Customer Review

144 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first and the best of Ken Follett's books, 20 Sept. 2007
This review is from: The Eye Of The Needle (Paperback)
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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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 May 2011 12:50:09 BDT
singer says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 24 Jun 2012 08:30:13 BDT
dad says:
Good story. Might have been a great story if Ken Follett, an otherwise fabulous writer had any knowledge of the geography of Scotland. Even a quick look at a map would have shown that there is no island anywhere near Aberdeen, and the journey taken to Aberdeen is a bit strange too. I could have believed the story a bit more if the location had been transferred to the west coast of Scotland rather than the east. Surprising lack of research by Mr Follett. Shame, as it is an excellent story spoiled.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2012 16:38:30 BDT
singer says:
Writers license.........smashing read though

Posted on 5 Oct 2013 00:57:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Oct 2013 01:03:07 BDT
The story itself is a great spy thriller, a real 'page-turner', but unfortunately a few sloppy errors detract from it. While writers often invent geographical features - I'll forgive the creation of the clumsily-named 'Storm Island' - it is sloppy research for Die Nadel to end up on the A80 south of Stirling, and claim he was driving North from Edinburgh. Also - and this is one of my pet hates - Follett uses the word 'England' when referring to the whole U.K. . Normally this is annoying, but in the context of WW2, it's insulting. I won't give anything away about the ending, except to say that the epilogue is poor. Having said that, I did enjoy reading it , there's a good plot and it's fast moving. But Follett was 27 when he wrote this, and I'm sad to say a bit of immaturity does show through at times.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Feb 2014 10:28:38 GMT
JJA Kiefte says:
Oh please, grow up and stop harping on about these silly England - Scotland sensibilities. Who cares anyway? I live in the southern part of The Netherlands which was only added in 1814, but everybody calls it Holland. So what?

Posted on 3 Jul 2014 18:54:01 BDT
Sue Ryan says:
This book starts with one of my favourite first sentences... and I bought the book on the strength of the sentence. It's a long time since I read it but I think it's something like... "The last camel died at noon."

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2014 00:30:39 GMT
"The last camel died at noon" is from The Key to Rebecca, not this one.

Posted on 11 Nov 2014 13:11:01 GMT
singer says:
I read this Eye Of The Needle too, a long time ago and I've always remembered it...it was really good..one of those you can't put down

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2014 13:11:53 GMT
Darth Maciek says:
Roger that!
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