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.
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