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Eye of the Needle MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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About the Author
Ken Follett is the author of numerous international bestsellers, including Jackdaws, Hornet Flight, Code to Zero, Triple, Eye of the Needle, Pillars of the Earth, and A Dangerous Fortune. He lives in England.
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This listener thought, however, that Ken Follett could have made the story a bit tighter by actually writing less and bringing the gripping ending forward a bit faster. Instead, he seemed to go off on tangents at the start of many chapters before finally getting to the point. Also, with so many characters in the story it took a while to work out where the story was going. Some characters faded in about of the story (which was fine), but he had a nack off adding new characters as he went along and this caused the story to blow out with extra unnecessary information and dialogue. It's probably a little unfair to question this relatively short novel by Follett's standards because his historical novels are not for the faint hearted where 'Pillars of the Earth' is 1008 pages and its' sequel, 'A world without End' is even bigger, at 1056 pages! So, yes, a good story by a very proficient writer.
Eye of the Needle feels and reads like what you'd expect from a traditional try-and-capture-the-spy type story. I love how he crafted the spy to be a calculated individual and not make him the mass murderer type. Killing only when necessary rather than using brute force makes reading more fun as you get to see how the character will use his wits to escape certain scenarios unscathed and without leaving a hint of evidence of his real identity. The other characters I'd say were a little above average. They moved the story along but they really didn't do anything that'll make you remember them afterwards.
Here's the burner. While the better part of the book kept me interested, I came away awfully disappointed at the ending and how things played out overall. Not only did the main character do a complete 180 but after the end, I realized that calling this a typical cat and mouse game is being very generous. It was more like detectives following criminal from point A to point B, then C, then D, etc etc because they were always one step too late. The detectives, for all their hard work, never really forces the spy to go out of his comfort zone to try and corner him. It was disappointing to say the least because you'd expect so much more not only for the guys doing the chasing but from the spy himself as well. In the end, I literally thought to myself was that it? Felt like the author used his get out of jail card.
In the end though, I still thought Eye of the Needle was an okay book. I don't usually dissect a book page for page, word for word. If it keeps me interested enough to keep reading, then the author did their job and for that much I can definitely give Ken Follett his props here. I can definitely see myself reading a 1000+ page novel from him and that's not something I often find myself saying. I'm just hoping he doesn't pull this type of ending on me again!