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Eye of the Needle [Unabridged] [Hardcover]

Ken Follett
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Oct 1998
The very first novel from the master storyteller

Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; 2 edition (23 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033374800X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333748008
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 15.8 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,258,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning EYE OF THE NEEDLE, which became an international bestseller. His celebrated PILLARS OF THE EARTH was voted into the top 100 of Britain's best-loved books in the BBC's the Big Read and the sequel, WORLD WITHOUT END, was published to critical acclaim. He lives with his family in London and Hertfordshire.

Product Description

Book Description

His weapon is the stiletto, his codename: The Needle. He is Henry Faber, a coldly professional killer and Germany's most feared deep-cover agent in Britain. His task: to discover the Allies' plans for D-Day, and get them to Germany at all costs. It's a task he undertakes with customary relish and ruthlessness - until he encounters Storm Island, and a woman called Lucy . . . 'An absolutely terrific thriller, so pulse-pounding, so ingenious in its plotting and so frighteningly realistic that you simply cannot stop reading' Publishers' Weekly' A tense, marvellously detailed suspense thriller built on a solid foundation of fact' Sunday Times

About the Author

Ken Follett was only twenty-seven when he wrote the award-winning novel Eye of the Needle, which became an international bestseller and film. He has since written several equally successful novels, including, most recently, Whiteout. He is also author of the non-fiction bestseller On Wings of Eagles. Ken Follett lives with his family in London and Stevenage.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
121 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and the best of Ken Follett's books 20 Sep 2007
By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER
I read this book ages ago, when still a teenager, and recently I was happy to discover that "The eye of the needle" really didn't age at all.

This fast paced and quite violent story is about the last German spy still operating in 1944 in Great Britain. Although this is pure fiction, it is a very good read, as the author did his best to make the story stick to the reality of WWII (even if in 1944 the Home Guard was certainly better armed than described here).

The "hero" of the book is a VERY bad guy, but it is impossible not to feel at least a little for him, as he is trying to escape the tightening noose, with a vital piece of information - he is totally alone, very far from home, in a totally hostile place and faces certain death at the slightest mistake or weakness. The way in which he deals with all the adversities forces some respect. His final fate is very surprising and gives this novel a flavour rarely seen in spy stories.

This is a really good book for holidays or a long rainy weekend - I enjoyed it mightily. Ken Follett wrote some good spy novels later - but this is his first and best, no argument there.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitler relies on The Needle 21 Feb 2006
Hitler must ultimately decide what threats are real and when. He relies on the one man he knows can accomplish the task of finding out the truth. So he sends to England “The Needle” a deep cover spy who is so confident that he does not let the intermediate folk get in his way. Any that do do not live to tell about it.
First, they have to believe that he actually exists. Then they have to find him. It they can find him, can they stop him?
Yes, the story is intriguing. Yet it is the people interaction (loyalty, love, and credibility) and the attitude of "The Needle" that make the story. Ultimately, the question is will he succeed and what effect will this have on future generations of those who knew him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye of the needle 21 July 2010
A cracking story but rather too many words. Occasionally a character is introduced and described in great detail over several pages but then disappears and is never heard from again. Nevertheless a very good read and hard to put down. The lead character is strangely likeable but you wouldn't want to be his friend.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling spy yarn 18 Sep 2007
I read this years ago but would like to include it among my reviews as it was one of my early favourite spy stories.
Faber has survived as the only German spy at large in Britain because he does not trust the network he is supposed to rely on. He is a loner and ruthless. He soon discovers the secret of D-Day but is marooned upon a remote island off the coast of Britain, where a bitter invalided ex-fighter pilot lives in virtual seclusion with his unhappy wife and child.
It is a thrilling advenutre story without being in the least bit corny. The film version is also very good.

Out of interest, the only enemy agent known to remain at large in Britain during the war was a Dutchman, Englebertus Fukken. But he only survived from November 1940 to April 1941, when he committed suicide.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class story 22 Oct 2010
This is the first book that I have read by Ken Follett - I didn't think that he was my type of writer. Either I've changed my tastes, or I've been wrong all along - maybe spy thrillers are for women too. It's not great literature, but Ken Follett is an excellent story teller and this is what I loved about it. An excellent weekend read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really "Ripping Yarn" from WW2 4 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
"Die Nadel" (The Needle) is Germany's best and most reliable spy. Embedded from before the start of the war he has fed reliable information back to Germany and become the ONLY spy Hitler will believe and trust. As the war turns against Germany the question of where and when the Allies will invade France takes on a vital importance. Die Nadel is given to task of finding the truth and getting it back to Germany. Will he succeed? Will MI5 catch him before he can return to Germany?

There are hints of "The 39 Steps" as the chase across wartime Britain is related in this gripping tale of the months before D-Day. The writing is excellent and keeps the reader tied to the book as each chapter unfolds with every twist and turn of the story.

The story is well formatted for the Kindle with and active TOC though one really doesn't need it with a shortish, easy to read book such as this. Download and enjoy!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping storyline 19 Jan 2012
By Dei Dei
Another gripping storyline by Ken Follett. He masterfully creates the scene by introducing the characters in the first few chapters before grabbing your undivided attention throughout the main plot. I had difficulty putting the book down.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional suspense thriller about WWII 25 Aug 2001
The book "eye of the needle" is, in my opinion, a very entertaining and exciting book. it combines suspense and history about WWII. the plot is conclusive and the characters are plausible. it won't take long to read it. although the beginning is slightly long-winded the entire story is a very solid espionage thriller. people who are interested in this area should definitely read this book just as people who haven't read espionage books. "eye of the needle" has been the fourth book of ken follett I have read, and so far has been his best. books of ken follett are mostly convincing and very suspensful although my favourite author for exciting espionage thrillers is forsyth. despite the exceptional story I have to add at least on point of criticism. the cover of the paperbook (read, white, and black colored with a swastika in the middle) is more than nonsenitive according to the history and therefore ought to be changed immediately by the publisher. the cover is a typical example for "political more than incorrect". anyway, this has nothing to do with the content of the book. BUY IT!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and the best
It was my first Follet's book, and i think, the best one so far.
Published 2 days ago by Carla Azevedo
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, even if you don't understand the overall plot of WWII this...
Gripping, immensely true to actual historical facts until the final chapters where it turns into a romantic finish. Will appeal to everyone.
Published 6 days ago by H. M. Sykes
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't put down read
Can't put down read. Follett is an an amazing story teller who creates a constant pace, it's difficult to find a place to stop reading to go to bed!
Published 10 days ago by Peebee
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked it
Published 13 days ago by Groanus
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging tale of espionage
I found this novel really gripping, particularly as it approaches its climax. Offers a really interesting perspective on the end of the Second World War.
Published 1 month ago by Afsak
5.0 out of 5 stars Strongly recommend.
compelling reading. A well devised story line that holds your interest to the very en. Strongly recommend.
Published 1 month ago by barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
Love all Ken Follett novels and this one doesn't disappoint.
Published 1 month ago by Lindyloo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good read
Published 1 month ago by frank
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
found this book quite boring,did'nt read to the end
Published 1 month ago by linda hales
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read.
I must have read almost all of Ken Follett's books by now and this rates highly . A compelling read as are most of his books.
Published 1 month ago by Valerie Byrne
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