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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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Showing 11-20 of 35 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on November 27, 2000
I've always been a huge fan of Mr. Follett's work but was a little disappointed with the last two releases. After the first good reviews of his latest effort I eagerly awaited the delivery of the novel and immediately started reading.
The story is good and exciting, but the book could have been so much better if Ken Follett had just developed the characters a little deeper. The british edition clocks in at just 324 pages, at twice that amount "Code to Zero" could have been brilliant.
Just imagine the lead character waking up without any memory of who he is - solving not only his own mystery but working out his past love life, saving the American space program and bringing the bad guys to justice - all in 300 pages (net).
I would have loved a little more of this basically good story for my money. Ken Follett knows how to keep readers hooked beyond a few pages, as he's proven with blockbusters like "Pillars of the Earth" or "Night Over Water" - why not try again?
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on April 19, 2002
Perhaps, his best work is Pillars of the Earth. It is unfair to compare this novel to that masterpiece. However, it would be nice if he returned to the level that he first accomplished in Eye of the Needle and Key to Rebecca.
This has become what I expect from Follett - an interesting story lacking compelling characters that I could ever care about. This books follows the same unfulfilling road traveled by previous works such as the The Third Twin and the Hammer of Eden.
The story centers around launch of Explorer I and the possibility of Soviet sabotage. I suppose I would have been more interested if Explorer were something more than an oversized weather baloon, but the Republic would have continued had the launch failed. The story moves along through subterfuge and deceit (some of it improbable).
His novels have become predictable in terms of character and format and pace. If that's what you want this is a tolerable read.
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on February 2, 2001
Overall, I thought Code to Zero was an enjoyable, quick read.
The book moves very quickly with short chapters that make the book easy to read for those of us who can only find short blocks of time to fit in our pleasure reading.
The book's major shortcoming, however, is its predictability and the "cop-out" solutions to the protagonist's major dilemmas. While the main character has completely lost his memory, and starts the novel with absolutely no resources, he is blessed with "instincts" and an awful lot of "good luck" that allows him to piece together the history of his life and move the story forward.
I found Follett's reliance on happenstance to solve the protagonist's major problems to detract from what was otherwise an incredibly enjoyable and imaginative novel. Overall, this was a good book to read on the short train ride into work everyday.
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on January 14, 2001
My thoughts are similar to others: this is an average book by an average writer. The concept is okay and the intermittent flashbacks are well done and necessary. Still, the book lacks in many places. Characters are poorly developed and you have a hard time buying their later actions. They seem to change on a dime, and motives are constantly in question. There is absolutely no suspense or mystery, as anybody can figure out who the bad guys are in a matter of a few chapters. Follett unintentionally spells it all out for the readers. I hesitate to point out specifics because I do not wish to spoil the read, but lets just say he leaves little to the imagination.
For a description of the story, please read Amazon's editorial or some other reviews. There is no sense repeating the facts.
I'd wait for the paperback. It reads fast, and may hold your interest for a couple days.
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on January 4, 2001
Without going into the details of the plot, Follet's latest thriller has an exciting beginning and has interesting and well-developed characters. Overall, Code To Zero is a fast and enjoyable "read". However, its suspense gradually wanes and the so-called "surprises" and eventual outcome become somewhat predictable. Further, you might feel that you have to suspend belief more than you are willing to in regards to the ease with which the main character: 1) discovers who he is and what he does after learning he has amnesia; and 2) uncovers the plot to sabotage the U.S.'s launching of its Explorer I satellite.
Code To Zero, despite its limitations, is worth reading but I'd suggest you take it from the library. There are better books on which to plunk down $26.95.
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on January 7, 2002
This suspense novel, set in the late 1950's, is driven by a plan to sabotage the first American satellite launch. The principal characters have backgrounds in the OSS of World War Two. Beginning his story with a man suffering from amnesia, Follett works through the plot in a reliably workmanlike way, but without much flair. The purported consequences of a launch failure seem wildly exaggerated; failures were common in the early days of the space program, but did not cause the U.S. to give up on competing with the Soviet Union. Making the most heroic women members of minority groups while the villainess is from the white upper class smacks of modern day political correctness. Did American men of the 1950's really wear Chinos and say "whatever?"
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on January 21, 2002
I found this account of space flight in the 1950's very entertaining. While the concept of wiping out someone's short term memory is hard to believe, I enjoyed the idea of trying to find out who you are by testing your knowledge and experiences. The hero, Luke, found out who he was too quickly, but the whole story has a quick and entertaining pace. Follett created an insight into the world of early space launches at Cape Kennedy and I enjoyed the action switching from D.C. to Alabama, to Florida. I bought this book for a long plane ride and was happily engaged for the trip. I echo the wishes of other reviewers that the characters should profit from more development, particularly Luke's wife. All in all, a worthwhile effort.
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on January 21, 2002
Code to Zero
The novel "Code to Zero", written by Ken Follett, can be said to be easy to read in so far as the author doesn't use difficult expressions.
The suspenseful and exceptional story deals with the phenomenon of scientific espionage and grips the reader and robs himself/herself the sleep.
Although the reader is confused by the regular change between present and past, i.e. the author uses numerous of flashbacks, he/she keeps on reading because the story is not boring like typical other stories which handles always about "true love", sex, drugs and murder.
Action, emotions and science are combined to an interesting, best-selling novel which doesn't cost much.
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on April 22, 2004
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. I have become a Ken Follett fan recently after reading Jackdaws and Pillars of the Earth. I had heard this was one of his worst books and so I was prepared to hate it. But in the end, it turned out to be a fun and fast-paced read. As Luke wakes up in Union Station in Washington, DC, he realizes he does not know who he is. On a quest to keep America in the space race, Luke also has to rediscover who he is and revisit old choices. There is nothing like being in need of help to find out who your true friends are. Read this book if you are looking for something fun and exciting. But don't expect a deep literary work.
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on January 2, 2001
It starts out like a Hitchcock film with a man waking up devoid of any memory or knowledge of his past or present and he has to piece his memory together while saving the space program in pretty short order. But I agree with previous reviewers in that Follett needed to spend a little more time on the previous life discovery process (maybe 200-300 pages more) because by rushing it he relied on too many coincidences and snap realizations.
I will say that I did enjoy the read and it kept my interest because I wanted to see how it ended but he has done better. Check the book out from the library or borrow it from a friend, there are better books to purchase.
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