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 started authoring 1,000 page beasts populated with dozens of characters and crammed with historical tidbits, Ken Follett was known for his thrillers, including Eye of the Needle, his breakout hit Published in 1978, Eye of the Needle weighs in at a trim 330 pages in trade paperback , features three main characters, and gets to its point with the precision of a Swiss watch, or at least a very well run subway system Eye of the Needle is filled with Follett hallmarks paper thin characters who exist solely to fulfill plot derived motivations dialogue that is mostly expository, but veers towards the excruciating when touching on matters of the heart and, most important of all, anatomically precise sex scenes Set during World War II, the main character of Eye of the Needle is a German spy named Henry Faber Faber is known as die Nadel the Needle because his weapon of choice is a stiletto, which is a knife with a long, slender blade He is your typical Nordic superman A fine figure of a man tall, quite heavy around the neck and shoulders, not a bit fat, with long legs And he had a strong face, with a high forehead and a long jaw and bright blue eyes Faber is quite skilled with his stiletto, which he proves early in the book And it makes perfect sense that Faber, who exudes lethal sexiness, would choose as his weapon what amounts to a sharp, steel penis.The plot kicks into gear quickly, when Faber learns about Operation Fortitude, a real life counterespionage operation undertaken by the Allies on the eve of D Day Operation Fortitude used leaks of fake information, dummy tanks and equipment, and meaningless wireless traffic to fool the Germans into thinking that the invasion of Europe would come at Calais, instead of Normandy Faber learns of the deception and realizes its vital importance With dogged MI5 agents on his trail, Faber attempts to escape England and deliver the news to Hitler Meanwhile, there is a parallel story involving David and Lucy Rose David is a dashing young RAF officer was there any other kind , and Lucy is his beautiful bride They have an awkward first sexual encounter, because apparently British people do not know how to have sex For proof, please read Ian McEwan s Chesil Beach This is enough to get Lucy pregnant Shortly thereafter, David gets in a car wreck, putting him in a wheelchair Later, they move to a secluded island off the coast of Scotland It s called Storm Island Hey, honey, where should we live How about Storm Island Sounds nice It s not giving too much away to tell you that Faber ends up on Storm Island with David and Lucy I also hope I m not ruining anything by revealing that Faber and Lucy develop feelings for each other This won t come as a surprise to anyone who s read Lady Chatterley s Lover, which is explicitly mentioned several times, and is paid homage in the love triangle between the crippled husband, lovelorn wife, and virile male interloper And just in case you don t pick up on the Chatterley angle, Lucy exclaims Now I know what Lawrence means after receiving cunnilingus for the first time The combination of execrable dialogue and a sex scene so detailed it d make a doctor blush is Follett at his most enjoyable I mean that sincerely Whatever his shortcomings as a writer and frankly, he s always readable , Follett is a master storyteller In Eye of the Needle, he is especially good at placing his fictional character into a fascinating, true life context especially one that might not be known to casual fans of history It is a testament to Follett s plotting that, despite knowing the overall outcome of the novel the Allies successfully invaded Normandy and won World War II , you will tear through the book to see how it ends Of course, when it does end, you will probably feel vaguely unsatisfied, and maybe a little dirty, but that s to be expected You don t read a Follett thriller to be intellectually nourished You read a Follett thriller for the twists and turns, the outbursts of violence, and the it leaves nothing to the imagination sexual encounters. 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 Conclusion In Ken Follett S Unsurpassed And Unforgettable Masterwork Of Suspense, Intrigue, And The Dangerous Machinations Of The Human Heart 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 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 characters to prevent telegraphing too many plot points.This spy thriller delivers quite the adventure No master work of literature here, but the story certainly diverts your attention and allows you to escape into WWII moves and counter moves.Follett sets his story as the Allies are building up forces for D Day and they are trying to camouflage their activity with misdirection in a variety of areas While the plot centers around these true events, the majority of the characters are fictional Sure Hitler and Churchill get some face time, but Follett s point is who knows if a spy like Faber really existed.I think what makes this book truly great is the superb use of character Yes, the plot is exciting, well constructed, and full of wonderful historical detail But Die Nadel is one of the best 10 villains ever written, not because he is the most evil, but because of his complexity I swear, for most of the book, I was rooting for him despite myself Each challenge the spy faces, the reader actually wants him to overcome Which makes the climax all the compelling how ought the story to end How do I want it to end Fabulous novel Highly recommend. Clich d and predictable an ultimate disaster Wasted my precious time on this one. 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. 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 shookIn wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies Winston ChurchillEye of the Needle became Follett s first breakthrough book, the one that got him accepted in publishing circles, and gave him early fame Believe it or not, Eye was his eleventh published book, as Follett himself describes It was my eleventh try His eleventh try was a charm, because this book is phenomenal A big difference according to Follett was his in depth research into the lives of soldiers and spies during WW IIEye of the needle is a spot on, accurately written depiction of WW2 spy thriller at its bestThe research that went on the story is self evident from the very beginning As in most relevant historical fiction books, the preface becomes critically important for laying down the landscape for the entire book Follett starts with a description of a massive D Day deception Allied forces Brittain, US conceived a brilliant illusion of ships, tanks and barracks made of rubber, to fool the Germans into believing in a completely different location than Normandy for the invasion of D dayIt was a huge, near impossible deception Literally thousands of people were involved in perpetrating the trick It would have been a miracle if none of Hitler s spies ever got to know about it.The remainder of the story is told in several first POVs, as we follow the most dangerous and effective German spy known as Faber code name Eye of the Needle We re also introduced to two British MI5 agents, and soon enough the race for WW II s most well kept secret begins The tension in this book is forever ascending..its fucking awesome Follett creates memorable characters, and despite the fact we know the outcome of the war, and Normandy s D day surprise invasion, Follett takes the reader for a hellish ride Faber, the German spy is so ruthless, yet Follett is able to dab speckles of humanity in his character..just brilliant Despite his transgressions and murders, we almost feel compassion towards him Themes of nationalism , love , pride and deception are widespread in this book Also there are some romantic relationships including some vividly described sex scenes , that are done in good taste and add a great deal to the narrative Follett again has impressed me with this masterpiece of war, deception and humanity s greatest struggle for survival Eye of the Needle is an expertly crafted WWII spy thriller, likely the best ever written amongst its genre It s a must read to those who enjoy thrillers and historical fiction 5 Stars Excellent thriller where the action is happening at the time of the Second World War. 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 guy bad guy divide Both involve historical events that we know turned out OK, and ask us to imagine a scenario where things could have gone quite differently The difference in Follett s book is that nearly all the characters are fully developed I still found it difficult to work up much sympathy for The Needle, though, and when I found critics both film and book talking about his falling in love with Lucy, I thought only that they must have a very different idea of love than I have.The stronger character development in Follett s book makes a lot of artistic sense, since, unlike JACKAL, EYE OF THE NEEDLE must build suspense over a period of four years, from the period just after the Phoney War in 1940, to just before D Day in 1944 Without the character interest, this might have made for a less engaging story and the behavior of The Needle, David, and Lucy in the final chapters would not have been as believable.Reading this now, when Follett has again been on the bestseller lists with WORLD WITHOUT END, his sequel to THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH both set in the Middle Ages , one notices how he brings his interest in medieval culture and history even into a World War II thriller For example, he parallels Godliman the medievalist s search for Henry II s travels with Godliman the intelligence agent s search for The Needle.I haven t seen the movie of this book, but probably will before long I am reserving judgment on the casting of Donald Sutherland as The Needle somehow it just doesn t seem right to me.In any case, THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE was quite deserving of the Edgar, even though it had some stiff competition, particularly Tony Hillerman s LISTENING WOMAN. 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 become his love unwittingly, her son, and her physically challenged husband The suspense is so thick that you can cut it with a knife I always feel sad that Hitchcock didn t film this one 3,5Remonto al final.
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
- 339 pages
- Eye of the Needle
- Ken Follett
- 10 September 2019 Ken Follett