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Publisher's Summary

One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin - code name: "The Needle" - who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is coming to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.

This is Ken Follett's unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and dangerous machinations of the human heart.

©1978 Ken Follett; (P)1985 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Sheer suspense." (Washington Post)
"Fans of old-time radio drama will particularly enjoy this full-cast version. Narrator Eric Lincoln proceeds smoothly, until the action starts cooking, and his urgency turns up the heat. The small ensemble creates a wide range of lead and supporting characters." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,339
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    1,260
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    526
  • 2 Stars
    108
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    297
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    75

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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  • Nikki
  • Australia
  • 03-11-13

One of His Best

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Exciting page turning listen.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Eye of the Needle?

I related to the woman who was under such incredible pressure

What about Eric Lincoln’s performance did you like?

He is a consumate professional

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me nervous! Excited and thrilled

Any additional comments?

Worth the money

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beware Multiple Narrators and one is terrible.

Would you try another book from Ken Follett and/or Eric Lincoln?

I like Follett and he didn't disappoint, although it's not his best book. The main narrator was good, but the female was terrible and even worse when she did the voice of the child. It was completely jarring when she first appeared—Audible gave no notice that there are multiple performers here and I think it's a bit of a dupe by them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great book, so-so performance

I did not care much for multiple actor narration - it was a bad acting, and it was distracting. The story is good, especially in the beginning - it becomes too predictable by the end. I did not think it was as good as other Ken Follett's book I read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Intelligent, edge-or-your-seat action!

Would you consider the audio edition of Eye of the Needle to be better than the print version?

Yes. The various voices made it really rich. The female narrator was fantastic, particularly compelling as the lovely Lucy.

What did you like best about this story?

I was in awe of the bad guy, and almost wanted him to win sometimes; except that I liked the good guys even more. Real and engaging characters. Follett gives such an authentic feel to his period pieces like this.

Have you listened to any of Eric Lincoln’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first time hearing Eric Lincoln.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed, cried, cheered, worried, and even felt the lust of Lucy and "Henry".

Any additional comments?

Fantastic book. Follett just gets better and better!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Story

I really enjoyed the story, but not the narration, think the book would have been a real page turner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ken
  • Boiling Springs, PA, United States
  • 05-12-12

Suffers by Comparison...

I know this is a well known thriller by Follett and it is good, but I had just listened to "Day of the Jackal" read by the always great Simon Prebble. As a result, the quality of this story and the reading paled compared to the previous thriller. If you only have one credit to spend on a good classic thriller, go with "Day of the Jackal" and let this pass.

If you get both, then don't listen to them without a book or two in between.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Good Thriller

A nice spy novel. This was pretty well developed for the climatic character meeting. The author made a fairly good separation of good versus evil. There was some analogy the author was trying to get at it with the murderous villain and the helpless heroine, but it wasn't well laid out in the story. I think it was something transparent like the evil Nazi Germany was defeated not by the Boys from Britain or the wounded soldiers, but by the souls at home, who were the only ones who could stop them.
Seemed a little trite, but a good thriller, nonetheless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Spy "the needle" has the secret of D -Day ~ 5 STAR

PLOT: DER needle the sleeper spy in England has the secret of D Day to get back to Germany.

Henry Faber is a sleeper Nazi Agent~ in plain sight for years he "radios' his secrets back to Germany. He kills his landlady who stumbles across him sending secrets....years later he discovers one of the screts of Overload (D Day) and now works to get the info back to Nazi Germany. This is a great story told by a very good reader. the first few chapters is a big laggy but it picks up and the details of the spy who sneaks across england to scotland avoiding an old enemy who can id him and cleverly sneaks into a high security area. This moves fast after that and has you glued to it~ I give this one 5 STARS for wonderful audiobook. I am now a Ken Follett FAN~

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bronte
  • Fairy Meadow, Australia
  • 02-18-12

Story spoiled by narration

This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who does not recognise how bad the accents are!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Eye of the Needle?

The ending.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Yes! Well there are lots of them and they can not

What character would you cut from Eye of the Needle?

The narration made many of the minor characters seem ridiculous.

Any additional comments?

Let the people at Brilliance Audio know that this one needs re doing with only one narrator that can do all the regional accents convincingly. Also improve the sound quality, as one reviewer said it sounded like it was recorded with a tin can.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Timothy
  • Oak City, NC, United States
  • 01-01-12

There was a lot I did not like about this book.

I bought this audiobook after listening to "Pillars of the Earth." I throughly enjoyed Pillars, so thought I would try one of Follett's older books. As a resident of Aberdeen, Scotland I was even more delighted to find that much of the action took place here. Maybe I would have enjoyed the book more were I not a resident of Aberdeen. There are over 790 islands in Scotland, and Follett felt the need to make up a new one. Perhaps one of the best parts of fiction literature is being able to empathize with the setting and characters. Making a fake island made the whole story seem artificial. I decided to hang in there, and was let down my a number of other problems. Just to name a few: there were several references in action happening at dark, or for that matter Blogs arriving in Aberdeen two hours before dawn. The action seems to be taking place in mid to late may, which would put sunrise around 4:15AM. Who would refer to 2 in the morning as two hours before dawn? Other little things such as the women in bathing suits in Aberdeen. I would wager less than 1 in 100 residents have went swimming in the North Sea in Aberdeen as it is just too cold. On the same note I doubt a German who had been living in England would find Scotland stiflingly hot as once noted.
Other problems: the voices were horrible and overdone. The German accents sounded like something Michael Scott from the Office would do as a Nazi impersonation. The English and Scottish voices were just as bad on the whole. It sort of reminded me of something from 1940's radio. I agree with other commentators that the reader was a bit too fast. Also, I thought the characters were underdeveloped. Faber should have had something at the end of the book more definite as to why (Spoiler!) he would not kill the lady. There was never any resolution on his part. Other commentators seem to have thought the book moved quickly, but I (perhaps for the reasons mentioned above) too longer than usual to finish it. I was ready to move on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • 06-21-16

accents

Great story but the londeners sounded like Dick van dyke in Mary poppins and Eric Idle in Monty Python. Good story spoilt by the accents

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  • Steve
  • 06-20-16

How NOT to narrate a good story

Would you try another book written by Ken Follett or narrated by Eric Lincoln?

Ken Follett writes a good yarn, Eric Lincoln is a reasonable narrator. HOwever the story was made laughable by absolutely dire supporting accents and voice characterisations. It was amateurish and essentially a waste of money because of the very poor attention to any authenticity .

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Interesting speculation on The Needle. The least interesting was the over romanticised and stereotyped vision of the stiff upper lip.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Lincoln?

Michael Jayston

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

Get rid of amateur readers with no idea of accents.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-28-16

Great tale

Great story, well read and good cast. loved it from beginning to end. well recommend it :)

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  • Tommy
  • 08-29-15

Dreadful

Would you try another book written by Ken Follett or narrated by Eric Lincoln?

Yes

Would you recommend Eye of the Needle to your friends? Why or why not?

No<br/>Something wrong with the recording. At Times the dialogue is too fast and garbled. The characters who make occasional appearances are out of place. It's all feels very amateurish

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Lincoln?

Anyone but him

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Great disappointment

Any additional comments?

And I have downloaded many books from audible and none have had this problem with pace of speech.

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  • Josephine O'Riordan
  • 07-20-15

Captivaing and Education at yhe same time

This story give you a true and real insight to what it was like to live on Britain during the 2nd World War.. History bored me at school but thanks to Ken Follett I now am filled with a fascination and a craving to k ow more about the events of the past and I now realise how much it has influenced our present. This book is also fascination from the point of view of human nature of which I already have a fasconation and this book sated that. Finally, the narratorion is simply brilliant and really delivers the story as it should be.

I loved this book and thanks to Audible, I can listen and enjoy it again and again.

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  • Dianne
  • 05-23-15

Great story- shame about the narration

What did you like most about Eye of the Needle?

A brilliantly compelling story that I have come to expect from Ken Follett.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narration completely let the book down for me. The attempts to reproduce regional British dialects took Dick Van Dykes cockney accent in Mary Poppins to a whole new level. It was a distraction from an otherwise well written and ripping good yarn.

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  • Hatrack
  • 05-19-15

Loved the story but hated narration/acting

This is a really good story spoiled by actors trying to use different British accents. Most of the time it detracted from the story and was VERY irritating. Shades of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins!!! Much better to have the story read properly and a little more slowly by one person.

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  • Gabriel
  • 03-18-14

Good story spoiled by bad amateur dramatics

Would you try another book written by Ken Follett or narrated by Eric Lincoln?

The main reading was fine, but characters were voiced as a dramatised production but badly. Thought Dick Van Dyke was going to make an appearance.

What other book might you compare Eye of the Needle to, and why?

Reminded me of 39 Steps

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The main narration wasn't too bad but the accents of the characters was bad, Yorkshire accent was like a Boston accent. The reader would have been better reading the whole book.

  • Overall
  • Susie Rainbird
  • 04-26-13

Eye of the Needle

This is a really good spy thriller - I read it and thought I'd like to listen to it as I drive. The audiobook is absolutely wrecked by the pantomime villain voices from actors who have obviously studied at the Dick Van Dyke school of accents. The use of various reverb effects at inappropriate times does not help the plausibility of the scenes.



Great story - amazingly amateur recording!!!

  • Overall
  • Mr
  • 11-21-12

Great story - Hilarious accents

This has a great storyline and has in fact been made into a good film. I nearly stopped listening to the audiobook as the narrator's attempts at regional british accents is terrible. However, I stuck with it and after a while found the accents almost as entertaining as the storyline. I would however encourage Audible to do just service to this book by commissioning another narrator.