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The Day of the Jackal [Hardcover]

Frederick Forsyth
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 31 Dec 1982 --  
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Book Description

31 Dec 1982

It is 1963 and the Secret Army Organisation want to kill General de Gaulle, the President of France. They hire a professional assassin, a tall, cold Englishman who calls himself ™the Jackal'.
But in spite of his brilliant disguises and clever preparations, ™the best detective in France', Claude Lebel is close on his heels.

A blockbusting novel from one of the world's greatest thriller writers. This will enthral you from start to finish! Also a gripping film starring Edward Fox.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Buccaneer Books Inc (31 Dec 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568492790
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568492797
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,078,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frederick Forsyth is the author of a number of bestselling novels including The Day of the Jackel, The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative and The Fourth Protocol. He lives in Hertfordshire, England.

Product Description


"This was a book that broke the mould. It was the first of the heightened-detail thrillers filled with the sort of in-depth procedural and technical information that have become a large part of the fascination for readers of such books. It's a chase story, about the hunt for somebody, but what makes it so special is that it has a remarkable narrative engine to it, given that we know before we start the book that the assassin is going to fail in his bid to kill a real head of state. The proposition of how you get somebody to read a book from start to finish when they know the ending is handled magnificently. This also took the thriller somewhere else, in that it incorporated real people and events into the story to dramatic effect. Moreover, the assassin showed real genius in coming up with a way to achieve his objective, rather than relying on lazy Bond-style fantasy methods and gadgets. This used 'real-world ingenuity' to show how you could travel unobserved, obtain a false passport, hide a gun and so on. The movie might be good, but the novel is even better." (Lee Child Daily Mail)

"In a class by itself. Unputdownable." (Sunday Times)

"Mr Forsyth is clever. Very clever and immensely entertaining." (Daily Telegraph)

"I was spellbound ... riveted by this chilling story." (Guardian)

"The secret of the novel's success was not its prose style... but it's intimations of expertise." (Independent) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The 40th Anniversary edition of one of the most celebrated thrillers ever written --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
It was a book of depth, daring writing and nail- biting moments. This book had everything anyone would want when it comes to Action, Fact-based plots and daring characters. The book follows the path of it's two central characters: The Jackal and The man employed to track him down. The Jackal is an international assassin employed by a rebellious organistion to murder the French President Charles De Gaulle. He is one of the most intriguing characters I have ever read about ,with a cold hard personality but a still powerful charisma, he prepares for his most important moment: His final ,and most challenging, murder. The man sent after him is but a simple inspector in the French Police. He has no information and little time. He must act quickely with everything to lose for he knows if he fails he will have to take the fall. As the plot heats up you are carried through some amazingly described locations and a depth in the plot that is unusual ,but put to great use, for thrillers. the additional characters are many but none without a history. In the mind of the reader these characters come to life. As far as I could see there are no down-sides to this book however it is not for the young. There are some scenes of a sexual nature. Reader beware. But for those who read these will definitely find that at no point will it be a struggle to keep going as you will not let go until you reach the last word. I gaurantee you will sit back thinking nothing but 'WOW!' Obviously I won't be telling you the ending but clear your schedule because once you've started reading you won't stop.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anatomy Of A Kill 5 April 2013
A professional killer is hired by dissidents to assassinate a French statesman. Alerted, the authorities set out to find the would-be assassin. Put simply, that manhunt is the subject of Frederick Forsyth's acclaimed novel, 'The Day of the Jackal'. What is truly 'novel' is that the author tells us - or rather, anatomises - the assassin's story, and in doing so, encourages in the reader a sense of sympathy, or at least fraternity, with the killer, if only fleeting. We are inside his head and by-stander to his nefarious machinations, and we cannot help but feel a sneaking admiration for his intelligence, guts and guile.

In the end, we, the readers, know that there must be a 'kill'. The question is not 'if' but 'when' - and more importantly, 'who'? The answer is, perhaps, predictable, but the ride to get there is no less thrilling, fascinating and enjoyable. That is why, among the popular thrillers of the last century, 'The Day of the Jackal' ranks as a genre classic, and represents Frederick Forsyth at his best. In this, his first novel, Forsyth produced a literary idiomatic icon, 'the Jackal', who mediated into reality and the common lexicon in the more pitiable form of Illich Ramirez Sanchez. The author's prose is at the high-quality end, and stylistically, this novel reminds me of some of the best of John le Carré, except that Forsyth has a refreshing directness and alacrity that most other espial and thriller writers of the time lacked. His style is fundamentally journalistic: he emphasises factoid and detail above character.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I envy YOU 9 Aug 2006
I envy the reader who is about to read The Day of The Jackal for the first time! I have told sceptical friends to read "only the first chapter...and then decide!" The first chapter alone is a good enough reason to pick up this novel. If you do so then you will read the rest of the novel to answer the lifelong riddle: "what happens next!?"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Researched and Written 4 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This really is a great read. Forsyth has clearly researched everything leaving no stone unturned. The book moves at great pace and is very clever. The Jackal really does feel like a cold blooded assassin - which is exactly what he is supposed to be! I was asking myself every fifty pages "how on earth does he think of this stuff?"! It is such a clever book. Being the first that I have read of his, I am now immediately looking to buy another. The only thing, for me, that lets this book down is the rather sudden and abrupt ending. It seems that the book last for 403 wonderful detailed pages leading up to the 'big event' and then by page 411 it's all over!! Very odd and a little disappointing, but there you go! Other than that it is a superb thriller. Tense, taut and at all times, twisting and turning, leaving you wondering what is going to happen next. A masterpiece of fiction.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 3 Sep 2006
This is the original crime/suspense thriller and still the best. In over 10 years of trying I have still not found a thriller novel to compare to The Day of the Jackal. Mr Forsyth hooks you right in and the plot is so pacey and so clever you just won't want to stop reading. I doubt you'll ever read a bad review of this book and I only wish I could find more like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still one of the best thrillers of all time 22 Mar 2011
By Chris Pearson VINE VOICE
This was just as good a read today as it was 30 odd years ago.

The story of how the anonymous Jackal is recruited by French terrorist group OAS as a hitman to assassinate General de Gaulle, and, as he moves in on him, so French police chief Lebel is closing in on the Jackal. It's well written and plotted, and you won't want to skip a page. It's a read that stands the test of time.

So, if you haven't read it, buy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent value
Published 14 days ago by A R Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing read-probably the 10th time ive read this
Published 22 days ago by patrick murphy
3.0 out of 5 stars Very slow
A very detailed book, but also very slow. Nothing really happens in the first 80% and I nearly gave in on several occasions.
Published 26 days ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I really enjoyed this. Great plot, tension right to the end and well written throughout. Thoroughly recommended read for all.
Published 1 month ago by PJEN
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see film ...
Brilliant from the very beginning. In fact I had to watch it two nights running as it was so gripping ... Edward Fox is masterly as the Jackal.
Published 1 month ago by PB
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by david leggett
4.0 out of 5 stars great story
Had seen the film and wanted to read the book - not disappointed
Published 1 month ago by T G Morrow
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously, a classic work of literature. Trust me.
Quite simply the ultimate hitman book of all time. Every Hollywood espionage, or assassination film made after this book was published, references, or copies it in some way. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Coopdog
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterclass in Assassination..
A beautifully crafted assassination thriller, based on a serious historical fact. As the jackal weaves his way towards his target, readers are treated to a glorious joy ride of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Edward HILL
5.0 out of 5 stars Film true to the book.
I enjoy reading books made into films as I quite often find the only resemblance the film has to the book is its title. ( Quite a few James Bond books are like this). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tony Bendall
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