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Code to Zero
 
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Code to Zero [Format Kindle]

Ken Follett
4.4 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (13 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Amazon.com

Veteran thriller writer Ken Follett (Eye of the Needle, The Third Twin, The Key to Rebecca) turns in another nifty story of espionage, deceit, and betrayal, a fast-paced read with "bestseller" written all over it. A man wakes up in a Washington, D.C., train station in 1958, shortly before the launch of Explorer I, America's first space satellite, with no idea who he is or how he got there. And in less than a few hours, it's clear that someone doesn't want him to find out. He's dressed like a bum, and he looks like he's been on a bender. But he's remarkably skillful at evading pursuit, obscuring his tracks, stealing a car, and breaking into a house. He's not sure how he came by those talents, and it worries him:
"I wonder if I'm honest?" Maybe it was foolish, he thought, to pour out his heart to a whore on the street, but he had no one else. "Am I a loyal husband and a loving father and a reliable workmate? Or am I some kind of gangster? I hate not knowing."

"Honey, if that's what's bothering you, I know what kind of guy you are already. A gangster would be thinking, am I rich, do I slay the broads, are people scared of me?"

That was a point. Luke nodded. But he was not satisfied. "It's one thing to want to be a good person--but maybe I don't live up to what I believe in."

But he does, and it's that firm interior moral compass that keeps him on track through the novel's most fascinating pages as he solves the puzzle of who he really is: Claude "Luke" Lucas, a renowned rocket scientist who was en route from Cape Canaveral to Washington to warn someone in the Pentagon about something he also can't remember, even with the help of some of his oldest friends. Like Anthony Carroll, a CIA agent who apparently has proof that Luke's been sabotaging the fledgling American space program and working for the Russians. And Billie Josephson, the woman Luke once loved, who happens to be an expert in brainwashing and memory loss. And Elspeth, Luke's mathematician wife, who'll do almost anything to save his life.

This is one of Follett's strongest books in years. The flashbacks bring the story of the idealistic young collegians from World War II into 1958, nicely setting up the action in an exciting, solidly plotted, and suspenseful read that grabs the reader by the throat in the first paragraph and doesn't let up until the last. --Jane Adams

Extrait

5 a.m.

The Jupiter C missile stands on the launch pad at Complex 26, Cape Canaveral. For secrecy, it is draped in vast canvas shrouds that hide everything but its tail, which is that of the Army’s familiar Redstone rocket. But the rest of it, under the concealing cloak, is quite unique . . .

He woke up scared.

Worse than that: he was terrified. His heart was pounding, his breath came in gasps, and his body was taut. It was like a nightmare, except that waking brought no sense of relief. He felt that something dreadful had happened, but he did not know what it was.

He opened his eyes. A faint light from another room dimly illuminated his surroundings, and he made out vague shapes, familiar but sinister. Somewhere nearby, water ran in a cistern.

He tried to make himself calm. He swallowed, took regular breaths, and attempted to think straight. He was lying on a hard floor. He was cold, he hurt everywhere, and he had some kind of hangover, with a headache and a dry mouth and a feeling of nausea.

He sat upright, shaking with fear. There was an unpleasant smell of damp floors washed with strong disinfectant. He recognized the outline of a row of washbasins.

He was in a public toilet.

He felt disgusted. He had been sleeping on the floor of a men’s room. What the hell had happened to him? He concentrated. He was fully dressed, wearing some kind of topcoat and heavy boots, though he had a feeling that these were not his clothes. His panic was subsiding, but in its place came a deeper fear, less hysterical but more rational. What had happened to him was very bad.

He needed light.

He got to his feet. He looked around, peering into the gloom, and guessed where the door might be. Holding his arms out in front of him in case of invisible obstacles, he made his way to a wall. Then he walked crabwise, his hands exploring. He found a cold glassy surface he guessed was a mirror. Then there was a towel roller, then a metal box that might be a slot machine. At last his fingertips touched a switch, and he turned it on.

Bright light flooded white-tiled walls, a concrete floor, and a line of toilets with open doors. In a corner was what looked like a bundle of old clothes. He asked himself how he got here. He concentrated hard. What had happened last night? He could not remember.

The hysterical fear began to return as he realized he could not remember anything at all.

He clenched his teeth to stop himself from crying out. Yesterday . . . the day before . . . nothing. What was his name? He did not know.

He turned toward the row of basins. Above them was a long mirror. In the glass he saw a filthy hobo, dressed in rags, with matted hair, a dirty face, and a crazy, pop-eyed stare. He looked at the hobo for a second; then he was hit by a terrible revelation. He stared back, with a cry of shock, and the man in the mirror did the same. The hobo was himself.

He could no longer hold back the tide of panic. He opened his mouth and, in a voice that shook with terror, he shouted, “Who am I?”

>>><<<

The bundle of old clothes moved. It rolled over, a face appeared, and a voice mumbled, “You’re a bum, Luke, pipe down.”

His name was Luke.

He was pathetically grateful for the knowledge. A name was not much, but it gave him a focus. He stared at his companion. The man wore a ripped tweed coat with a length of string around the waist for a belt. The grimy young face had a crafty look. The man rubbed his eyes and muttered, “My head hurts.”

Luke said, “Who are you?”

“I’m Pete, you retard—

“I can’t—” Luke swallowed, holding down the panic. “I’ve lost my memory!”

“I ain’t surprised. You drank most of a bottle of liquor yesterday. It’s a miracle you didn’t lose your entire mind.” He licked his lips. “I didn’t get hardly any of that goddamn bourbon.”

Bourbon would explain the hangover, Luke thought. “But why would I drink a whole bottle?”

Pete laughed mockingly. “That’s about the dumbest question I ever heard. To get drunk, of course!”

Luke was appalled. He was a drunken bum who slept in public toilets.

He had a raging thirst. He bent over a washbasin, ran the cold water, and drank from the tap. It made him feel better. He wiped his mouth, then forced himself to look in the mirror again.

The face was calmer now. The mad stare had gone, replaced by a look of bewilderment and dismay. The reflection showed a man in his late thirties, with dark hair and blue eyes. He had no beard or mustache, just a heavy growth of dark stubble.

He turned back to his companion. “Luke what?” he said. “What’s my last name?”

“Luke . . . something, how the hell am I supposed to know?”

“How did I get this way? How long has it been going on? Why did it happen?”

Pete got to his feet. “I need some breakfast,” he said.

Luke realized he was hungry. He wondered if he had any money. He searched the pockets of his clothes: the raincoat, the jacket, the pants. All were empty. He had no money, no wallet, not even a handkerchief. No assets, no clues. “I think I’m broke,” he said.

“No kidding,” Pete said sarcastically. “Come on.” He stumbled through a doorway.

Luke followed.

When he emerged into the light, he suffered another shock. He was in a huge temple, empty and eerily silent. Mahogany benches stood in rows on the marble floor, like church pews waiting for a ghostly congregation. Around the vast room, on a high stone lintel atop rows of pillars, surreal stone warriors with helmets and shields stood guard over the holy place. Far above their heads was a vaulted ceiling richly decorated with gilded octagons. The insane thought crossed Luke’s mind that he had been the sacrificial victim in a weird rite that had left him with no memory.

Awestruck, he said, “What is this place?”

“Union Station, Washington, D.C.,” said Pete.

A relay closed in Luke’s mind, and the whole thing made sense. With relief he saw the grime on the walls, the chewing gum trodden into the marble floor, and the candy wrappers and cigarette packs in the corners, and he felt foolish. He was in a grandiose train station, early in the morning before it filled up with passengers. He had scared himself, like a child imagining monsters in a darkened bedroom.

Pete headed for a triumphal arch marked exit, and Luke hurried after him.

An aggressive voice called, “Hey! Hey, you!”

Pete said, “Oh-oh.” He quickened his step.

A stout man in a tight-fitting railroad uniform bore down on them, full of righteous indignation. “Where did you bums spring from?”

Pete whined, “We’re leaving, we’re leaving.”

Luke was humiliated to be chased out of a train station by a fat official.

The man was not content just to get rid of them. “You been sleeping here, ain’t you?” he protested, following hard on their heels. “You know that ain’t allowed.”

It angered Luke to be lectured like a schoolboy, even though he guessed he deserved it. He had slept in the damn toilet. He suppressed a retort and walked faster.

“This ain’t a flophouse,” the man went on. “Damn bums, now scram!” He shoved Luke’s shoulder.

Luke turned suddenly and confronted the man. “Don’t touch me,” he said. He was surprised by the quiet menace in his own voice. The official stopped short. “We’re leaving, so you don’t need to do or say anything more—is that clear?”

The man took a big step backward, looking scared.

Pete took Luke’s arm. “Let’s go.”

Luke felt ashamed. The guy was an officious twerp, but Luke and Pete were vagrants, and a railroad employee had the right to throw them out. Luke had no business to intimidate him.

They passed through the majestic archway. It was dark outside. A few cars were parked around the traffic circle in front of the station, but the streets were quiet. The air was bitterly cold, and Luke drew his ragged clothes closer about him. It was winter, a frosty morning in Washington, maybe January or February.

He wondered what year it was.

Pete turned left, apparently sure where he was going. Luke followed. “Where are we headed?” he asked.

“I know a gospel shop on H Street where we can get free breakfast, so long as you don’t mind singing a hymn or two.”

“I’m starving. I’ll sing a whole oratorio.”

Pete confidently followed a zigzag route through a low-rent neighborhood. The city was not yet awake. The houses were dark and the stores shuttered, the greasy spoons and the newsstands not yet open. Glancing at a bedroom window hung with cheap curtains, Luke imagined a man inside, fast asleep under a pile of blankets, his wife warm beside him; and he felt a pang of envy. It seemed that he belonged out here, in the predawn community of men and women who ventured into the cold streets while ordinary people slept on: the man in work clothes shuffling to an early-morning job; the young bicycle rider muffled in scarf and gloves; the solitary woman smoking in the brightly lit interior of a bus.

His mind seethed with anxious questions. How long had he been a drunk? Had he ever tried to dry out? Did he have any family who might help him? Where had he met Pete? Where did they get the booze? Where did they drink it? But Pete’s manner was taciturn, and Luke controlled his impatience, hoping Pete might be more forthcoming when he had some food inside him.

They came to a small church standing defia...


Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 545 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 480 pages
  • Editeur : Signet; Édition : 1st (1 novembre 2001)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00132S74A
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.4 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (13 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°27.166 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Ken Follett, né au pays de Galles en 1949, compte parmi les plus grands auteurs de best-sellers et de thrillers d'espionnage (L'Arme à l'œil, Les Lions du Panshir, Le Réseau Corneille, Le Troisième Jumeau...), mais c'est avec ses romans historiques Les Piliers de la terre et Un monde sans fin qu'il a connu ses plus grands succès : vingt millions d'exemplaires vendus à travers le monde. Plusieurs de ses livres ont été adaptés au cinéma. Il vit à Stevenage, en Angleterre, avec son épouse. Son dernier roman, La Chute des Géants, premier volume d'une trilogie, est paru aux Éditions Robert Laffont en 2010.

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Commentaires en ligne

4.4 étoiles sur 5
4.4 étoiles sur 5
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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Efficace et passionnant 11 décembre 2011
Par Danielle Esposito TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS VOIX VINE
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
J'avais déjà goûté au talent de Ken Follet quand il s'éloigne des romans historiques, quand il n'écrit pas un chef d'oeuvre comme "The Pillars of the Earth" ou "World without End". En effet "Jackdaws" et "The Third Twin" m'avaient convaincue qu'il était très doué pour les romans d'espionnage. J'ai donc acheté "Code to Zero", ayant envie de lire une histoire passionnante et je n'ai pas été déçue bien au contraire.
Dans ce roman, nous partageons les pensées d'un homme, qu'un autre appelle Luke, qui se réveille un matin dans les toilettes d'une gare, ayant tout oublié de lui-même, étant apparemment un clochard. Tout au long des pages qui vont suivre il va mener une double enquête : se reconstruire à défaut de retrouver ses souvenirs, apprendre qui il a été, et aussi déjouer un complot pour faire échouer le lancement du premier satellite américain. Car nous sommes dans les années 50, la guerre froide bat son plein et la course à l'espace vient de commencer avec le lancement de Spoutnik qui a donné un avantage considérable aux Soviétiques.
Luke parviendra-t-il à son but? Nous connaissons la réponse d'emblée, mais ce qui nous intéresse c'est comment il va y parvenir malgré la situation catastrophique dans laquelle il est. Ce qui nous intéresse aussi, c'est la description de l'Amérique de cette époque. Elle vient de subir le maccarthysme et la chasse aux sorcières, est persuadée que les espions du KGB, ont infiltré tous les rouages de ses institutions.
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5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Un client
Format:Broché
Code to zero
Amnésie, nostalgie, trahison, dans l'Amérique des années 50.
Cela commence dans les toilettes d’une grande gare , le héros clochard en haillons a perdu la mémoire . Ne lui restent que des réflexes (de héros ou voyou?).
Comme dans la BD "Treize", vous êtes touchés du désarroi de cet homme seul, qui ne sait s'il est un héros, un traître, un voyou!
Sur fond de course à l'Espace, en pleine guerre froide, poursuivi par la police, par la CIA , et conscient de posséder un secret vital, il devra rejoindre sa femme mais aussi une femme qu’il avait aimée naguère pour retrouver les clés du mystère et délier les tréfonds de son esprit.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A story of love�s lost and found 1 septembre 2005
Par bernie
Format:Cassette
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.
Try to find a copy of George Guidall's unabridged recorded reading as it adds a good dimension to the story and will keep you hooked to the end. I used up some predacious gasoline listing to this in the parking lot.
Once you start the story you will have to finish it. Then you may wish it did not finish so soon.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Genial 23 mars 2001
Format:Relié
Roman bourré de retournements, quelques connotations historiques ainsi que le realisme avec lequel sont elaborées les scenes en font un vrai regal a lire. Un peu de 'planting' au debut en fait un livre type des ecrivains de cette generation. Sincerement, l'histoire du Dr Claude Lucas (Luke) ne vous laissera pas indifferent.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 A story of love�s lost and found 3 janvier 2006
Par bernie
Format:Cassette
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.
Try to find a copy of George Guidall's unabridged recorded reading as it adds a good dimension to the story and will keep you hooked to the end. I used up some predacious gasoline listing to this in the parking lot.
Once you start the story you will have to finish it. Then you may wish it did not finish so soon.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 code to zéro
Passionnant depuis le début jusqu'à la fin. K. Follett est non seulement intéressant à lire, mais quand on commence l'un de ses livres on apprend... Lire la suite
Publié il y a 14 jours par Van Nes Chantal
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Très prenant...
Les multiples rebondissements de l'action rendent ce roman extrêmement captivant. Très bonne lecture de détente ou de vacances. A conseiller vivement.
Publié il y a 20 jours par Guitou de l'Echez
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Permet de passer un bon moment
Pour autant ça n'est pas du grand Ken Follett, l'histoire est truffée d'invraisemblance et la psychologie de certains personnages manque un peu de consistance. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 1 mois par jm2ml
4.0 étoiles sur 5 très bien
livre qui nous laisse en haleine jusqu'au bout. En fait j'avais déjà lu ce livre il y a quelques temps et j'ai eu le même plaisir à le relire que la... Lire la suite
Publié il y a 3 mois par Chantal Sidot
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Qui tient en haleine
Très bon livre. Nous sommes plongés dans la course à l'espace entre les deux blocs. Histoire d'espionnage, sabotage. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 5 mois par PAULIC
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Recommande!
Excellente histoire d’espionnage. L'intrigue est maintenue jusqu’à la fin du livre.Histoire tres prenante. Je recommande ce livre a tout ceux qui aiment le suspense!
Publié il y a 5 mois par Commentaire de client, professionnel dans la restauration
4.0 étoiles sur 5 un vrai plaisir
En VO, ce livre est une merveille, le suspens est à chaque page et c'est pour cette raison que j'ai parcouru toute la boutique Kindle et acheté tout Ken Follett en... Lire la suite
Publié il y a 10 mois par egolimarie
5.0 étoiles sur 5 CODE TO ZERO
One of the best books i've read.A real "can't put down " book.I lost a lot of sleep until i finished it.
Publié il y a 19 mois par Rae Busch
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