Book Reviews of Code to Zero

Code to Zero
Code to Zero
Author: Ken Follett
PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780451204530
ISBN-10: 0451204530
Publication Date: 11/12/2001
Pages: 466
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 171

3.8 stars, based on 171 ratings
Publisher: Signet Book
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

42 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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Helpful Score: 3
I LOVE Ken Follett!!!! This is among his best suspense novels.
reviewed Code to Zero on
Helpful Score: 2
I had read "Pillars of the Earth" and "Fall of Giants" two sweeping epics of Follett's but never other books, especially a Cold War times story.
I was so engrossed in this book I never wanted to put it down! I love Follett's writing, the way he makes the characters relatable and real.
If you normally don't read war, FBI, or similar type stories give this one a try. You won't be dissapointed!
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Helpful Score: 1
A man wakes to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station. He does not remember how he got there. He has forgotten where he lives. He cannot remember his name. So begins a tale of intrigue, espionage and conspiracy.
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This is a real grabber, one you won't want to put down.
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Fast moving mystery centered around NASA and the Cold War
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Thriller!
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Spy- thriller.Ken Follett at his best.
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Exciting story!
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great thriller.
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EARLY DAWN OF THE SPACE RACE
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AS USUAL, WONDERFULLY WRITTEN KEN FOLLETT MYSTERY
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Not quite the same caliber as Pillars of the Earth or Eye of the Needle. A quick read, but very forgettable.

Two stars out of Five
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Spy novel set in the fifties involving the launch of Explorer 1. A good read.
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Fast-paced espionage novel with the ever-popular amenesia plot line. Very enjoyable.
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A man wakes to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station. He does not remember how he got there. He has forgotten where he lives. He cannot even remember his own name.

o begins Code to Zero, Ken Follett's explosive tale of intrigue, espionage, and conspiracy. It's January 1958 - a dark hour in the cold war and the early dawn of the sapce race. At Cape Canaveral, a countdown has begun. On launch pad 26B sits Explorer I - American's best hope to match the Soviet Sputnik and take the lead in the contest for the skies above.

As Luke Lucas starts to unravel the mystery of his amnesia, his desperate search leads him back to his Harvard friends: to his wife, to his best friend, to the woman he once loved more than life itself... and to the rocket that stands ready at the Cape. For Luke knew something that someone deliberately wanted him to forget, and
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Hard to get out of the car while it's still going.
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USA Today said "Follett ratchets up the Richter scale of suspense." Well, a reviewer should say something good! I enjoyed listening to this story.

But I am always on tenterhooks with anything Follett writes--I've come to expect something good. Even with themes that by now are pretty tired, he is still able to keep your attention with good character definition and just a hint of secrecy about what is going to happen next. The suspense is not so much that you have to look in the back of the book to find out the ending, but it is a great listen while commuting.

The only thing I did not really care for is that the plot revolves around the launching of a rocket from Cape Canaveral in January 1958, and Follett keeps dropping in paragraphs about the rocket itself. I can't think if he explained "Code to Zero," but we assume it is the countdown to takeoff.

The ending is predictable. The good guy finds enough of his memory to make a new start, the bad guys (Communists, of course) are captured, the rocket launches, and we know what happens to the US space program from history. :) AND, you have had an enjoyable commute.
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Follet....always fun and always interesting. A really good read.
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Ken Follett is a master story teller. Good suspense, well told. Also a good look inside NASA as they prepare for a rocket launch.
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Absorbing,tightly ploted...suspence junkies will not be disappointed. SCIENCE FICTION-SUSPENCE.-
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After dabbling in his last few books in historical sagas and various thriller subgenres, Follett returns to his espionage roots with this absorbing, tightly plotted Cold War tale about skullduggery in the early days of the space race. Set in 1958 shortly after the Soviets beat the Americans into orbit, the story tracks the frantic movements of Dr. Claude Lucas, who wakes up one morning in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, dressed as a bum. A victim of amnesia, he has no recollection that he is a key player in the upcoming launch of Explorer 1, the army's latest attempt to get a rocket into space. While Lucas slowly unravels the clues to his identity, the CIA follows its own agenda. The agency, led by Lucas's old Harvard buddy Anthony Carroll, has its own murky reasons for wanting Lucas to remain amnesic, and will kill him if he tries to interfere with the launch. Follett (The Hammer of Eden) does a wonderful job of keeping readers guessing about Lucas; is he a spy trying to foil the launch, as the CIA apparently believes? From the nation's capital to Alabama and Cape Canaveral, Lucas manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers, steadily learning more about his memory loss, his wife, Elspeth, and his college friends Carroll, Billie Josephson and Bern Rothsten. Suspense junkies won't be disappointed by Follett's man-on-the-run framework; tension courses through the book from start to finish. Yet where the story shines is in the chemistry between Lucas and the four other major characters. As told through a series of well-chosen flashbacks, all the old college chums are now working or have worked as spies. The dilemma, skillfully posed by Follett, is figuring out who's friend and who's foe.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
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January 1958-the darkest hour of the Cold War and the early dawn of the space race. On the launch pad at Cape Canaveral sits America's best hope to catch up with the Russians: the Ex;orer 1 satelite. But at the last moment, the launch is delayed due to weather, even though everyone can see its a perfectly sunny day.

The real reason for the delay rests deep in the mind of a NASA scientist who has awoken that morning to find his memory completely erased. Knowint only that he's being followed and watched at every turn, he must find the clues to his own identity before he can discover who is responsible.
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An excellent fast paced book.
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Starts off fast and never slows down. Written by Ken Follet, who is a New York Times bestselling author. I enjoyed it.
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He wakes up in the men's room at Union Station. He can not remember who he is or how he got there. One shocking look in the mirror tells him he is a bum however he can not believe it. Now he must find out who he is. Watch answer leads him in a different direction and we are intrigued to find more about what let to this situation.

The only positive thing I can say about the story is that it is the standard Follett formula. Not quit the stature of "Eye of the needle" but better than the Follett wantobes . This is more like a Colombo episode in which we know the answer long before the characters and read to see how long it takes them to catch up with us. There are a few surprising details that pop up at the last minute. Do not look too close at real life dates and technology as many things do not match; however they do not distract from the story.

Mainly there are three elements that are intertwined through the story. One is the present (1958) where Luke has to figure out who he is and what he is doing on an urgent time schedule. The second is a detailed layman's description of how the first rockets were designed in 1958. The third is a story of a group that met in Harvard just before Pearl Harbor and went through the equivalent of the OSS together and where they ended up to the present day.
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"Suspense junkies won't be disappointed"
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great story!
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excellent read
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compelling
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This book is a real page turner. It was a little predictable so I gave it 4 stars.
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A fast paced thriller!
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I thought this book was very good.
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The launching of the Explorer satellite at Cape Canaveral was delayed because of bad weather. The weather was perfect for a launching.
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January, 1958: America's best hope in the space race-the Explorer I satellite-sits on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. And when a man wakes that morning only to discover his memory erased and his life in danger, the only way he can reclaim his own identity-and find those responsible-is to remember the terrible secret that they forced him to forget. A secret that could destroy the Explorer I-and America's future.
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This book is full of suspence. A NASA scientist loses his memory--it has been erased. He realizes that he is being followed and watched everywhere he goes. He must find clues to find out who he is and then discover who is to blame. There is a dark secret that they want him to forget. A secret that might have an impact on America's future.
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a slow build up to the most exciting conclusion. Very good tense, taught drama. I spent most of the time trying to figure out what the reasons were for all the actions of the protagonists. Ken Follett in his best form.
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From the fly-leaf: "A man wakes to find himself lying on the ground in a railway station. He does not remember how he got there. He has forgotten where he lives. He cannot even remember his own name...."
This is a "spy novel" in the finest sense. My attention was held until (and beyond) the last page!
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Another great read from Ken Follett
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I decided to try this book because I loved "Pillars of the Earth" so much, and wanted to see if I would Follet's style as much in this thriller (a genre I usually don't read.) Well, I loved it - couldn't stop listening until it was over.......and wanted more.
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The real reason for the delay rests deep in the mind of a NASA scientist who has awoken that morning to find his memory completly erased. Knowing only that he's being followed and watched at every turn,he must find the clues to his own identity before he can discover who is responsible. But even more terrible is the dark secret that they want him to forget.
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A great read!
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From Publishers Weekly
After dabbling in his last few books in historical sagas and various thriller subgenres, Follett returns to his espionage roots with this absorbing, tightly plotted Cold War tale about skullduggery in the early days of the space race. Set in 1958 shortly after the Soviets beat the Americans into orbit, the story tracks the frantic movements of Dr. Claude Lucas, who wakes up one morning in Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, dressed as a bum. A victim of amnesia, he has no recollection that he is a key player in the upcoming launch of Explorer 1, the army's latest attempt to get a rocket into space. While Lucas slowly unravels the clues to his identity, the CIA follows its own agenda. The agency, led by Lucas's old Harvard buddy Anthony Carroll, has its own murky reasons for wanting Lucas to remain amnesic, and will kill him if he tries to interfere with the launch. Follett (The Hammer of Eden) does a wonderful job of keeping readers guessing about Lucas; is he a spy trying to foil the launch, as the CIA apparently believes? From the nation's capital to Alabama and Cape Canaveral, Lucas manages to stay one step ahead of his pursuers, steadily learning more about his memory loss, his wife, Elspeth, and his college friends Carroll, Billie Josephson and Bern Rothsten. Suspense junkies won't be disappointed by Follett's man-on-the-run framework; tension courses through the book from start to finish. Yet where the story shines is in the chemistry between Lucas and the four other major characters. As told through a series of well-chosen flashbacks, all the old college chums are now working or have worked as spies. The dilemma, skillfully posed by Follett, is figuring out who's friend and who's foe. (Dec. 4) Forecast: In his first hardcover for Dutton, Follett is wise to return to his forte of espionage thriller, and to base this novel on a real event, the unexplained delay of the 1958 Explorer 1 launch. Given the promotional hooplaDwhich includes a 425,000 first printing and $400,000 ad/promoDplus first serial to Reader's Digest; status as a BOMC, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; simultaneous audios from Penguin Audio; and the sale of movie rights to Columbia Pictures, this book has a good chance of dancing with the charts.
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