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159
3.1 out of 5 stars
Code to Zero
Format: Mass Market PaperbackChange
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Showing 11-20 of 29 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
on January 14, 2004
Not worth the paper it is printed on
One of the worst books I have ever read...and I read a lot. The author uses a well-worn plot: spies from Russia against the spies from US. Yet he cannot make any of it credible. Everything in this book conforms to your worst expectations. Shallow characters, stereotypical actions, simple plot.. The plot is easy to enough see from the beginning of the book...It has short sentences and a fluent writing style that make it an easy read...Still what a waste of time....I was interested in this book because of its context in late 50's space exploration....but I learned almost nothing on it from this book....
If you want to read a good spy book, read John Carre. If you want to read a good book, read Hemingway or other equally great writers. Don't waste your time on this book.
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on June 9, 2001
A couple days ago, I finished reading Ken Follett's latest suspense thriller, "Code To Zero", and couldn't wait to finish it! Just to get it over with. I didn't think it was filled with suspense, I thought it was predictable; it wasn't a thriller, it was a bore and the characters and their dialogue were corny. The premise is promising. A man who is suffering from amnesia has to discover who and what he and his mission are. And why government agents are "out to get him." As I read this book, I kept thinking that I was reading from an elementary school reader. Mr. Follett insists on explaining each element of the thin plot and should give his readers more credit than that. I think most readers know what's going to happen in the story before the writer does! Very disappointing!
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on November 8, 2001
Hard to believe that this book is by the same author that wrote "Pillars of the Earth" and "Night Over Water". Good premise that never, ever, gets off the launch pad for the entire book. Historical inaccuracies abound, i.e., Xerox photocopying in 1958, sloppy editing, i.e., in one scene Elspeth is driving a white '57 Chevy Bel Air convertible, in the next scene its a white Corvette and in the next scene the '57 Bel Air is back, and Mr. Follet assumes that the reader has no short or long term memory, i.e., he tells over and over why a character is loyal to another character. Poorly developed plot, no real character development and the way that events fall together are pretty incredible. James Lee Burke and Martin Cruz Smith are better at writing this kind of story.
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on April 19, 2001
I have read all of Ken Follett's books and he is one of my favorite authors. NO WAY could the author who wrote "Pillars of the Earth" be the same author who wrote "Code to Zero!" So, I think it must be one of two possible explanations. 1) Ken Follett ran afoul of the CIA and suffered the same fate as "Luke".....he woke up one morning and couldn't remember anything, including how to write. Or 2) A high school student wrote the book and Ken signed his name. Considering the absurdity of the entire plot involving the memory loss, I would conclude the latter. Along with the inaccuracies, the characters and the plot are absurd and simplistic. A child could have predicted the outcome. Please, Mr. Follett, make your next book worthy of YOU!
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on April 19, 2001
I have read all of Ken Follett's books and he is one of my favorite authors. NO WAY could the author who wrote "Pillars of the Earth" be the same author who wrote "Code to Zero!" So, I think it must be one of two possible explanations. 1) Ken Follett ran afoul of the CIA and suffered the same fate as "Luke".....he woke up one morning and couldn't remember anything, including how to write. Or 2) A high school student wrote the book and Ken signed his name. Considering the absurdity of the entire plot involving the memory loss, I would conclude the latter. Along with the inaccuracies, the characters and the plot are absurd and simplistic. A child could have predicted the outcome. Please, Mr. Follett, make your next book worthy of YOU!
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on January 5, 2001
But the story has been developed too poorly (at least for Follet's standard).
The idea is great, even if the "schizophrenic" protagonist reminds me Bourne, a Ludlum's character.
There are too many coincidencies .... For example, I think that is quite impossible that a group of fellow students are, many years later, all involved in such an intrigue, with all these different rules
A plot like this needs more pages and more details to be told, and, I know, the author is able to..... I'm thinking for example to "The pillars of the earth", but this time he didn't...
This novel has been a great disappointment, expecially because I'm a Follet fan.... I've read almost all its books and this is, no doubt, one of the worsts.
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on June 12, 2001
Like others, I loved some of Follett's earlier stuff, and this suffers badly in comparison. My eyes were rolling throughout at the repeated fantastic coincidences the author lards onto the plot - the "by an amazing coincidence, it just so happens that" events you are asked to swallow are far too many and far too implausible.
The basic setting(espionage around one of the early US rocket launches) is a good one, but everything else is a let down.
Finally, this is a minor thing, but the author has characters repeatedly refer to "Xeroxing" things and "carrying Xeroxes" around - Xerox machines were hardly common in 1958, and their usage as a verb was many years away.
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on January 11, 2001
Ok, first of all the amnesia story line is interesting for the first few chapters and then really snowballs into unbeliavability. Also both the female characters are aggressive, beautiful and smart - let's try to cover all the bases of political correctness. The main character is a macho man, except around women where he is a total wimp and too much of a gentlemen to be believed. Actually, this would make a fair movie of the week, but only on the comedy channel. Almost laughed out loud in spots during the romantic interlude passages. Oh well, at least it is a very quick read!
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on January 16, 2002
An amnesia victim, with no sense of his identity or personal history, goes to the library and, within an hour or two, determines that he is a rocket scientist. He pulls books from the shelves, determines that he understands many scientific principles, and out of all the known professions and occupations concludes that he is one of the world's top rocket scientists. C'mon !! This is ridiculous. Coincidence after coincidence makes this Follett spy-novel a concocted farce. This book does not come close to "Eye of the Needle" or "Pillars of the Earth."
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on February 5, 2001
This will be the final Ken Follett book I ever read. I don't know what has happened that would cause a writer with such skill to spit out such drivel as Code to Zero. From reading the first chapter, you can preety much plot out the plot line and character development. I wonder if Mr. Follet thought of adding anything realistic to this book. At no time did I feel suspense, or danger, sympathy or affection for any of the characters or situations. This book is as light as an episode of Gilligan's Island, and would have been better written by a romance novelist.
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