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Eye of the Needle

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  118,830 ratings  ·  2,607 reviews

One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin -- code name: "The Needle" -- who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory.

Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is beginning to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

All will come to a terrifying

...more
Paperback, 339 pages
Published November 23rd 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers (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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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  118,830 ratings  ·  2,607 reviews


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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
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Matt
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Today, most people know Ken Follett as the author of mammoth works of historical fiction. I mean, we’re talking novels that would make War and Peace turn and run like Napoleon’s troops from Moscow. (See what I did there?) It’s 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
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Dana Ilie
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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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
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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
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
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 Follett’s first ‘breakthrough’ book, the
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Stjepan Cobets
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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Abubakar Mehdi
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
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
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Eli Easton
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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Pavellit
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 …
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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
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JoJo
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Sonia Gomes
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every fan of World War II
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gary
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
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
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
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RJ
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Shelves: crime
'She said: ‘Can I have a word with you?’
He seemed to hesitate, then said: ‘I’m 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
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Wendy Welch
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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 ...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,
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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
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.
Asghar Abbas
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Can a book be sexy and enthralling ?

Read this in my human days when I could feel and touch books, and it is still reverberating through me.

What a yarn.

What are you doing?

Read it now.
DeAnna Knippling
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A German spy discovers an Allied secret and must race to deliver his information to Hitler. Several other Allied characters have to try to stop him. A cat and mouse spy thriller.

There was a lot to like about this book, but ultimately it wasn't for me. Everything seemed a) far too contrived and unspontaneous, and b) the outcome of the book depends on the bad guy (who is the main character, really) doing the opposite of what the entire rest of the book builds him up to be.

But the real problem is
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Ken Follett is one of the world’s 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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“The trouble with being inspired to perform the impossible was that the inspiration gave you no clues to the practical means.” 9 likes
“Blenkinsop sighed. "As usual, those of you who can think of better ways to win the war are invited to write directly to Mr. Winston Churchill, number 10 Downing Street, London South-West-One. Now, are there any questions, as opposed to stupid criticisms?” 4 likes
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