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Eye of the Needle

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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.

368 pages, Paperback

First published May 23, 1978

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About the author

Ken Follett

357 books52.1k followers
Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 170 million copies of the 36 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 the College in 1995.

He started his career as a reporter, first with his hometown newspaper the South Wales Echo and then with the London Evening News. Subsequently, he worked for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director.

Ken’s first major success came with the publication of Eye of the Needle in 1978. A World War II thriller set in England, this book earned him the 1979 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America. It remains one of Ken’s most popular books.

In 1989, Ken’s epic novel about the building of a medieval cathedral, The Pillars of the Earth, was published. It reached number one on best-seller lists everywhere and was turned into a major television series produced by Ridley Scott, which aired in 2010. World Without End, the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, proved equally popular when it was published in 2007.

Ken’s new book, The Evening and the Morning, will be published in September 2020. It is a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth and is set around the year 1,000, when Kingsbridge was an Anglo-Saxon settlement threatened by Viking invaders.

Ken has been active in numerous literacy charities and was president of Dyslexia Action for ten years. He was chair of the National Year of Reading, a joint initiative between government and businesses. He is also active in many Stevenage charities and is President of the Stevenage Community Trust and Patron of Home-Start Hertfordshire.

Ken, who loves music almost as much as he loves books, is an enthusiastic bass guitar player. He lives in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, with his wife Barbara, the former Labour Member of Parliament for Stevenage. Between them they have five children, six grandchildren and two Labradors.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,889 reviews
Profile Image for Shannon.
901 reviews235 followers
May 12, 2014
This was the novel that gave Follet star quality status in publishing circles. Not only was it a best seller but it also was adapted into a movie, starring Donald Sutherland.

Here are some reasons to read THE EYE OF THE NEEDLE:

(1) PRECISION: you like reading about cool, precise heroes or anti-heroes or villains who are painfully precise in their plans, the best at what they do and are totally "stone cold.";

(2) WWII BUFF: you love to read about the "big thrills" of WWII; this has it since the German spy discovers D-Day plans and tries to get back to Germany to warn the High Command (i.e. his tap was taken after he was shortly exposed);

(3) TAUT THRILLS: if this turns you on, Follet is right up there with Forsythe, Higgins and other masterful spy thriller novelists.;

(4) MOVING LOVE/LUST TALES: Follet has always been unusually good at the subplot love stories in his tales; the intimacy level is higher than some people encounter in their real lives; the details of the lovemaking is hot. I still remember, at one point, the female interest asks the male love interest why he never married and he replied to something along the lines as: "I never loved any woman enough to marry them."; and

(5) LOTS OF COMPLICATIONS FOR THE CHARACTERS: especially for the villain who seems to overcome almost all of them.

Follet also does a good job of centering the story on the villain so that you like him and then switching over to another character later. The transition works for a number of reasons but saying more would spoil the story.

STORY/PLOTTING: A minus to A; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: A minus; TENSION LEVEL: B plus; WHEN READ: 2002 (revised review July 2012); OVERALL GRADE: A minus.
Profile Image for Holly  B .
851 reviews2,030 followers
May 29, 2021
A enthralling tale with falling off your seat suspense.

I absolutely couldn't stop thinking about the characters and their plight in this "older" gem of a read! I enjoy WWII historical fiction and this one delivered on many fronts.

The terrifying German spy called "The Needle", a determined British intelligence officer, a betrayal, a strong English woman, a hunt for the villain, a shipwreck, an unlikely rendezvous. There are even a few steamy scenes that may give you some chills.

A friend handed me this old paperback and said, "read this". It sat on my side table for weeks, but when I picked it up and began reading, I was captivated.

Highly recommend to the espionage, historical WWII fiction fans! Or anyone who loves a suspenseful and intriguing ride!
Profile Image for Matt.
937 reviews28.6k followers
April 26, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews50 followers
May 21, 2022
Eye of the Needle, Ken Follett

Eye of the Needle is a spy thriller novel written by Welsh author Ken Follett. It was originally published in 1978.

In 1940 Henry Faber is the alias used by a German spy, nicknamed The Needle, due to his preference for the use of a stiletto as his trademark weapon. He is working at a London railway depot, collecting information on troop movements. Faber is halfway through radioing this information to Berlin when his widowed landlady stumbles into his room hoping for intimacy. Faber fears that Mrs. Garden will eventually realize that he was using a transmitter and that he is a spy, so he kills her with his stiletto, then resumes his transmission.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «چ‍ش‍م‌ س‍وزن‌»؛ «جزیره‌ی توفان»؛ نویسنده: ک‍ن‌ ف‍ال‍ت‌‏‫؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هشتم ماه نوامبر سال2003 میلادی

عنوان: چ‍ش‍م‌ س‍وزن‌؛ نویسنده: ک‍ن‌ ف‍ال‍ت‌‏‫؛ مت‍رج‍م: طاه‍ره‌ ص‍دی‍ق‍ی‍ان‌؛ تهران‏‫، نشر اه‍ل‌ ق‍ل‍م‌‏‫، سال1378؛ در379ص؛ شابک9645568013؛ موضوع: جنگ جهانی دوم، سال1939م - سال1945م - داستانهای نویسندگان ولز بریتانیا - سده20م

عنوان: جزیره‌ی توفان؛ نویسنده: کن فالت ؛ مترجم: طاهره صدیقیان؛ تهران، نشر روشنگران و مطالعات زنان ، سال1386؛ در367ص؛ شابک9789648564686؛‬

جزیره‌ ی توفان، یکی از نمونه‌ های بارز آمیختگی تاریخ، و ذهن خلاق نویسنده است، تا آنجا که خوانشگر، نمی‌تواند کتاب را پیش از خوانش آخرین صفحه بر زمین بگذارد؛ اسم مستعار قهرمان داستان «سوزن» است؛ او ترسناکترین، و در عین‌حال مورد اعتمادترین جاسوس «آلمان»، در سالهای پایانی جنگ جهانی دوم است؛ رازی که او به آن دست می‌یابد، اگر به موقع به «آلمان» برسد، می‌تواند مسیر تاریخ، و سرنوشت را دگرگون سازد، اما...؛ و اینها همه در «جزیره‌ ی توفان»، مکانی دورافتاده، در سواحل «اسکاتلند» رخ می‌دهند؛ توفانی سهمگین، و ماجرای عشقی توفنده، و در همین جاست، که سرنوشت قهرمان داستان رقم می‌خورد؛

نقل نمونه متن: (پیشگفتار: اوایل سال1994میلادی سازمان جاسوسی آلمان، به تدریج شواهدی مبنی بر وجود یک ارتش عظیم، در جنوب شرقی انگلستان مییابد؛ هواپیماهای اکتشافی عکسهایی از سربازخانه ها، و فرودگاهها، و ناوگانهای کشتی در خلیج واش گرفته بودند؛ ژنرال «جورج اس پاتون»، با شلوار سواری صورتی رنگ همیشگی خود، همراه سگش قدم میزد؛ در منطقه، عملیات مخابراتی و هشدار دهنده میان هنگها رد و بدل میشد؛ جاسوسان آلمان گزارشهای تایید کننده از انگلستان گزارش کرده بودند؛ البته، ارتشی وجود نداشت؛ کشتیها از جنس پلاستیک و چوب بودند، سربازخانه ها نمونه های شهرکهای سینمایی؛ پاتون، حتی یک نفر نیز تحت فرمان خود نداشت؛ علائم رادیویی معنایی نداشتند؛ خبرچینها همگی جاسوسهای دو جانبه بودند؛ این صحنه، برای گمراه کردن دشمن مهیا شده بود، تا خود را برای حمله از طریق تنگه ی «دوور» آماده کند، و بدین ترتیب حمله ی «نورماندی» در روز موعود غافلگیر کننده باشد؛ طرحی عظیم و تقریبا ناممکن بود؛ در واقع هزاران نفر در آماده سازی این نقشه دست داشتند؛

اگر جاسوسان هیتلر به این نقشه ی فریبکارانه پی نمیبردند، معجزه ای صورت گرفته بود؛ آیا جاسوسی وجود داشت؟ در آن زمان مردم گمان میکردند، توسط آنچه ستون پنجم نامیده میشد محاصره شده اند؛ پس از جنگ شایعه ای پخش شد، که ام.آی.فایو همه ی جاسوسان را، تا پیش از کریسمس سال1939میلادی دستگیر کرده است؛ در حقیقت تعداد آنها انگشت شمار بود؛ سازمان جاسوسی ارتش تقریبا همه ی آنها را گرفتار کرده بود؛ اما فقط یک نفر کافی بود...؛ میدانیم که آلمانها تمام نشانه های جعلی را دیده بودند؛ همچنین به امکان حیله نیز مشکوک شده بودند؛ بنابراین سخت تلاش کردند تا حقیقت را دریابند؛ تا اینجا همه تاریخ است و من حقایقی جز آنچه در کتابهای تاریخ نگاشته شده است، نیافته ام؛ آنچه به دنبال میآید، داستانی تخیلی است؛ با این حال، به گمانم چیزی همانند آن میبایست روی داده باشد؛

کن فالت؛ ژوئن1977میلادی؛ قسمت اول: 1: سرمای زمستان آن سال در چهل و پنج سال گذشته بی سابقه بود؛ راههای ارتباطی روستاهای انگلستان را برف مسدود کرده بود و سطح رودخانه ی تایمز یخ بسته بود؛ در یکی از روزهای ماه ژانویه، قطار گلاسکو به ایستگاه یوستون لندن بیست و چهار ساعت تاخیر داشت؛ آمیزه ی برف و خاموشی تردد وسایل نقلیه را با خطر مواجه کرده بود ـ تصادفات جاده ها دو برابر شده بود و مردم لطیفه ای درست کرده بودند که رانندگی هنگام شب در خیابانهای لندن از راندن تانک در خط اول جبهه خطرناکتر است؛ سپس، با فرارسیدن بهار هوا عالی شد؛ بالونهای دفاعی به طور شاهانه در آسمان آبی روشن باد میخوردند وسربازانی که دوران مرخصی خود را میگذراندند در خیابانهای لندن تفریح میکردند؛ شهر ��ه پایتخت کشوری در حال جنگ چندان شباهت نداشت؛ البته، نشانه هایی دیده میشد؛ و هنری فابر، در حالیکه با دوچرخه از ایستگاه واترلو به سوی های گیت میرفت، آن نشانه ها را میدید ـ توده ی کیسه های شن در مقابل ساخ��مانهای مهم دولتی، پناهگاههایی در باغهای حاشیه ی شهر، آگهیهای تبلیغاتی در مورد احتیاطهای ضروری هنگام حملات هوایی و طرز تخلیه ی مردم. فابر همه چیز را مشاهده میکرد؛ او به طرز قابل توجهی از کارکنان معمولی راه آهن هشیارتر بود؛ کودکان را در پارکها میدید و نتیجه میگرفت تخلیه شهر با موفقیت همراه نبوده است؛ به رغم جیره بندی بنزین، تعداد زیادی اتومبیل در جاده میدید؛ تبلیغات اتومبیلهای تازه به بازار آمده را مطالعه میکرد؛ اهمیت نوبتکاری شبانه ی کارگران در کارخانه ها را میدانست، در حالیکه همین چند ماه پیش برای نوبتکاری روزانه هم کار به سختی پیدا میشد؛ بیش از همه علایم مخ��براتی حرکت سربازان در اطراف شبکه ی راه آهن بریتانیا را زیر نظر داشت: تمامی نامه ها از دفتر او میگذشت

اطلاعات زیادی از آن نامه ها قابل کسب بود؛ مثلاً همان روز تعدادی نامه را مهر کرده بود که نشان میداد یک نیروی اعزامی جدید در حال گردآوری است؛ تقریبا اطمینان داشت که این گروه حدود یک صدهزار نفر را شامل میشود که باید به فنلاند اعزام شوند؛ بله، نشانه هایی وجود داشت؛ اما حالتی شوخی آمیز در همه چیز دیده میشد؛ نمایشهای رادیویی، نوار سرخ مقررات زمان جنگ را مسخره میکردند، مردم هنگام حملات هوایی در پناهگاهها آوازهای دسته جمعی میخواندند و خانمهای شیک ماسکهای گاز خود را در جعبه های تزئینی به سبک درباری میگذاشتند؛ آنها درباره ی جنگ خدایان صحبت میکردند؛ چیزی بزرگتر از اندازه های زندگی واقعی و در عین حال بی اهمیت، مثل نمایش فیلمهای سینمایی؛

تمام اخطارهای حملات هوایی بدون استثنا اخطارهای کاذب بود؛ فابر نظری متفاوت داشت ـ اما خود او نیز شخصی از نوع دیگر بود؛ دوچرخه اش را به خیابان آرچ وی هدایت کرد و کمی به جلو خم شد تا سربالایی را راحتتر رکاب بزند، پاهایش به همان خستگی ناپذیری پیستونهای موتور راه آهن حرکت میکردند؛ نسبت به سی و نه سال سنش، بسیار سالم و متناسب بود، گرچه در مورد آن دروغ میگفت ـ به خاطر احتیاط و ایمنی در مورد اغلب مسائل دروغ میگفت؛ به سوی های گیت از تپه بالا میرفت و عرق میریخت؛ ساختمانی که در آن زندگی میکرد یکی از بلندترین ساختمانهای لندن بود و به همین علت آنجا را برای زندگی انتخاب کرده بود؛ خانه ی آجری به سبک ویکتوریایی ساخته شده بود و در انتهای یک ردیف شش تایی از خانه های هم شکل قرار داشت، خانه هایی بلند، باریک و تیره، درست مانند ذهن کسانی که برایشان ساخته شده بود

همه ی آنها سه طبقه بودند و یک زیرزمین و دری ورودی برای مستخدمان داشتند؛ مردم طبقه ی متوسط قرن نوزدهم انگلستان، حتی اگر مستخدمی هم در کار نبود، اصرار داشتند ورودی مستخدمان داشته باشند؛ فابر از انگلیسیها بیزار بود. خانه ی شماره ی شش قبلاً به آقای هارولد گاردن، مالک شرکت چای و قهوه ی گاردن، تعلق داشت، شرکتی کوچک که در دوره ی رکود اقتصادی ورشکست شد؛ آقای گاردن ورشکسته که همیشه درماندگی را گناهی بزرگ میدانست، چاره ای جز مردن نداشت؛ خانه تنها دارایی ای بود که برای همسر بیوه اش به ارث گذاشت؛ بدین ترتیب او مجبور شده بود مستاجر بگیرد؛ خانم گاردن از صاحبخانه بودن لذت میبرد، گرچه آداب اجتماعی حکم میکرد که به خاطرش کمی شرمنده باشد؛ اتاق فابر در طبقه ی آخر بود، از دوشنبه تا جمعه آنجا زندگی میکرد؛ به خانم فابر گفته بود تعطیلات آخر هفته را در اریت با مادرش میگذراند

در حقیقت او صاحبخانه ی دیگری در بلاک هیث داشت که فابر را با نام آقای بیکر میشناخت و باور داشت او بازاریابی سیار برای یک کارخانه ی لوازم التحریر است و تمام هفته را در جاده ها میگذراند؛ فابر دوچرخه اش را در زیر اخم مذمت بار پنجره های بلند اتاق جلویی خانه در گذرگاه باغ پیش برد؛ آن را در انبار گذاشت و به چمن زن قفل کرد ـ رها کردن وسایل نقلیه بدون قفل مغایر با قانون بود؛ بذر سیب زمینیهای داخل جعبه های سرتاسر انبار جوانه زده بود؛ خانم گاردن در ایام جنگ در باغچه هایش سبزیجات میکاشت؛ فابر وارد خانه شد، کلاهش را روی جالباسی آویخت، دستهایش را شست و برای خوردن عصرانه به اتاق نشیمن رفت؛ سه مستاجر دیگر هم اکنون مشغول خوردن بودند ـ پسرکی اهل یورکشایر با صورت پرجوش که میکوشید به ارتش ملحق شود، یک قناد با موهای کم پشت جو گندمی و یک افسر بازنشسته ی نیروی دریایی که فابر اطمینان داشت دارای انحطاط اخلاقی است

فابر برای آنها سر تکان داد و نشست؛ فروشنده لطیفه ای تعریف میکرد: «فرمانده ی نیروی هوایی میگه، زود برگشتی! خلبان جواب میده، آره، تمام اعلامیه هامو بسته بندی شده ریختم پایین، نباید این کارو میکردم؟ فرمانده میگه، خدای من، ممکن بود به کسی صدمه بزنی!» افسر نیروی دریایی به قهقهه خندید و فابر لبخند زد؛ خانم گاردن با قوری چای وارد شد؛ «عصر بخیر، آقای فابر؛ ما پیش از اومدن شما شروع کردیم، امیدوارم ناراحت نشده باشین» فابر لایه ی نازکی کره روی نان مالید، در آن لحظه هوس سوسیسی بزرگ را داشت؛ به خانم گاردن گفت: «بذر سیب زمینیهای شما واسه کاشتن آماده شدن» او به سرعت عصرانه اش را خورد. بقیه با هم بحث میکردند که آیا باید چمبرلین را اخراج کرد و چرچیل را به جایش گذاشت یا خیر؛ خانم گاردن نظریات مختلف ابراز میکرد و بعد به فابر نگاه میکرد تا واکنش او را ببیند؛ زنی سرخ چهره و اندکی فربه بود؛ حدودا هم سن و سال فابر مینمود، اما مثل زنهای سی ساله لباس میپوشید و به نظر میرسید شوهر دیگری آرزو میکند؛ فابر خود را از بحث دور نگه داشت. خانم گاردن رادیو را روشن کرد؛ رادیو مدتی موسیقی پخش کرد؛ سپس گوینده گفت: «اینجا رادیو بی.بی.سی است، نمایشنامه ی «دوباره آن مرد»؛ پایان نقل از متن

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 13/04/1399هجری خورشیدی، 30/02/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Dem.
1,191 reviews1,134 followers
January 7, 2022
I do enjoy a good old fashioned spy thriller and who better than Ken Follett to write a suspenseful and exciting story that had me intrigued from start to finish.

In the weeks leading up to D-Day. Hitler’s prize undercover agent and a cold and professional Killer who goes by the enamel of The Neddle, is on the cusp of discovering the Allies Invasion plans and ruining what has been months of planning. Hunted by MI5 he leads a murderous trail across Britain to a waiting u Boat but he hasn’t planned for a storm-bartered island the the remarkable young woman who lives there.

Ken Follett’s Eye of the Needle (written in 1978) reads so well even 40 year later. I really appreciated the complex characters, the well crafted and suspenseful story. The great chase of MI5 agents on the trail of Henry Fabre ( The needle) had me on the edge of my seat.
A compelling and unputdownable story.

I listened to this one on Audio and the narration by Samuel West was excellent and really added to my enjoyment of the story.
Profile Image for Dana Ilie.
404 reviews351 followers
November 8, 2018
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 more 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 more 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 more compelling—how ought the story to end? How do I want it to end?

Fabulous novel. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,029 reviews374 followers
October 27, 2020
Um Amor Complicado

Por onde passa deixa um rasto de morte. Mata com um estilete e por isso lhe chamam o Agulha. Tem uma missão a cumprir e é tudo o que lhe importa. Até que Ela aparece...

E... se mais quiserem saber... terão que ler a sinopse ou outras resenhas (algo que definitivamente não recomendo), pois eu irei calar-me por aqui.

É ler e ganhar ou não ler e perder. O conselho é meu e a escolha é vossa! 😉


☠️💕 Love is a Hunter 💕 ☠️

They call him The Needle. They know he’s been there by the trail of corpses stabbed with a Stilleto — his trademark “needle”. He has a mission to accomplish and nothing else matters. Until the day he met Her...

Are you eager for more?

If your answer is Yes, you have one of 3 options:

Option number 1 - Read the book
Option number 2 - Read the book
Option number 3 - Read the book

Did you chose number 3?
I bet you did!!! 😉😜
Profile Image for Sanjay Gautam.
233 reviews444 followers
August 4, 2016
Clichéd and predictable: an ultimate disaster. Wasted my precious time on this one.
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,730 followers
July 30, 2023
For years, Ken Follett has been one of the authors I most admire... but given the length of his novels and the historical aspects, I tend to only read one or two a year -- and he has a lot to catch up on. This year, I started with Eye of the Needle, perhaps his most well-known novel. A German spy is at the center of the story, and he's infiltrated the British military intelligence agency... several are killed before his identity becomes compromised, and then he's on the run. He kills with a stiletto and it's never a clean kill. The book switches POV a few times to cover different primary characters, including the heroine who suffers greatly for many years before finally winning at something in her life. Great dialog, beautiful settings, and just a fantastic story to read. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is that I'm a bit worn down on WWII spy thrillers and all that comes with them. I found this one compelling and easy to read, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone as a way to understand the art that is Ken Follett's imagination and writing style. Now I get to pick my next read from his behemoth of a backlog!
Profile Image for Ankit Garg.
251 reviews355 followers
December 23, 2020
Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett is an adventurous spy thriller novel set in the backdrop of World War II, specifically leading to the D-Day aka the Battle of Normandy. Henry Faber aka The Needle, is a German spy in the midst of the English. He somehow gathers the most important intelligence information that can decide the fate of the war for the Germans. Hitler trusts him, but will he able to successfully transfer that knowledge, given that the English Intelligence is doing everything in their power to catch him before he leaves England? The result is a cat-and-mouse chase between the spy and the intelligence officers, one which kept the reader in me hooked.

Love-making scenes written by Ken are spicier than the ones by the authors in the erotica genre. Is there anything he is not good at?

Given that his other books are tomes, this one can be a perfect choice to start reading Ken. Now that I have liked his style, I will definitely be picking more of his works.

Verdict: Recommended.
Profile Image for Scott.
1,801 reviews131 followers
April 19, 2020
"It has taken the total military and industrial might of the whole English-speaking world - the greatest civilization since the Roman Empire - four years to win this 50/50 chance. If this spy gets out, we lose even that. Which is to say, we lose everything. Don't bring me probabilities, professor. Bring me 'Die Nadel.'" -- Winston Churchill, fictional quote but actual U.K. prime minister

Follett's Eye of the Needle is probably best remembered as being his first bestseller over 40 years ago, as well as (I think) the only one of his books that received a film adaptation. Set in Europe on the eve of D-Day, the plot centers on 'The Needle' (a.k.a. 'Die Nadel' in his native tongue), a shrewd German espionage operative who has been eluding capture in the British Isles for four years. Known for his stealth abilities as well as his lethal use of a stiletto, he is on the run from British military intelligence (represented here by a pair of 'citizen soldiers' - a keen university professor and a dogged Scotland Yard detective) after obtaining photographic evidence for the Allied plan of Operation Overlord.

The first half of the book is a traditional hero / villain pursuit (though still well written), but the narrative is then kicked up a notch in the latter part once The Needle is unexpectedly forced to take refuge on a sparsely inhabited island on the Scottish coast. There he meets Lucy, an unhappy wife of a disabled man and mother of a very young son. The Needle insinuates himself into this family dynamic, but things soon go very awry and Lucy has to 1.) flee for her safety during a storm to avoid The Needle, which is obviously a very difficult thing to do on a small isolated island, plus 2.) attempt to contact British authorities - as there is only a single two-way radio locally available - for both assistance and to advise of The Needle's activities. Without giving everything away, the quiet Lucy believably rises to the occasion and displays admirable grit and determination for her son and 'for Queen and country' - I know I stayed put to read the final 100 or so suspenseful pages in one sitting.
Profile Image for Deacon Tom F.
1,868 reviews146 followers
February 25, 2021
One of the Best of All Time

“The Eye of the Needle” by Ken Follet is one of the top ten books that I have ever read

Besides being a WWII psychological thriller, it is 100% factual about the planning and spying of the Normandy Landing.

Memorable characters like Henry Faber, a nondescript Englishman, who is a railway clerk living in a widow's house. Oh by the way, Henry is a German agent and assassin working in Britain where bhe discovers one of the biggest secrets of WWII--rhe date and location for D-DAY. All he needs to do now is escape the UK and meet a Nazi U-Boat off the coast of Scotland. The chase is on.

This book by Follet is a psyological hriller, with an outstanding plot, superb writing, and a pace with breakneck speed. It was so well written, I found myself rooting for the spy to get away.

It is one of the finest novels of all time. Somehow, I missed it previously. I am glad I picked it up now. You should get a copy & read it right away.

I highly recommend this novel.
Profile Image for Nina.
273 reviews97 followers
January 8, 2023
I recently reread the Eye of the Needle, and this is the best espionage story set in the time of WWII that I know (I don't know too many, though). I enjoyed the characters, the fast-paced plot, the setting, the suspense and how the outcome was open until the very end of the story.
So, if you are interested in this kind of story I can highly recommend the Eye of the Needle.

5 out of 5 stars

My review is based on the English kindle version.
Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,127 reviews480 followers
April 12, 2023
Thriller histórico muy interesante en los preludios del día D. Una de espías de toda la vida vamos.
Tendré que leer mas de Follett de esta temática ya que me ha gustado mucho, lo único es que ya sabía como acababa ya que había visto en su día la genial película de dicha obra.
Muy buen ritmo e intriga, con un final muy correcto y esperado.
El antagonista muy bueno, yo siempre le ponía la cara de Donald Sutherland.
Valoración: 8/10
Sinopsis: En el año 1944 los aliados preparan en secreto una de las mayores operaciones militares de la historia: la invasión de la Europa ocupada por los nazis.
Henry Faber, espía alemán, descubre que el desembarco se efectuará en Normandía e intenta llevar la noticia al Alto Mando alemán, pero nunca llegará a su destino...
Profile Image for Jill Hutchinson.
1,484 reviews104 followers
September 30, 2023
I just finished The Day of the Jackal, loved it, and decided to try another suspenseful fiction book which is a genre that I seldom read. It was a good decision.

This book, which was made into a film in 1981, is a well written story of the Nazi top secret agent, The Needle (Die Nadel), who has discovered that the Allies will indeed attack Fortress Europa at Normandy. The Allies have so far convinced the Nazis that they will invade at Cherbourg where Hitler is moving his troops to stop them on the beaches. But Hitler is waiting to hear from die Nadel before he makes his final decision. The plot revolves around the attempted escape of the spy who is still in Britain and whose identity is unknown to the authorities.

Much of this exciting tale is based on actual history but the author weaves his fiction seamlessly into the facts. Granted, it stretches credibility at times, especially the denouement, but that's what makes it so suspenseful. I would recommend this book, even to the reader who does not read spy fiction.It's a dandy!
Profile Image for Jason Koivu.
Author 7 books1,256 followers
March 19, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Shariful Sadaf.
180 reviews96 followers
April 8, 2021
বইঃ আই অফ নিডল
লেখকঃ কেন ফলেট
অনুবাদকঃ ইমতিয়াজ আজাদ
প্রকাশনীঃ আদী প্রকাশন
পৃষ্ঠাঃ ৩৫০
মুদ্রিত মূল্যঃ ৪৮০ টাকা

দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধের সময় ব্রিটেনের গোয়েন্দা সংস্থা এমআইফাইভ একের পর এক জার্মান গুপ্তচরদের আটক করে চলছিলো। কিন্তু হেনরি ফেবার কোড নেম নিডল নামের ব্যক্তিকে কিছুতেই পাকড়াও করতে পারছে না। এদিকে নিডল এমন এক তথ্য সংগ্রহ করেছে যার দ্বারা যুদ্ধে জার্মানির জয় শুধু সময়ের ব্যাপার। ব্যতিব্যস্ত হয়ে পড়লো এমআইফাইভ চলছে চিরুনি অভিযান। পেছনে শত্রু লেগে গেছে বুঝতে পেরে পালাচ্ছে নিডল সাথে সকল বাধা অতিক্রম করছে তীক্ষ্ণ বুদ্ধি ও স্টিলেটো দ্বারা খুন করে। সাগরে তার জন্য অপেক্ষা করছে সাবমেরিন। নৌকা নিয়ে পালিয়ে যাচ্ছে নিডল এমন সময় জীবন মরণ ঝড়ের কবলে পড়ে বাধ্য হয়ে একটা দ্বীপে আশ্রয় নিতে হয়। তবে শেষ পর্যন্ত বাধা মাত্র একজন তার নাম লুসি রোজ। লুসি রোজ বিয়ে করেন রয়্যাল এয়ারফোর্সের পাইলট ডেভিড। বিয়ের রাতেই গাড়ী দূর্ঘটনায় পা হারাতে হয় তার স্বামীর। তারপর শুরু হয় তাদের জনমানবহীন স্টর্ম আইল্যান্ড দ্বীপে যেখানে লুসি, ডেভিড আর টম আর আছে তাদের বেড়ার খামার। কিছুদিন পর তাদের কোলে আসলো জো নামের এক পুত্রসন্তান। দ্বীপের বুড়ো এক রাখাল, পঙ্গু পাইলট আর এক মহিলা ফেবারের জন্য কোন ব্যাপারই না। শেষ পর্যন্ত এমআইফাইভ কি পারবে হেনরি ফেবারকে রুখতে? জানতে হলে পড়ে ফেলুন বইটি।

পাঠপ্রতিক্রিয়াঃ দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধের এসপিওনাজ ভুবনে যেনো ডুবে গেলাম এই বইটির মাধ্যমে। হেনরি ফেবারের তীক্ষ্ণ বুদ্ধি আর সাহস রোমাঞ্চকর এক পরিবেশ তৈরি করতে সক্ষম হয়েছে। কেন ফলটের ক্যারেক্টর বিল্ড আপ আমাকে অসাধারণ ভাবে মুগ্ধ করেছে। মনে হয়েছে প্রতিটি ক্যারেক্টর যার যার জায়গায় ঠিক সময়ে ফুটে উঠেছে। গল্পের কোন কিছুই অপ্রয়োজনীয় বলে মনে হয়নি। দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধের চিত্র গুলা মনে হয়েছে নিজ চোখে দেখেছি এতটা বাস্তব মনে হয়েছে আমার। আর হ্যাঁ গল্পে দুই পৃষ্ঠার বিশ্লেষণধর্মী যৌন্যতার ব্যাখ্যা রয়েছে (যদিও এটাও গল্পের গুরুত্বপূর্ণ একটি অংশ বলা চলে) তাও বলবো ১৮+ ছাড়া কেউ পড়ার আগে একটু সচেতন থাকতে। পুরো গল্পেই ভালোরকম থ্রিল পেয়েছি যা থেকে তৃপ্তির ঢেকুর তুলতে পারলাম।
আর অনুবাদ নিয়ে বলতে গেলে ইমতিয়াজ আজাদ খুব চমৎকার কাজ উপহার দিয়েছেন একদম ঝরঝরে পরিষ্কার অনুবাদ।
যারা পড়েননি পড়ে ফেলতে পারেন কেন ফলেটের চমৎকার এই বইটি।

ব্যাক্��িগত রেটিংঃ ৪.৫০/৫
Profile Image for ChopinFC.
273 reviews79 followers
April 29, 2018
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 shook!

"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies. "

—Winston Churchill

Eye 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 II. Eye of the needle is a spot on, accurately written depiction of WW2 spy thriller at its best!.

The 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-day:

- “It 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
Profile Image for Stjepan Cobets.
Author 13 books504 followers
April 27, 2018
Excellent thriller where the action is happening at the time of the Second World War.
Profile Image for Sonia Gomes.
319 reviews96 followers
June 12, 2021
When Faber arrives at Storm Island near Aberdeen, he finds a very lonely Lucy who lives with her crippled husband, an embittered husband who has never touched her after their marriage ceremony.

Lucy then embarks on a relationship with Faber. Although Faber really 'seems to come to love someone' for the very first time in his life, it sounds improbable, because Faber is incapable of 'love' as we know it, he is trained to look at people as objects to be eliminated immediately if and when threatened by them. But both need release from pent up sexual energies.

However, what really stands out in this book, is Lucy’s remarkable courage, her resourcefulness, her endurance in repeatedly foiling Faber’s plans.
It is with a shock that both of them 'come to their senses ' when they realise and understand that their relationship is insignificant, the immensity of the stakes in the ongoing War, the significance of the Secret Faber has now learnt.

For Faber now knows the Secret of the D-Day landings, he has now realised that Calais is after all, not the location for Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of France.

For Lucy, it is the fact that Faber now knows the secret, a immense secret that could change the course of the entire War.

Both of them snap out of the brief interlude. There is only so much that sex can do.

After fighting Faber tooth and nail, she even blows a fuse by inserting a finger in a live socket, yes Lucy kills Faber by rolling down stones on him when he tries to escape and board a submarine waiting for him.

Who knows maybe Faber is really incapable of killing Lucy for while he is growing 'soft' she has hardened and grown ruthless.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Azrof Islam Orko.
115 reviews89 followers
January 20, 2022
"দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধ" এই শব্দবন্ধ মাথাতে আসতেই চোখের সামনে ভাসতে থাকে আকাশের বুকে চিরে মহড়া দিতে থাকা ফাইটার প্লেন, মাটির কোলে হামা দেয়া ট্যাঙ্ক,বোমার আঘাতে উড়তে থাকা অঙ্গপ্রত্যঙ্গ-বালির বস্তা,মাঝসমুদ্রে পরস্পরের দিকে কামানের গোলা ছুঁড়তে থাকা যুদ্ধজাহাজ কিংবা ভূ-গর্ভস্থ বাঙ্কারে বসে ছক কষতে গিয়ে প্রচণ্ড স্নায়ুচাপে চুল ছিঁড়তে থাকা সমরবিদের ছবি।
কানে ভেসে আসবে
অজস্র নারী-পুরুষ-শিশুদের হাহাকার...মরণ চিৎকার,শকওয়েভ কেঁপে ওঠা দূরবর্তী কোনো কাঠের বাড়ির ক্যাঁচক্যাঁচ শব্দ,গমগম করতে থাকা বুটের আওয়াজ, কানফাটা বুলেটের শব্দ কিংবা বোমা বিস্ফোরণ।
কারো মাথায় লম্বা করিডোর ধরে পায়চারী করতে থাকা উইনস্টন চার্চিল, আন্ডারগ্রাউন্ড ডর্মে লুকানো ঈহুদী পরিবার,  "হাইল হিটলার" বলে সালাম ঠোকা স্বস্তিকা চিহ্নে দাগাঙ্কিত নাৎসি বাহিনী  কিংবা শেষ ভাগে এসে পারমাণবিক বোমায় ধ্বংসপ্রাপ্ত হিরোশিমা-নাগাসাকির ছবি আসাটাও খুবই স্বাভাবিক। কিন্তু এর বাইরেও যুদ্ধের অন্ধকার অলিগলি জুড়ে ঘুরে বেড়াতে চাইলে মাইক্রোস্কোপের ফোকাল লেন্থ আরেকটু কমাতে হবে। ঢুকে পড়তে হবে উপরিতলের আরো গভীরে।
তেমনই এক অপেক্ষাকৃত অজানা অধ্যায়ের সাথে কল্পনাকে ঘিরে আবর্তিত হয়েছে কেন ফলেটের "আই অফ দ্য নিডল" এর কাহিনী।


১৯৪৪  সালের প্রথম দিকে দক্ষিণ-পূর্ব ইংল্যান্ডে একটা বিরাট সেনাবাহিনীর বিষয়ে তথ্য হাতে আসে জার্মান ইন্টেলিজেন্সের। গাদা গাদা ছবি নিয়ে ফিরে এলো পরিদর্শক বিমান। সেই ছবিতে ব্যারাক, এয়ারফিল্ড, ওয়াশ উপসাগরে ভাসমান জাহাজ, নিজের সাদা বুলডগসহ জেনারেল জর্জ এস. প্যাটনকে দেখা গেল। ওই এলাকায় ওয়্যারলেস সিগন্যাল পাঠানোর মাত্রা বেড়ে গেল, ব্রিটেনে অবস্থিত জার্মান গুপ্তচরেরা সিগন্যাল পাঠাতে লাগল বারবার।
আসলে সেখানে কোন সেনাবাহিনী ছিল না। জাহাজগুলো ছিল রাবার আর পলকা কাঠ দিয়ে তৈরি, ব্যারাকগুলো ছিল সিনেমা সেটের মতো। নিজের অধীনে একজন সৈনিকও ছিল না প্যাটনের। রেডিও সিগন্যালগুলো ছিল অর্থহীন, গুপ্তচরদের বেশিরভাগই ছিল ডাবল এজেন্ট।
এত কিছুর উদ্দেশ্য ছিল, পাস দে ক্যালাইস দিয়ে হামলা হবে এই তথ্য দিয়ে জার্মানদেরকে বিভ্রান্ত করা। এর ফলে ডি-ডে’তে নর্ম্যান্ডি দিয়ে হামলা একটা চমক হয়ে দেখা দিত জার্মানবাহিনীর জন্য। পরিকল্পনাটা ছিল অনেক বড়, ধোঁকা দেয়াটাও অসম্ভব ছিল প্রায়। প্রায় কয়েক হাজার মানুষ জড়িত ছিল এই পরিকল্পনার সাথে।
তারপরেও হিটলারের কোন গুপ্তচর যে এই
বিষয়ে জানতে পারেনি, তা রীতিমতো এক সৌভাগ্যই বটে।
নাকি আসলেই কোনো জার্মান নিবেদিত প্রাণ গুপ্তচর ছিল?
দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধের সময় একের পর এক জার্মান গুপ্তচরদের পাকড়াও করে দারুণ কাজ দেখিয়েছিলো ব্রিটেনের গোয়েন্দা সংস্থা এমআইফাইভ। কিন্তু তারপরেও কীভাবে যেন একজন গুপ্তচর সবাইকে ফাঁকি দিয়ে বেরিয়ে যাচ্ছিল বারবার। তার নাম হেনরি ফেবার, কোড নেম ‘নিডল'।
দুর্ভাগ্যক্রমে, সে এমন অসাধারণ এক তথ্য আবিষ্কার করে ফেলল, যার ফলে যুদ্ধে জার্মানির জয় হয়ে গেল মাত্র সময়ের ব্যাপার। ব্যতিব্যস্ত হয়ে উঠল এমআইফাইভ। নিডলকে ধাওয়া শুরু করল তারা। পিছনে শত্রু লেগেছে বুঝতে পেরে পালাতে লাগল নিডলও। তার জন্য সাগরে অপেক্ষা করছে সাবমেরিন। তবে তার পথে বাধা মাত্র একজনই। তার নাম লুসি রোজ!


প্রথমেই বলে রাখি..."আই অ্যাম পিলগ্রিম" এর পর বড় কলেবরে কোনো স্লো বার্নার থ্রিলার পড়ে এতোটা ভালো লেগেছে।
পটভূমিতে বলা ঘটনাক্রম অনুযায়ী লেখক একদম শুরুতেই বলে দিয়েছেন আসলে শেষে
কী ঘটতে যাচ্ছে।  কিন্তু তারপরও মাথার ভিতর টুথপিক দিয়ে খোঁচাতে থেকেছে শুধু একটাই প্রশ্ন,
"How is it even possible?"
এতো শক্তপোক্ত একটা অ্যান্টাগনিস্টকে কীভাবে থামানো সম্ভব?
সবথেকে অবাক করবার মতো বিষয় হলো,
পটভূমির ইতিহাসটুকু বাদ দিলে বাকি সবটাই লেখকের শক্তিশালী কল্পনার ফসল।

গল্পের শুরুতেই যেভাবে ত্রিভুজের তিনটা কোণ হিসাব করে প্রোটাগনিস্ট, মিডিয়েটর, অ্যান্টাগনিস্টদের দেখিয়ে তাদের ব্যাকড্রপ স্টোরি ডেভেলপ করেছেন এইটা সত্যিই অনেক প্রশংসার যোগ্য।
ব্রিটিশদের দেয়া আসন্ন ধোঁকার খবর নিজ দেশে পৌঁছে দিতে প্রতিজ্ঞাবদ্ধ নিডল,ইতিহাসবিদের শান্ত জীবন থেকে সমরে জড়িয়ে পড়া গডলিম্যানের ক্ষুরধারবুদ্ধি, কিংবা বোমার আঘাতে স্ত্রী ক্রিস্টিনকে হারানো ব্লগসের প্রতিশোধপরায়ণতা,অ্যাক্সিডেন্টে পা হারানো বৈমানিক ডেভিডের অপারগতা অথবা গৃহিণী লুসি রোজের নিজেকে ভেঙে শত্রু মোকাবিলায় মরিয়া হয়ে ওঠা- এসব কিছুর সাথেই পাঠককে খুব ভালোমতোই রিলেট করাতে পেরেছেন কেন ফলেট।

শুরু শুরুতে একেকটা ক্যারেকটারের সূক্ষ্মসূক্ষ্ম ডিটেইলস অনেক  অহেতুক মনে হয়েছিল,পরে সেই ছোট ছোট ট্রেইটগুলোরই একটা মনস্তাত্ত্বিক বিবর্তন দেখিয়েছেন--এরকমটা বর্তমানের  থ্রিলারগুলোর মাঝে খুব কম দেখা যায়।
প্রতিটা চরিত্রের টানাপোড়েন, পরিস্থিতির সাথে বাঁকবদল এসব কিছুই নিজের সাথে রিলেট করবার মতো।

ডিটেইলিং এতো জীবন্ত, পাঠ্যানুকূল
আর বাস্তবঘেঁষা যে দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধ নিয়ে খুবই প্রাথমিক ধারণা নিয়ে পড়তে বসলেও মূল কাহিনী বুঝতে কষ্ট হবার কথা নয়।

চেষ্টা করলে যে,একটা পলিটিক্যাল স্পাই থ্রিলারও ভালো সাহিত্যমান পেতে পারে,এইটার উদাহরণ - আই অব দ্য নিডল। স্বাদু ভাষার কারণে কেউ যদি এটাকে থ্রিলারের বাইরে শুধু যুদ্ধকেন্দ্রিক উপন্যাস হিসেবেও পড়েন,তাও সমান ভালো লাগবার কথা।

কেন ফলেটের রাইটিং স্টাইলের সাথে বর্তমানের রোলারকোস্টার রাইড টাইপ বইয়ের রাইটিং স্টাইল মেলার সম্ভাবনাই নাই।
কারণ, আমার নিজেরও মনে হয়েছে
বেশ ধীরগতি। কিন্তু প্রতিটা
চ্যাপ্টারের শেষে ব্যবহৃত ক্লিফহ্যাঙ্গার আপনাকে বাধ্য করবে পরের অধ্যায়ে যেতে।
এবার কী হবে--নিডল কি ধরা পড়ে যাবে?
নাকি আরও শক্তপোক্ত কোনো চাল চালবেন গডলিম্যান? লুসি নিজেকে নিজের সন্তানকে স্টিলেটোর ফলা থেকে কি বাঁচাতে পারবে?

তবে উপন্যাসের শেষ ভাগের দিকে উনি  তিন পৃষ্ঠা ধরে যৌনতার বর্ণনা দেয়া শুরু করলে টানটান সিরিয়াসনেসের ভাবটা খানিকটা সময়ের জন্য উবে যায়,বিরক্তিও ধরে।
কিন্তু পরে দেখা যায়, সেইটা
কাহিনীর বিশেষ প্রয়োজনেই উনি এনেছে��।

বইটার কাহিনী বিন্যাস আর ফলেটের ভাষারীতির জন্য
অনুবাদ খটমটে হয়ে যাবার বিপুল সম্ভাবনা ছিল। কিন্তু অনুবাদক সাহেব দারুণ মুন্সিয়ানা দেখিয়েছেন এখানে। মাসুদ রানায় বহু বইয়ের অ্যাডাপ্টেশন পড়লে যেমন কখনও মনে হয় না যে রূপান্তরিত কাহিনী পড়ছি, এখানেও সেই একই অবস্থা। দারুণ অনুবাদের কারণেই তরতরিয়ে একটানা পড়ে যেতে পেরেছি। যদিও যথাযথ প্রুফরিডিংয়েে অভাবে বেশ কিছু মুদ্রণপ্র���াদ চোখে পড়েছে আমার, তবে কাহিনীর মোচড়ে এগিয়ে যেতে খুব বেশি সমস্যার মুখোমুখি হই নি।
একই অনুবাদকের ব্ল্যাক ক্রস,দ্য ঈগল হ্যাজ ল্যান্ডেড পড়বার জন্য মুখিয়ে আছি।

"Everything is fair in love and war" -
"আই অব দ্য নিডল" এর যুদ্ধাক্রান্ত দম বন্ধ করা পরিবেশে এই কথার পৌনঃপুণিক উপলব্ধি করতে পারবেন হাড়ে হাড়ে।

📗বইয়ের নাম: আই অব দ্য নিডল
🔎জনরা: স্পাই থ্রিলার
🖋️লেখক: কেন ফলেট
🖊️অনুবাদ: ইমতিয়াজ আজাদ
🗳️প্রকাশনী: আদী প্রকাশন
🗓️প্রকাশকাল: বইমেলা,২০১৯
📌মলাট মূল্য: ৪৮০ টাকা
📋গুডরিডস রেটিং: ৪.১৮/৫
🗒️পার্সোনাল রেটিং : ৪.৫/৫
Profile Image for Nikki.
1,940 reviews54 followers
September 20, 2008
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 more 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.

Profile Image for Nandakishore Mridula.
1,256 reviews2,303 followers
April 22, 2019
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!
Profile Image for Abubakar Mehdi.
158 reviews222 followers
July 28, 2015
A fast paced World War 2 thriller, set against the backdrop of D-Day plans secretly laid by the British. The story is very engrossing, making it a real turner and a thrilling experience, but I felt that there were a bit too many clichés. It started off pretty well, but by the end it felt like a Hollywood style spy-flick.

The writing is quite good at times, while on some occasions the lines were overtly simplistic, the romantic intrigue was mostly about sex and nothing more.

Throughout the reading I expected it to be a 4 star book, but the clichés just pulled it down to 3 stars. Still, not a bad book at all and a good conventional spy-thriller.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,674 reviews378 followers
December 20, 2012
A WW11 thriller that in a strange way leads you into rooting for both sides. Strange I admit but because the author writes the story from both angles you can't help wanting the spy to at times succeed. My first Ken Follett book and I will certainly try others.
Profile Image for Eli Easton.
Author 76 books2,657 followers
March 12, 2017
Read for my lifetime challenge (1978).

This is a fantastic page-turner that outshines most contemporary thrillers. I could hardly bear to put it down for the day and a half it took me to devour it!

The story is set during WWII just before the allies invade at Normandy. This first offensive by British, US and allied forces could determine the entire war. The only chance they have is if they can land where the Germans aren't expecting them. Otherwise they'll be decimated as they try to get their armies ashore. They will win or lose the war on the success of this invasion. All of this is in the forward, so I'm not giving anything away.

In order to accomplish this, the British sets up a ruse to try to fool the Germans into thinking they're going to invade at a different spot, Calais. It's critical that the Germans believe this. Endangering the operation is one brilliant German spy, code named "Die Nadel" (the needle). The Brits know he exists, but they don't know what he looks like and have never been able to catch him. If Die Nadel figures out their gambit, and can get that information to Hitler, the invasion will fail and the war will be lost.

In one sense, this is a story about the search for one spy. But the stakes are so high, and the characters are so clever, it takes on global importance and the tension is incredible. The foremost character is Die Nadel himself. I love that we get his POV early on. We get to see how ruthless he is, how cautious and clever, how innocuous and charming he can be. I wouldn't say you'll find yourself rooting for him, because he's obviously evil. But you get caught up in his story and can viscerally feel his desperate attempt to get his information to his homeland.

Other characters include the MI6 guys trying to track down Die Nadel, Godliman (a British professor turned intelligence officer) and Bloggs (a younger MI6 agent). It's interesting to see their efforts to track the spy down, how MI6 worked at the time. Then there's the couple on the island where Die Nadel lands-a young woman, Lucy, and her husband, David, who was crippled in a car accident. They take Die Nadel in at first, thinking he's a stranded traveler, and it turns into a cat-and-mouse game on the island.

The writing is very tight and efficient and this is a purely plot-driven book. There are multiple murders, elaborate traps that fail (until they don't), and lots of near escapes. The action never stops, but it never falls to the level of a car chase either. It's all believable and necessary. The characters fight heroically and intelligently.

I highly recommend this masterpiece of a thriller to one and all.
Profile Image for Pavellit.
227 reviews22 followers
April 27, 2017
This is my first Follett book I have read and he has a very enjoyable, concise and precise style of writing. The year is 1944, and a German spy (code-name: "the Needle") has photos that could damage the Allies' plans for D-Day. While trying to get the photos to a U-boat, he is shipwrecked on a remote island off the coast of Scotland, which is home to a loveless and amputee man, his lonely wife, and their three-year-old child. This is an enthralling wartime (WW2) thriller with a interesting plot contains tension, mystery, surprises and a questionable to be suspenseful ending(maybe not, but you know who won the war and the deception that the Allies executed in order to hide their true intentions of the D-Day landing spot), without it being too convoluted due to its complex historical context. What I really did not expect to find here is the inclusion of surprisingly good sex scenes for the sake of romance in a thriller, though this novel is a product of 1977. To be honest,I was falling in love and pulling for 'Die Nadel'. Yeah, the bad guy!? The narrative focuses on four people - a German spy, a British MI governor, and an English couple - the couple is told through a single POV, but it left me with the feeling that the only fully fleshed character is "the Needle". I absolutely love when a strong female character is incorporated in a story. Here? Not sure! In the last 50 pages, Lucy really becomes a war hero and I see a whole different side to her, but overall she shares that 70's perception that women are defined by their sexuality. I suppose if it had been written today it would have been thought out the way she, in particular, was written eventually. Anyway, sometimes I have a tendency to analyze things more, so.... this is a fast-paced and engrossing thriller I bolted down, pretty much in one sitting.
Profile Image for Lewis Weinstein.
Author 10 books512 followers
May 28, 2012
Among the best thrillers ever. My comments about Follett's approach to the actual history in his historical novel "Eye of the Needle" can be found in my author blog ... http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/201...

Follett starts with a one page historical preface about the D-Day deception. He ends the preface … “That much is history. What follows is fiction. Still and all, one suspects something like this must have happened.”

The high stakes of blowing the deception plan are emphasized several times … Godliman: “If one decent Abwehr agent in Britain gets to know about Fortitude … we could lose the fucking war.” · But of course we know that D Day was successful and we didn’t lose the war.

Follett successfully creates tension about an event where we know the actual outcome, ie that Faber cannot succeed.

This result is much like that achieved by Forsythe in "Day of the Jackal" (published in the early 1970s, before "Eye of the Needle"), where we know that De Gaulle was not murdered by a sniper but are carried into great tension anyway.

Perhaps Follett's tension is maintained because we don’t know if Faber will fail, or if he will succeed but Hitler doesn’t act on his knowledge. However, we are told repeatedly, by Hitler himself, that he will be guided by Faber’s report.

read more about how Follett wrote "Eye of the Needle" at my author blog ... http://lewweinsteinauthorblog.com/ ... Just search for "follett.
Profile Image for Noella.
953 reviews61 followers
February 1, 2020
Een Duitse spion, die erg bedreven is in zijn vak, staat op het punt de misleiding van de plaats waar in de tweede wereldoorlog de invasie van de geallieerden zou kunnen plaatsvinden, te ontdekken en te rapporteren aan Hitler. Hij deinst voor niets terug om in zijn opdracht te slagen. Zijn succes zou een echte ramp betekenen voor het westerse leger. MI5 slaagt er maar niet in om hem te pakken te krijgen. Tot uiteindelijk de moed van een jonge vrouw er voor zorgt dat dit gevaarlijk individu uitgeschakeld wordt.
Spannend boek, en er wordt net genoeg achtergrondinformatie over de oorlog gegeven om de situatie te schetsen, en ook niet teveel, zodat er hierdoor niet te erg van het het eigenlijke verhaal afgeweken wordt en de spanning zou kunnen doorbroken worden.
De moeite waard om te lezen.
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