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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 5 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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3 of 3 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
(REAL NAME)   
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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Researched and Written, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
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
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 Still one of the best thrillers of all time, 22 Mar 2011
By 
Chris Pearson - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulously researched, 27 July 2009
By 
Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
The Jackal is an English professional assassin hired by French/Algerian political dissidents to kill President De Gaulle in the early 1960's. Their own organisation has been completely infiltrated by the French Secret Service, so the plan is to use an 'outsider' who will be untraceable. The novel covers the planning and execution of the crime together with the increasingly frantic attempts by the forces of the whole French State to kill the Jackal before he kills De Gaulle.

Reading this novel then becomes like handling a boa constrictor as page by page and chapter by chapter it squeezes the tension to ever higher levels. This is a pure thriller and as such it is excellent.

Many times the reader is made to feel like they are reading a documentary (it is very similar to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in this respect). Some small nuances will be lost if you've seen the film such as why is he painting a melon in the middle of the woods?

On reflection, my only reservation was about the Jackal's own motivation for both this way of life and for his struggle to continue against overwhelming odds. Mr Forsyth includes a sudden bolt from the blue, one-page explanation,... 'This was what he had wanted for a long time, from the days when he had pressed his nose to the travel agent's window and gazed at the posters showing another life, another world, far from the drudgery of the commuter train and the forms in triplicate, the paper clips and the tepid tea.'
Mmmm? Well in that case there should be about 7 million potential 'Jackals' in England alone! This one page sticks out like a sore thumb but that is the only gripe in 400 pages.

From other reviewers I understand this is Mr Foryth's first and best. It is certainly one of the best pure thrillers you will read.
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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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jackal of all trades, 17 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Day Of The Jackal (Paperback)
I've never been tempted to write one of these reviews before so it took something pretty special to change my mind. 'Day of the Jackal' is pretty special, so here I am, after staying awake most of the night reading it through to the end, writing my first review. And what a book. Written from an almost historical point of view, the author clearly researched the background for the story with painstaking precision: the places he describes are vividly real; no character, however small the part, is introduced without a past; and the machinations of the various European police forces and politicians are a joy to read.
The Jackal himself is brilliantly portrayed as an heroic villain: almost robotic and often terrifying, yet there was a guilty thrill watching him stay one step ahead of the chasing authorities. Against him is the quiet French detective Lebel, tasked to track him down against overwhelming odds, and tensions run at fever pitch as the two get closer to meeting.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As a debut novel it is unsurpassed, and as a crime thriller it will suck you in and leave you breathless at the end.
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The Day of the Jackal (Collectors Library)
The Day of the Jackal (Collectors Library) by Frederick Forsyth (Hardcover - 1 Sep 2013)
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