5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! One Great Book
Eye of The Needle is a super-great WWII spy thriller that takes place in England right before D-Day. The Germans have had spies planted in England since before the War started. The British have slowly but surely been catching them. Now they have come across Germany's #1 spy and he is bound and determined to make it back to Germany at all cost with Allied top secret...
Published on Feb. 4 2004
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Brilliant! It's Absurd!
How can a book that starts out so brilliantly collapse so completely halfway through? That's when the title character, The Needle, a WWII German spy who has thus far thwarted the best efforts of several nations to stop him, is forced into a showdown with -- get this -- a beautiful young Englishwoman. And of course the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, etc.,...
Published on Dec 4 2000 by Paul Epps
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! One Great Book,
By A Customer
Eye of The Needle is a super-great WWII spy thriller that takes place in England right before D-Day. The Germans have had spies planted in England since before the War started. The British have slowly but surely been catching them. Now they have come across Germany's #1 spy and he is bound and determined to make it back to Germany at all cost with Allied top secret information that will change the course of the war! This book will keep you at the edge of your seat throughout the whole story. This was my first book that I've read from Ken Follett. I have already ordered all of his other WWII books; I can't wait!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Brilliant! It's Absurd!,
How can a book that starts out so brilliantly collapse so completely halfway through? That's when the title character, The Needle, a WWII German spy who has thus far thwarted the best efforts of several nations to stop him, is forced into a showdown with -- get this -- a beautiful young Englishwoman. And of course the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, etc., etc.
Now in any sort of plausible universe, our hero would dispatch this broad faster than you could say "Heil Hitler." So why are there still 150 pages left in the book? Let me just say this: Prepare to have your patience and credulity stretched to really painful dimensions.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over all, not a bad book,
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I am used to his epics Pillars of the Earth (which I read twice) and World without end, and do enjoy his work overall. This started as a page turner and suspenseful, but was a bit disappointed with the "love story within a suspense" style book, and its sappy ending that I felt it ended up being like a Harlequin Romance. He may be hopelessly romantic, but espionage is espionage and if you are looking for a silly, over the top romantic book, you can buy Danielle Steele or Harlequin. Or you can watch an old cheesy 007 movie with Sean Connery. Silly romance and happy endings have no place in espionage!
5.0 out of 5 stars You Saw My Face,
Ken Follet's Eye of the Needle was an extraordinary book about a German spy named Faber, who knows the greatest secret of the Allies. If he gets the information to Hitler than the war is most likely to be won by the Nazis.
It is a race between Faber and many intelligent Allies. Two of them, Godliman and Bloggs have traced back many murders and crimes to Faber and are always close to catching him but somehow he always finds a way to escape. They both know that The Needle, Faber's codename, is very important and close to Hitler because he ends his letters with , Regards to Willi.
Which most spies would never be that casual with their leaders.
Follet also tells the story of two of the important people following Faber. Godliman was a professor before the war started and throughout the search for Faber he remembers seeing him somewhere when he was younger. Bloggs is young and has just lost his wife in a bombing. He blames every Nazi for this and will doing anything to find and kill Faber.
Follet also tells of a young couple who are living their lives on a small cozy island with their son while all of this is going on. David, the husband, was going to fly a plane for the allies but got in a car accident and lost his legs. They both act happy when visitors come but Lucy, David's wife, knows there is something missing between them.
The Needle ruthlessly kills anyone that gets in between him and the Fuehrer. He even kills people on his own side. That is the reason, though, that thousands of people are looking for him but no one can find him. Follett adds an interesting pattern at the ends of the chapters that The Needle kills someone end with the phrase "You saw my face."
You do find out he has a heart, though, at the end of his mission when he crashes on a lonely island. For once, he hesitates to kill someone.
This book is definitely a page-turner and has a very intense plot filled with adventure, suspense, and romance. It keeps you interested from the very first page to the very last.
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a typical Ken Follett novel,
Ken Follett's novels are particularly well suited to reading on trains and aeroplanes. They are short, easy reads which easily survive the interruptions inherent in those surroundings.
This novel fits the mold perfectly - the characters are more or less drawn from the stock characters of action/adventure/intrigue stories - the icy cold and thoroughly competent enemy spy, the intellectual, professorial good guy who somehow manages to stay one step behind the spy throughout the story, and the beautiful and thoroughly unqualified female who implausibly saves the day at the last minute.
The general plot is that a German spy has discovered the disinformation campaign that the Allies are using to divert attention from the preparation for D-Day. There is a race to capture or kill him before he can communicate the information to his masters in Berlin.
The book is the literary equivalent of a candy bar. It's not intellectually nourishing or nutritious, but it's a great way to kill some time.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wildly Entertaining Thrill Ride,
Ken Follett established himself in the thriller genre with this novel, first published in 1978. It was an instant bestseller and later made into a movie with Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan.
The premise: Henry Faber (codename: "Die Nadel") an individualistic and ruthless German agent (one of the last German spies not scooped up by MI5) is assigned to investigate whether or not Lt. General Patton's First United States Army Group is massing in East Anglia for the expected invasion of Calais, the area the German High Command expects the Allies to assault. Faber discovers that Patton's Army is a phony. The Allies are deceiving German intelligence with fake messages, troop concentrations and dummy barracks (which look real to German reconnaisance aircraft).
However careful as Faber is, the British counterintelligence agents Percival Godliman and Fred Bloggs, a history professor and policeman respectively, are a brilliant team that discover "Die Nadel" and are hot on his trail.
Eluding the police and the Home Guard and killing any and all who suspect his identity, Faber heads north to make a rendezvouz with a U-boat. His escape is thwarted by bad weather and he is washed ashore on Storm Island, a nearly deserted piece of rock in the North Sea, where Lucy Rose, a beautiful, but frustrated wife of a legless RAF pilot lives. In time, she discovers Faber's true identity....
I don't usually like thrillers, but this one kept me up. I read it over 20 years ago and have read it a few times since. Follett is a good story teller and his research for the story is wonderful. His portrayals of the German leaders, Hitler, Rundstedt and Rommel are superb.
I liked the film version too, though I believe it would be ideal for a remake (my choices for Faber would be Ralph Fiennes and for Lucy Kate Winslett or Helena Bonham Carter).
Time hasn't dimmed this book. It still holds up and is a classic of World War II espionage. Enjoy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgetable Spy Novel,
Henry Faber alias, The Needle, is a German spy who works for Germany during World War II. He is tall, handsome, intelligent, well built, German aristocrat who works fast, in a shrewd manner, cleanly, and without leaving a trace. He is very close to Hitler. When a person becomes a danger to his identity or whereabouts, he uses an "stilletto" to utterly kill without almost any evidence.
The Needle or Die Nadle, discovers a British military secret that if given to the Germans on time would, no question about it, make the Germans win the war. Then the British find out about it, then starts the run, hide and go of The needle. All the Allied and British military intelligence are looking for him with no results But nobody but a woman, Lucy Rose, who lives in a stormy and far away island , can get to him...
The novel is excellently written and keeps the reader interested until the end. It also depicts all the knowledge about military intelligence, spies and world War II that the author masters.
I strongly recommend this book as a novel to entertain, and "A Place Called Freedom", also written by Ken Follet
5.0 out of 5 stars His best spy book,
Ken Follett has done a wonderful job of centralizing the plot of a novel around the life and work of the bad-guy. Rather than write a typical "good-guy" spy-thriller, he has introduced a whole new view of the spy-thriller. The novel is remarkable and one of my top three favorites produced by Follett. His ability to write a novel about the enemy's number 1 spy was entertaining and, in my opinion, the hallmark of his writing career.
Nadel is a ruthless spy. No family no loved ones. Just the way he likes it. It allows him to concentrate on the matter at hand. Killing opposition spies.
This was absolutely amazing and a quick fun read. If you have read some of Follett's other books such as "Pillars of the Earth", "Key to Rebecca", "A Dangerous Fortune", then you know what his style of writing is. Although different in content, his style is almost invented within these book covers. If you've read other works of Follett's, then you'll enjoy this book as being on par, but on a different course than those aforementioned.
Eye of the Needle is a unique spy-thriller well deserving of 5 stars. I would suggest those books above, along with this one if you're looking for a good weekend/vacation reading. Please see my reviews of the other novels as they may help you to choose which you want to read first.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written; quite an emotional tale,
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 German spy discovers D-Day plans and tries to get back to Germany to warn the High Command (i.e. his tap was taken after he was shortly exposed);
(3) TAUT THRILLS: if this turns you on, Follet is right up there with Forsythe, Higgins and other masterful spy thriller novelists.;
(4) MOVING LOVE/LUST TALES: Follet has always been unusually good at the subplot love stories in his tales; the intimacy level is higher than some people encounter in their real lives; the details of the lovemaking is hot. I still remember, at one point, the female interest asks the male love interest why he never married and he replied to something along the lines as: "I never loved any woman enough to marry them."; and
(5) LOTS OF COMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHARACTERS: especially for the villain who seems to overcome almost all of them.
Follet also does a good job of centering the story on the villain so that you like him and then switching over to another character later. The transition works for a number of reasons but saying more would spoil the story.
4.0 out of 5 stars Mike from Madison,
Eye of the Needle
By: Ken Follet
This is an action packed novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout parts of the book. You watch as Nazi spy Henry Faber attempts to discover the American plan of invasion. He discovers their secret and photographs evidence. He must relay this vital information back to the Nazis so that they can prepare a defense. If he gets through, the war is almost certain to be over for the United States. Faber must lie, evade, and murder his way to the rendezvous, a German U-boat. MI5, Scotland Yard, and other police and government agencies are called upon to find and stop him. Faber steals a boat and attempts to sail away in a violent storm. He is shipwrecked on a tiny island where there are four inhabitants; a cripple, an old man, a woman, and a child. Faber is half dead, but surprised at his luck. He later kills the cripple and old man and has an affair with the woman. The woman discovers the murders and radios for help. She is given distinct instructions; don't let him talk to the boat. He attempts to radio the U-boat, but is unsuccessful due to the woman. He then makes a mad dash to escape, followed by the woman. She is determined not to let him get away, as she was told not to. The fate of the entire Ally invasion rests in her hands.
I enjoyed Eye of the Needle very much. It is a well-written World War two novel. It gave me a better understanding of how we deceived the Germans. Ken Follet has a real gift for writing about espionage, and this book is no exception. The book is not slow, but can be a little confusing at times. In my opinion, two thumbs up for Ken Follet and Eye of the Needle.
Written by: Mike from Madison
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Follett Ken : Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (Mass Market Paperback)
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