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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of love's lost and found
He wakes up in the men's room at Union Station. He can not remember who he is or how he got there. One shocking look in the mirror tells him he is a bum however he can not believe it. Now he must find out who he is. Watch answer leads him in a different direction and we are intrigued to find more about what let to this situation.

The only positive thing I can...
Published on Aug. 20 2006 by bernie

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, captivating page turner
Although I am a Ken Follet aficionado and continue to unabashedly wave his banner "Best adventure thriller writer alive today" this was not his best work, nor his second best work, but it is a good, captivating page turner none-the-less.
The momentum builds in the first half but peters-out in the later half, like a roller coaster that almost reaches the pinnacle, but...
Published on July 12 2004 by fdoamerica


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, captivating page turner, July 12 2004
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Although I am a Ken Follet aficionado and continue to unabashedly wave his banner "Best adventure thriller writer alive today" this was not his best work, nor his second best work, but it is a good, captivating page turner none-the-less.
The momentum builds in the first half but peters-out in the later half, like a roller coaster that almost reaches the pinnacle, but lacks the umph and falls a few feet short of the critical hump. Thus, predictably, this story, like the roller coaster, slides backwards the last part of the novel. The last half is predictable and a bit unsatisfying. If you are a Ken Follett fan then you may find "Code to Zero" lacking the violence, intrigue and exotic passion (zero zing) that most of Follet's spy thrillers have had (Key to Rebecca - Eye of the Needle - Lie down with Lions). That said, though this was not a one night, "burn the midnight oil" read, it was a story that I wanted to finish in two nights. "Code to Zero" is worth the purchase. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story of love's lost and found, Aug. 20 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Code to Zero (Paperback)
He wakes up in the men's room at Union Station. He can not remember who he is or how he got there. One shocking look in the mirror tells him he is a bum however he can not believe it. Now he must find out who he is. Watch answer leads him in a different direction and we are intrigued to find more about what let to this situation.

The only positive thing I can say about the story is that it is the standard Follett formula. Not quit the stature of "Eye of the needle" but better than the Follett wantobes . This is more like a Colombo episode in which we know the answer long before the characters and read to see how long it takes them to catch up with us. There are a few surprising details that pop up at the last minute. Do not look too close at real life dates and technology as many things do not match; however they do not distract from the story.

Mainly there are three elements that are intertwined through the story. One is the present (1958) where Luke has to figure out who he is and what he is doing on an urgent time schedule. The second is a detailed layman's description of how the first rockets were designed in 1958. The third is a story of a group that met in Harvard just before Pearl Harbor and went through the equivalent of the OSS together and where they ended up to the present day.

Try to find a copy of George Guidall's unabridged recorded reading as it adds a good dimension to the story and will keep you hooked to the end. I used up some predacious gasoline listing to this in the parking lot.

Once you start the story you will have to finish it. Then you may wish it did not finish so soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pure formula, Dec 7 2003
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This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Follett is a talented enough writer that even this implausible, formulaic, cloak and dagger tale is not a total bust. Still, I expected a lot more. I have greatly enjoyed several of Mr. Follett's other books (though I haven't read any recently), but I found the plot of this book to be so contrived, and the lead character's struggle with amnesia to so implausible, it tainted the whole experience for me. Like most stereotypical cold-war spy thrillers, the lead character is a former OSS operative who learned his craft behind enemy lines in WWII. In this tale, conveniently, an entire group of college chums/lovers become secret agents either during or after the war and their relationships form the basis for the plot. I found the calm, analytical, behavior the amnesiac possesses as he proceeeds to solve the riddle of his past to be totally unrealistic. Fortunately, he works out enough of the riddle to find his way to his ex-secret agent, ex-girlfriend, who also happens to be a renowned leader in the field of memory loss. Heh, heh, heh. I'm not kidding. Pure, B-movie stuff. For those of you who really enjoyed this book--more power to you. Enjoyment is what reading is all about. But to those who gave it five stars, I have to wonder whether you've ever read a truly good cold-war thriller (or a good Follett thriller).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A good editor needed..., Sept. 13 2007
This review is from: Code To Zero (Hardcover)
As a fan of Follett, I was sorry to find this book to be in need of a good editor to avoid the multitudinous forward anachronisms [characters who say, in 1958, that "life sucks" and "go figure"] to say nothing of the major factual error in the epilogue... The premise of the story is good and, with a little more respect for the historical setting, the book could well have been fascinating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A story of love's lost and found, July 16 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
He wakes up in the men's room at Union Station. He can not remember who he is or how he got there. One shocking look in the mirror tells him he is a bum however he can not believe it. Now he must find out who he is. Watch answer leads him in a different direction and we are intrigued to find more about what let to this situation.

The only positive thing I can say about the story is that it is the standard Follett formula. Not quit the stature of "Eye of the needle" but better than the Follett wantobes . This is more like a Colombo episode in which we know the answer long before the characters and read to see how long it takes them to catch up with us. There are a few surprising details that pop up at the last minute. Do not look too close at real life dates and technology as many things do not match; however they do not distract from the story.

Mainly there are three elements that are intertwined through the story. One is the present (1958) where Luke has to figure out who he is and what he is doing on an urgent time schedule. The second is a detailed layman's description of how the first rockets were designed in 1958. The third is a story of a group that met in Harvard just before Pearl Harbor and went through the equivalent of the OSS together and where they ended up to the present day.

Try to find a copy of George Guidall's unabridged recorded reading as it adds a good dimension to the story and will keep you hooked to the end. I used up some predacious gasoline listing to this in the parking lot.

Once you start the story you will have to finish it. Then you may wish it did not finish so soon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story of love and deception, Dec 5 2003
By 
Tadashi Kobayashi "caxton" (Shizuoka Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Luke woke up to find himself sleeping on the floor of a public toilet with a bum named Pete. It was a staggering start of a novel. Luke couldn't remember even his name. His street life began. These anecdotes of homeless bums are quite different from those of Street Lawyer by John Grisham.
Soon a woman named Elspeth appeared. So the woman knows about Luke. The tale returned to the past; the year was 1941, and the relationship was unfolded between Luke and Elspeth, Luke and his colleague Anthony, and Luke and Billie Josephson who was dangerous to Elspeth's happy life with Luke.
The tale was back to the present. The year was 1958. Luke was loitering in the city for his lost memory. He sensed he was followed by two people. His friend Anthony Carroll was now Luke's enemy. Somehow Anthony was responsible for his loss of memory. Luke was Dr. Claude Lucas responsible for space programs of USA. A rocket was to be launched soon, but something was wrong and Luke knows the reason behind his lost memory. He must get back his lost memory to save USA. Untold story by Luke's side was mysterious enough.
I knew the enemies of Luke, but the enigma was Elspeth whose intention was not apparent. She is Luke�fs wife, but acts against Luke�fs welfare. The drama unfolds with lightning speed. Every chapter consumes only half an hour. Luke moves, Anthony counter-moves, Billie enters, and Elspeth spins the wheel.
This setup was superb enough to attract and grip my heart to read along faster and faster to the final mind-numbing conclusion of this splendid masterpiece of love and deception. You won�ft regret holding this book in your hand.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller, Sept. 25 2003
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Ken Follett's novel is set in the time of the Cold War. Just in time where the US and Russia start their race to explore the space.
The book starts when a man wakes up in a public restroom, dressed in rags, terribly hungover and without a clue how he's got there. In the next hours he finds out that he is an important rocket scientist...but still he doesn't know how he's lost his memory. Then it comes to mind that someone made him lose his memory as he might know more than he's allowed to. With the help of some friends he finds out that he's involved into a big conspiracy, which threatens his life.
Follett's book is interesting, well-written and fun to read. Nevertheless a big minus of "Code to Zero" are the strange coincidences that are sometimes hard to believe. Not too good is also the end that simply doesn't keep up with the high quality of the rest of the novel. But I have to say that these things are less important..."Code to Zero" is a good book and definitely worth reading.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea, But Follett Got Lazy with His Language, Sept. 7 2003
By 
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Is this the same guy who wrote Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca? This book recounts an allegedly fictional story behind the headlines of the "space race". The time period is that which precedes and follows the Soviet launch of Sputnik.
Reading like a spy thriller, Follett's book races to the final countdown of the launch of the Explorer in January 1958. Its main character (whose name I won't reveal) wakes on the floor of a railway station and remembers nothing of his past, including his name. Clearly he is a key player in the drama and much of the rest of the book is about his quest to recover his memory in time to save the space program. This is a very interesting storyline to think about and much of what is recounted here is plausible in an historical sense. However, the "memory struggle" of the book's main character becomes repetitive and tedious and the language between characters hollow.
It's a shame that this book wasn't better having come from a very good author equipped with an interesting story line. Perhaps the author was thinking too much about Hollywood and too little about a really good book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea, But Follett Got Lazy with His Language, Sept. 7 2003
By 
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
Is this the same guy who wrote Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca? This book recounts an allegedly fictional story behind the headlines of the "space race". The time period is that which precedes and follows the Soviet launch of Sputnik.
Reading like a spy thriller, Follett's book races to the final countdown of the launch of the Explorer in January 1958. Its main character (whose name I won't reveal) wakes on the floor of a railway station and remembers nothing of his past, including his name. Clearly he is a key player in the drama and much of the rest of the book is about his quest to recover his memory in time to save the space program. This is a very interesting storyline to think about and much of what is recounted here is plausible in an historical sense. However, the "memory struggle" of the book's main character becomes repetitive and tedious and the language between characters hollow.
It's a shame that this book wasn't better having come from a very good author equipped with an interesting story line. Perhaps the author was thinking too much about Hollywood and too little about a really good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Code To Zero, April 28 2003
By 
Nathan (Ravensdale, Washington) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Code to Zero (Mass Market Paperback)
The title of the book that I am reviewing is "Code To Zero," by Ken Follett. This is one of my favorite books. It is a mystery/suspense story. The main character is a guy named Luke and the supporting characters are Anthony, Billie, and Elspeth. There are a few more characters, but they're not very important so I won't name them. The story takes place in several different places. The year is 1958, but there are a lot of flash-backs, so it's kind of hard to keep up with the story. The Cold War is just ending and America is still in the space race with Russia. NASA keeps delaying the launching of the Explorer 1 because of weather conditions. But, the real reason is because there was word of a soviet spies who plan on sabotaging the launch of the rocket.
The soviet spies found a way to destroy the Explorer 1 before it can exit the earth's atmosphere. If they succeed they can stop America's last chance to beat the Russian's and win the space race. There are only two people who know what is going on and can put a stop to it. Luke, the main character, is a who just wants to know the truth. In the beginning of the story, Luke wakes up in the men's-room of a subway with no memory of his past. He doesn't even know his own name. He's dressed like a bum so he automatically guesses that he is a hobo and drank all of his memory away. But, later in the book he finds out that he is really a rocket scientist and somebody deliberately erased his memory because he knew some very valuable information. With the knowledge he had, he could guarantee the outcome of the space race.
Anthony was Luke's best friend in collage until he switched sides. Now, his mission in life is to stop America from beating Russia in the space race and making sure that Luke dose not interfere. His causes are really unknown so I'll just call him a traitor. Billie is helping Luke get his memory back and stop Anthony. She is also in love with Luke, but you will find out more about that if you ever read the book. Elspeth is Luke's wife, but there is more to her than there may seem. To bad telling you that would ruin most of the story for you. This is a great book with lots of action and suspense. But, even it has some cons. The beginning of the book is kind of slow and there are a few pauses in the middle, but that just builds it up for more action and suspense. If you don't mind those small flaws then you will love "Code To Zero".
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Code to Zero
Code to Zero by Ken Follett (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 9 2001)
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