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Publisher's Summary

The worldwide phenomenon from the best-selling author of The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, A Column of Fire, and The Evening and the Morning

His code name was “The Needle.” He was a German aristocrat of extraordinary intelligence - a master spy with a legacy of violence in his blood, and the object of the most desperate manhunt in history....

But his fate lay in the hands of a young and vulnerable English woman, whose loyalty, if swayed, would assure his freedom - and win the war for the Nazis....

©1978 Ken Follett (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Top-notch suspense . . . a terrific thriller . . . spellbinding." (The Miami Herald

"Great . . . one of the twelve best thrillers from the last fifty years." (Rocky Mountain News

"Extraordinarily satisfying . . . a truly suspenseful novel . . . heart-stopping, nerve-freezing terror." (Los Angeles Times

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What listeners say about Eye of the Needle

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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All-time great thriller, great reader, great idea

What thriller rates higher than this classic from Ken Follett? It is beautifully written and wonderfully plotted, especially the last 100 pages. The only previous recording of the novel I am aware of is an old one by Brilliance audio, a multi-voice approach. I have that one, but it is rather routine compared to the nuanced, attentive work of Samuel West, who is absolutely excellent here--not an indifferently read sentence in the whole book! In particular, West's pacing is perfect. Penguin gave new voice to a handful of older Follett novels along with this classic. Audible should do likewise--look for some older titles that would similarly benefit from a face- or voicelift. Maybe the novels of Dick Francis or Rex Stout would experience a jump of popularity with new readings.

10 people found this helpful

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great historical Adventure

love everything about World War II and Churchill, and this is a great adventure story set in those times. totally believable and exciting

4 people found this helpful

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  • 02-11-21

Not a fan of this story

I found this book slow moving and struggled to get through it. I couldn't connect with the story or the characters. The romantic scenes were cringeworthy.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic, wholly engaging. Highly recommend

I rewatched the film version and was inspired to get the audiobook. Its a wonderful story. The movie leaves out way too much. Especially the romantic parts. Full of heroic antics and drama.I just loved this. My favorite Follett for sure.

3 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

This was my first, but definitely not my last book by this author.
I enjoyed everything about this book and I can’t wait to read more

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating

Thrilling story, beautifully and patiently written and an astounding narration. Perfection. I recommend reading it.

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous story exceeded only by the thrilling narration

Could not stop listening to Eye of the Needle. A master story by a masterful writer. A must listen.

1 person found this helpful

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A remarkable thriller

I typically have little time for thrillers. Most are trite, transparent, banal.

"Eye of the Needle" is none of those. Rarely have I been so engaged with a work of popular fiction. The book is, by turns, intriguing, thrilling, exciting, and even touching. Faber, the spy, is no cartoon Nazi, but is instead a complex, contradictory figure. Somewhat embarrassingly, one occasionally finds oneself rooting for him. And the, in the end, rooting for him to die.

Best of all is the unexpected hero. I won't write any spoilers here, but I actually got a lump in my throat when the book came to a close.

The narrator is among the best I have heard. His pacing and tone are ideal.

Call me very pleasantly surprised. No wonder it is a classic of the genre.

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Thumbs up

This is my first Ken Follett book. I enjoyed it very much. It was slow starting and you have to pay attention to the characters involved as he develops and weaves them into the body of the story. The accent by Sam West, the narrator, was easy for me to understand- sounds British I guess? He did a wonderful job of different voices/characters. Some accents are not easily understood by so many people, but Sam West did an excellent narration, in my opinion. I really liked the way Ken developed all the characters and gave you a good background on them so that they all fit together in the end. Great ending!

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Sheer poetry

Good writing speaks for itself. Words matter. Well used words impart more with less.

Excellent by every measurable metric.