russia in the late 1950’s. It starts off with a man waking up in a public bathroom with no memory of who he is. It turns out he is a rocket scientist and Russian spies at NASA have done this to him and he only has a short time to save the rocket launch.
Profile Image for Ermocolle.
360 reviews27 followers
June 10, 2021
Lo spionaggio militare negli anni '50 e '60, con la lotta fra le due superpotenze Usa e Urss per il predominio dello spazio, sono il tema di questo romanzo.
Profile Image for Mike Adamchuk.
975 reviews
July 20, 2020
The story takes place over three days in 1958 during the during the height of the Cold War and the space race with the Soviet Union. Follett builds up the suspense as the story builds to an exciting climax. A man wakes up in the rest room of Union Station in Washington, DC. He has no idea who he is or how he got there. He is dressed up in raggedy clothing. He has lost his memory. An article about the upcoming launch of a US rocket jogs a tiny memory. From that clue, he is slowly led to his old college buddies, Anthony, Billie, Elspeth and Bern. The author uses flashbacks to develop their relationships. Each of them had worked for the OSS, then CIA. Dr. Luke Lucas now recognizes that someone caused his amnesia intentionally but doesn't know who or why. He also realizes he doesn't know whom he can trust. He comes to realize that he knows someone is about to sabotage the rocket that is scheduled to be launched at Cape Canaveral. Lives are in danger, people get killed, but the rocket is successfully launched. Luke finally realizes who and why.
Profile Image for Joe Mossa.
408 reviews6 followers
August 19, 2008

i don t know if im becoming a reading snob or what but these types of books seem so fake to me after reading great writers. the sex scenes seem to be sprinkled in as obligatory requirements from the publisher. he tried to make his story authentic by putting scientific details in ala tom clancy. i got the feeling he was reading from rocketry manuals while typing this information. it reminded me of those scary days of the cold war which i am old enough to remember.
Profile Image for Daniel Zărnescu.
Author 13 books111 followers
March 25, 2022
Un inceput destul de greoi, pana intri in ritm, cu foarte mult info dump pe backstory (in prima parte a cartii), dar odata ce intri in poveste, nu mai o scapi din mana.

Puncte slabe: info dump, teleportari, pov omniscient pe alocuri confuz, telling destul de mult, stil de scris destul de precipitat.
Puncte forte: conceptul de poveste atractiv, documentarea din spate, structurarea de 5 stele, twisturile, managementul de informatie foarte bine lucrat.
Profile Image for Kathrin.
798 reviews44 followers
February 13, 2022
Although the story was quite entertaining, I'm finding more and more that I'm not the right reader for the kind of story. That's why I cleaned up my reading pile by a few agent thrillers and look now forward to reading something else.
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