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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He entered the market with one of the best books of our time
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...
Published on 18 Sep 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars great plot...
...but very old and shows it... If you enjoyed the film you might want to give the book a miss, although, still a damn fine read... Three out of five for me I'm afraid
Published 3 months ago by Mr. J. Gibson


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He entered the market with one of the best books of our time, 18 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
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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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I envy YOU, 9 Aug 2006
By 
N. Denny "Nodgey" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 3 Sep 2006
By 
I. Overend (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
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 Anatomy Of A Kill, 5 April 2013
By 
T. T. Rogers - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
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. The result is disturbing in that the narrative guides us, meticulously and matter-of-factly, through the plans, preparations and actions of a professional assassin, and Forsyth journalises the experience almost to the point that one might say this novel is amoral, even disgusting. But this 'method' approach does grip you.

I would suggest that while Forsyth's 'journalistic' literary attribute has not always served him well in his novels, in 'The Day of the Jackal' it works perfectly. By removing the dead weight of such awkward and flaccid things as human relationships, character and compassion, Forsyth creates - especially for the Anglophone reader - a kind of European 'hyper-reality' that is the epitome of English middle-class escapism. All the typical hooks and idioms are here: the sanguine and charming English country vicar; the false papers; the quaint, faintly amusing identikit shenanigans at various airports; the seedy Belgian backstreet underworld; the flash car speeding along Alpine mountain roads; the innocuous but ever-so-suspicious border guards; the astute but unlucky Parisian detectives chasing their quarry around the Hexagon; the obscure French country house and the wanton lady; and so on. The would-be assassin is a cold, unfeeling killer who also happens to be an English gentleman. His suits are expensively-tailored and he talks in the 'right' way, using his voice and projected manner - in that typical English way - to conceal his rustic and provincial insecurities. The various and crude juxtapositions work perfectly, precisely because Forsyth's apt journalistic grasp of the material makes it all so uncannily life-like, yet we know that the author is gently poking fun at us. There are facts here, but the story can only be fiction.
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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 - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
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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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 6 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. Forsythe is so clever and he pays attention to every single detail, so much so that you forget that the book is set in the 1960s because it feels so real.
I found the story gripping from start to finish and I was surprised that I was impressed with the Jackal's clinical precision and professionalism. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, it is a pure classic!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 Jan 2009
By 
G. R. Donaldson (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day of the Jackal (Paperback)
Frederick Forsyths first novel is arguably his best work. It must have taken him an inordinate amount of time to research this book. From how to obtain a fake passport to smuggling weapons overseas its all in here. Almost a veritable how to become an international assasins guidebook. The pace never lets up and its one of those books you dont want to finish as you know whatever you choose next wont be as good. This novel is living proof that writing is a skill out of the reach of most of us and mastered by all but a few. I really cant think of any better thriller than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exceptionally Good Thriller, 10 April 2014
By 
C. E. Utley "Charles Utley" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I will not be alone in having not read The Day of the Jackal (until now) on the silly grounds that I had seen and loved the film. What's the point, I used to say to myself, in reading a thriller when I already know what happens?

But I now know that really was a silly attitude. To start with, and this is no spoiler, it doesn't matter at all that the reader already knows that the plot to assassinate de Gaulle will not succeed. I say that is not a spoiler because, very sensibly, Forsyth tells us, early in the book, that de Gaulle retired and died in old age in his bed. He could, of course, have written a novel about an attempt to kill de Gaulle which succeeded, even though every reader would know that never happened in real life. Wisely, he preferred to produce a story which could easily have been true. His honesty, in making it clear from the outset that he was not re-writing history, is greatly to be applauded. The result is a gripping account of something that really could have happened. Never does the reader have to suspend disbelief.

Another fear I had, before at last deciding to read the novel, was that I would find it much too dated. But that, too, was foolish of me. There is absolutely nothing dated about the author's style. The story, of course, is set in 1963, but it could have been written yesterday. The language is clear, plain and incredibly well crafted. Many much younger writers, now producing best sellers which, compared with this novel, are frankly second rate, could learn a great deal from a story-teller who never tries to be too clever, who simply spins a yarn which grips the reader from beginning to end.

True, I knew, because I have seen the film several times, exactly what was going to happen. But that was no problem at all. Forsyth kept my attention throughout.

This really is a masterpiece.

Charles
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping, 16 Nov 2012
By 
Donald Hughes (Ruislip) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
Even at the third time of reading, this book is impossible to put down. Every step of the complex plot feels authentic and it is gripping throughout. I felt very sad that the Jackal did not succeed!
Still one of my all-time favourites.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Days don't get better than this, 5 Aug 2012
By 
R ASPLIN - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
Let's be frank here. If your weekend was two days, one of the of the triffids and the other one of the Jackal, you'd probably have to have your blood pressure checked. This is where folk like Lee Child learned to write nerve-shredding suspense, techie gun-play, gripping step by step set ups and cat and mouse mindgames to rival Tom and Jerry at their most inventive.
The story pounds along with pace and verve and tourniquet-tight plotting without a wasted word or flabby scene to be found. For those not in the know, the story involves a militant right-wing group called the OAS who feel betrayed by Charles De Gaulle's grant of independence to Algeria. To wipe him out, they must hire an assassin from abroad who spends the entire book avoiding capture, planning his hit, getting false identities, advanced rifles, swapping cars and identities while the global authorities who have got wind of the plan chase him about Europe, always 5 minutes behind him.
It's a "dad" book in the best possible way. The assassination is played out in skin itching real time and one has to remember to breath out during the finale for fear of dropping dead. I urge you to give it a try whether you're a fan of a thriller or not. This is how it's done. Bourne, Reacher and the rest are the sons of The Jackal. Find out how it began.
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The Day of the Jackal (Penguin ELT Simplified Readers: Level 4:
The Day of the Jackal (Penguin ELT Simplified Readers: Level 4: by Jocelyn Potter (Paperback - 3 Mar 1999)
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