The Eye of the Needle


eye of the needle

Eye of the needle, a spy thriller novel by Ken Follett is the classic dilemma story of a woman who has to choose between her lover and her country, except there is not much of a dilemma and much less love.

Faber, a dangerous German spy operating in wartime Britain, is a professional unlike the amateur spies teaming around Britain. He stumbles upon a secret which would change the outcome of the war. Now Faber has to deliver the secret along with proof to Berlin but unfortunately for him, the MI6 agents are hot on his trail. Faber continues to fool them but his luck runs out when he tries to rendezvous with an U-boat. Due to a heavy storm, he shipwrecks on a small island called as Storm Island, which is uninhabited except for Lucy, her crippled husband David, her son and a servant called as Tom. Lucy tends to the wounds of Faber and falls in love. But she soon finds out that he is a German spy and has to decide between her country and her lover.

Eye of the needle is the usual Follett fest with characters at their two dimensional best.

The beautiful, cultured, noble, sex starved heroine whose husband loses his legs right on the day of marriage and vents out his frustration at her.

The boyish lover turned husband, who, with his craze to ‘fight for England’ and his frustration when he becomes crippled; his celibacy and pugnacity towards his wife just because he lost his big chance to fight the war.

And of course, there is the hero: sly, cold, dangerous and sexy. He is fiercely independent, shows no respect for his superiors and… yeah, you guessed it, kills men who learns of his identity and sees his face. The cold hearted hero kills at the drop of the hat, but vomits afterwards, mind you.

Oh, wait. Did I mention to you that one of the men hunting the hero is a Historian turned Intelligence officer with the name of Percy Godliman? Yeah, Atta-boy.

And here is an example of Follett’s writing…

“He could see David’s face through the windscreen. The young man was leaning forward, hunched over the steering wheel, his lips drawn back over his teeth in a savage, almost maniacal grin. He seemed to be imagining himself in the cockpit of a Spitfire, coming down out of the sun at an enemy plane with all eight Browning machine-guns blazing 1260 rounds per minute.”

Really, Mr. Follett?

Here is another one:

Faber: That was evidence enough for you to try to kill me?
David: That and what you did with my wife in my house. No Englishman would ever behave like that.

This might simply look like bad writing, but believe me, it’s not. This is the oldest trick in the book, which is called as Patriotic masturbation. Not convinced? Here goes another.

When Fredrick Bloggs, Godliman’s partner, is talking about the recent death of his wife (who used to drive ambulance at night and was called affectionately as Fearless Boggs), Godliman tells Boggs that mourning has to end sometime and asks him to get on with his life and to find a girl. Bloggs replies that he would never be able to, because he considers his wife a hero and he would never be able to settle down for someone ordinary. Godliman replies, “England is full of heroes.”

Oh, yeah.

The novel is not a complete disaster though. There are some good action scenes and a very good chasing scene. But all of them are affected by extremely favorable happenstances for our sly hero, except for the end where he gets killed by the naïve, harmless, widowed heroine, whose love for her nation is better than her love for Faber (which happens to be because the sexually frustrated heroine spent a night with the hero). The naïve heroine becomes the daring dame and devises booby traps in cars all of a sudden; sends Morse code for SOS, which she learned from a schoolgirl thriller! At-least you could have stated that either of the males living at the island taught it to her in case of emergency, Mr. Follett.

And need I tell you that Mr. Bloggs finds the girl to be quite a hero and decides to marry her? Yeah, totally unpredictable, isn’t it?

Oh, but one last thing. Did I mention that the British intelligence captures all the German spies and feeds the Germans with deliberate false intelligence about the coup at Normandy and Faber is the only real professional German spy at large in all of London and stumbles upon the evidence? It’s that pathetic.

Eye of the needle – Blunt.

Rating: 1/5.

Comments

  1. அடுத்த பதிவு "Hero" படத்தை பற்றி இருக்கலாம். ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. புனைவுகளில் சில மட்டுமே காலத்தை கடந்தும் ஒரு வாசகனை திருப்திப்படுதக்கூடியவையாக இருக்கின்றன. இவ்வகையான கதைக்கு சிறப்பான உதாரணமாக அண்மையில் 111ம் முறையாக மறுபதிப்பு கண்ட ச்டீல் க்ளோவின் களிமண் மனிதர்களை உதாரணமாக சொல்லலாம். துரதிர்ஷ்டவசமாக கென் ஃபோலாட்டின் இந்த நாவல் தங்கள் வீரம் குறித்த மிகைகற்பனை கொண்ட ஆங்கில மக்களை அதிகம் குறி வைத்து எழுதப்பட்டிருக்கலாம். புளுகுவதில் குறிப்பாக மது அருந்திக் கொண்டும் புகைத்துக் கொண்டும் தாங்கள் செய்த அக்கிரமங்களை வீரப்பிரதாபங்களாக புளுகுவது அங்கு வழமையாக இருந்திருக்கிறது. கென் ஃபாலட் ஏன் அதற்கு விதிவிலக்காக இருந்திட வேண்டும். மேலும் அவரின் இக்கதை ஒரு வெகுசன வாசிப்பிற்கென பல ஆண்டுகளிற்கு முன்பாக உருவாக்கப்பட்டது. இன்று உங்களிடம் அது வாங்கியிருக்கும் அடியே அதன் தரத்தை தெளிவாக எடை நிறுத்தி விடுகிறது. அவர் எழுதியதில் நல்ல நாவல் எனப்படுவது பில்லார்ஸ் ஆஃப் ஏர்த் எனப்படுகிறது ஆனால் அது கூட சிறப்பான நாவல் என என்னால் எடுத்துக் கொள்ளப்படவில்லை. கென் ஃபாலட் இப்பதிவைப் படித்தால் அவர் மனம் வேதனைப்படும். ஒஸ்தி மாமாவிற்காகவாவது 2 புள்ளிகளை அதிகமாக்கி 3/5 வழங்கும் படி கேட்டுக் கொள்கிறேன்.

    ReplyDelete
  3. கென் போல்லேட்டுடன் இரும்புக்கை மாயவியை ஒப்பிட்டுப் பேசும் உம்மை தமிழ் சாணித் தாள் ரசிகர்கள் சார்பாக கடுமையாக கண்டிக்கிறேன். ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. இந்தப்பதிவை
    எந்த பாசையில சாமி எழுதியிருக்கீங்க?...

    :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. @பட்டு: பிம்பிளிக்கி பிளாப்பி. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. அண்ணே!!!
    மொத கமண்டு போடுறேன்...
    கண்டுக்காம கம்முனு போயிரு....

    ஹி ஹி ஹி...

    :)

    ReplyDelete

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