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The Odessa File

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  38,957 Ratings  ·  433 Reviews
The suicide of an elderly German Jew explodes into revelation after revelation: a Mafia-like organization called Odessa, a real-life fugitive known at the "Butcher of Riga", a young German journalist turned obsessed avenger...and ultimately, of a brilliant, ruthless plot to reestablish the worldwide power of SS mass murders and to carry out Hitler's chilling "Final Solutio ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published March 1st 1983 by Bantam (first published 1972)
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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
Best Spy Novels
10th out of 832 books — 1,499 voters
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
133rd out of 5,391 books — 11,979 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Pramod Nair
Nov 10, 2015 Pramod Nair rated it really liked it
‘The Odessa File’ from Frederick Forsyth is one of the most successful and engaging thrillers written with the hunt for Nazi’s after the World War II as the central theme. The novel is a clever blend of historical facts and real life personnel’s with a fictitious story line and is written with the high level of detailing and decent pace that is usually associated with the works of Forsyth.

Forsyth as an author of realistic thrillers

Frederick Forsyth, CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of

Nazis........"Here"....... Photobucket
International Intrigue........"Present"....... Photobucket
Secret Societies.........."Here".......... Photobucket
Nazi Hunters/Israeli Mossad.........."Here, Sir".......... Photobucket
Interesting Plot.........."Present".......... Photobucket

Compelling Main Character.........Uh, Compelling Main Character......Anyone.......Main Character we care about......SHIT..... Photobucket

Excitement and Suspense.........hello....Excitement, Suspense.....Anyone.....has anyone seen any hint of excitemen
Sonia Gomes
Mar 09, 2016 Sonia Gomes rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People interested in the Holocaust
ODESSA File shows us a very dark and brutal side of humanity. Although I do not know a single Jew, I have wept over and prayed for the millions of Jews killed during the Second World War. I have heard arguments that the Holocaust is just another ‘casualty’ of War. It is amazing that despite a full fledged war raging all around the world, the Germans had the time, patience, resources and the desire to annihilate millions of men, women and children. What is chilling about the Holocaust is the cold ...more
Jul 06, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of quality thrillers
Shelves: spies, thriller, 2015, wwii
After the formidable tour de force of "The day of the Jackal" Forsyth returns with his "The ODESSA file" (Organisation Der Ehemaligen SS-Angehorigen). And it is a brilliant thriller about a post WWII German journalist his gets his hands on a diary of a Jewish man that survived the horrors of Riga. And if you knew never anything about some of the horrible crimes committed during the last great war you find out galore of the crimes committed by the Nazis especially by those of the SS.
The book sets
This book struck me as rather similar to 'The Day of the Jackal'. They were international thrillers that made a few tweaks to history to serve an exciting new history and encompassed a wide range of characters. However, where 'The Day of the Jackal' failed because I had already seen the movie, my ignorance of this movie helped keep the book's tension ratcheted up. And really, that is the most appealing part of this book: the tension. What plans will go awry, how will small, seemingly insignifica ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Stephen rated it liked it
Shelves: pop-lit, mystery, suspense
Well, I’m glad I stuck with this book through the first 100 pages or so. I usually set my limit at 100 pages. If a book shows little or no promise, or if it simply drags to an extreme degree, or if it’s just a jumbled mess, it has 100 pages to turn the ship around. This is a rule I set for myself a few years ago after realizing that I had slogged my way through too many worthless books while books I actually wanted to read gathered dust on my shelf.

I mention all of this because roughly 100 pages
Oct 21, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
When a young German journalist comes across a diary written by a deceased elderly Jewish man, he is overwhelmed by the brutality described inside it. He determines to track down "the butcher of Riga"-- a notorious Nazi responsible for thousands of deaths during World War II. His quest leads him to a sinister organization named Odessa. Taut, well written and suspenseful, this book is hard to put down.
Don’t you just hate it when you finally get to the good part of a book and then life gets really busy so you have to put it aside for a few days?

Sadly, such a thing is what happened with this one. Then, when I managed to get back to it I’d lost the small amount of love which had come about.

I should probably start by saying this is not a bad read. In so many ways it is really good – yet it did not push the right buttons for me. In my eyes too much of the story was lost to information being passed

I enjoyed that much of this thriller is spent on the German autobahns following the hero driving his 1960 Jaguar XK150 S at speeds over 100 mph. That car had about 250 HP, stiff peformance suspension, and a timeless design. He drove everywhere with it, through dark forests, blizzards, and to most of the major German cities. What fun it must be to do this! I have been encouraged finally to take a trip there and do the same...but without the snow.

On the negative side, Forsyth's second best known n
Aug 01, 2015 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced thriller about a reporter finding evidence of SS officers hiding in post-war Germany. The author did alot of research into that time period, and reading about it was very interesting. The sections about the reporter and his stripper girlfriend weren't that well-written, but were thankfully brief. A quick and thrilling read.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Oct 16, 2015 Charlie - A Reading Machine rated it really liked it
Wow someone just recommended this to me and it reminded me that I read it during High School for one of my classes. Good book if I remember correctly. Few Nazis, some conspiracies etc. Not Forsyth's best but a good one.
I've been crawing a good espionage novel, and after a quick glance at my shelf decided that Frederick Forsyth was my man. Chosing between The Day of The Jackal and The Odessa File i chose the latter, because it had all the ingredients of a good yarn - World War 2 and its aftermath, spies, intrigue, the SS...

First published in 1972, The Odessa File is about, well, the Odessa, a secret organization that unites the ex SS-men. After reading a journal left by a Jew who comitted suicide, young journal
Fanda Kutubuku
Dec 15, 2011 Fanda Kutubuku rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buntelan, sold-swaped
Berawal dari sebuah buku harian seorang tua keturunan Yahudi yang bunuh diri, hidup Peter Miller--seorang wartawan, tiba-tiba saja berubah. Ia jadi terobsesi untuk menemukan Eduard Roschmann, seorang mantan SS yang dulu jadi komandan kamp konsentrasi Nazi di Riga. Si pemilik diary adalah korban holocaust yang berhasil keluar dengan selamat, lalu menulis semua tentang Si Jagal dari Riga, agar suatu hari bisa menyeretnya ke pengadilan.

Dalam penyelidikannya, Miller mengetahui bahwa para mantan SS d
Paul Bartusiak
Aug 18, 2013 Paul Bartusiak rated it really liked it
A paperback copy of The Odessa File has been sitting on my bookshelf for probably fifteen years; I can’t even remember anymore how I originally obtained it- probably at a used book sale (I always jump at the chance of picking up spy novels from some of the masters of the genre). There was a hesitance to read it for a long time (obviously), and I’m not really sure why. I think it must have been because for some reason I kept confusing it with the movie version of Ira Levin’s The Boys from Brazil ...more
This novel has all the key elements of heart-stopping drama at its most intense that has made a name for Frederick Forsyth the world over.

The story begins in Hamburg in the early evening hours of November 22nd, 1963. President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX, a few hours earlier, and the news of that foul act has just reached the eyes and ears of every German. One of them is a freelance journalist nearing thirty: Peter Miller. Seated placidly in the comfort of his beloved Jaguar XK 150 S
May 28, 2013 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sheila by: myself
I read first time in January 1987 it was a very good read I like this author. I will be reading a few more books of this author that I have not read. I re-read this book now. It is a very well researched book more facts with little fiction. The book is about holocaust when thousands of Jews were killed and some Germans too. The author narrative is great and keeps the suspense to the end. This book is worth giving the readers time and I personally assure anyone who wants to read it you will not b ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Ricky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fredrick Forsyth sets out a wonderful human story with wonderful drawn characters. This has some great twists and turns and the writing is top quality. Once you start reading this great book you get hooked straight away, needing to find out answers like the main character does. This is a great thriller from a top writer.
Asghar Abbas
Apr 01, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing

Not your typical guilt trip about that horrendous chapter in history

and the amazing twist at the end, proved that.

Superb and refreshing.

An ending that Fatherland by Robert Harris lacked, thus made that book's plot a little simplistic.

But this ?

Still amazed by it.

Jul 21, 2011 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spy-espionage
A German reporter in the 60's gets a lead on German concentration camp officers who have escaped detection, many of whom hold prominent industrial and political positions. For personal reasons, he tracks them down. It is a thriller.
I have seen the film a few times and feel that the film is better than the book which is strange as its usually the other way round. It didn't hold the suspense that the film had.
Jul 08, 2009 Melanie rated it it was amazing
I love holocaust novels; partly because they are so emotional to me and also because the stories are so heroic.
Feb 09, 2009 Rhonda rated it really liked it
I love reading Frederick Forsyth books. For some reason or other, the fine quality of his writing has been obscured by the topics which often wander off into the realm of remote possibility. Nevertheless, this book is a fine example of how good an adventure book can be.
The characters are well constructed and even have the conflictions that one would expect of someone in extraordinary circumstances.

We forget how easily generations of Germans were seduced into believing in the man who raised thei
Douglas Karlson
Apr 01, 2016 Douglas Karlson rated it it was amazing
I'd never read this 1972 classic so I pulled it out of our stacks in the basement. Fascinating and complex plot with interesting glimpse into postwar German attitudes toward the country's Nazi past. The book focuses blame on the SS, but also touches on concept of collective national guilt. Powerful account of the war crimes at Riga. Very well written, with strong well-drawn characters, especially some of the really nasty former SS guys. Extremely well plotted with a great twist at the end. Notab ...more
Danny Gellert
Mar 31, 2012 Danny Gellert rated it it was amazing
Been watching this movie since I was a kid. In fact, it was on cable this morning when I woke up. Finally got around to reading it a few years ago. Perfect thing for a cross-country flight, total page turner. Even knowing how it ended it was still fantastic. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for any story where a nazi gets his due.
Bel libro di Forsyth sulla vicenda dell'ODESSA, associazione fomdata dall'ex SS per la loro sopravvivenza e continuità nella Germania post-bellica. Un giornalista, venuto in possesso del diario di Tauber, un ebreo deportato in un campo di concentramento a Riga, si mette sulle tracce del "macellaio di Riga", Eduard Roschmann, in una caccia che coinvolgerà ex-SS, il famoso cacciatore di nazisti Wiesenthal, il MOSSAD e le autorità tedesche del tempo.

La ricostruzione dei fatti storici è precisa e pu
Gary Haynes
Sep 11, 2013 Gary Haynes rated it really liked it
To be honest it's a bit dated now. The action scenes aren't exactly state-of-the-art and there's a scant desire to be PC (did that term exist when it was written?). But let's face it, Forsyth is a master thriller writer. The scenes involving the protagonist's reading of the old Jewish man's diary - when he was a victim of the Nazis - are haunting, informative and sympathetically written. But what a twist at the end! One of the best conceived. This isn't The Day of the Jackal, but it's well-plott ...more
Il libro in sé è davvero molto interessante.
Innanzitutto mi ha permesso di approfondire un aspetto della storia del nazismo di cui ero poco informata. Inoltre, le digressioni che l'autore fa su personaggi realmente esistiti sono davvero ricche di particolari degni di nota. Anche i numerosi riferimenti storici sono molto interessanti.
Per quanto riguarda l'aspetto di creazione fantastica, la trama risulta molto avvincente ed intrigante.
Veniamo alle note "dolenti": lo stile di scrittura, personal
Sep 19, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it
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May 22, 2015 Richa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good book.
M. A. P.
Jan 10, 2015 M. A. P. rated it it was ok
Shelves: novel-novella
The characters of this book really ruined it for me.

I found the main character to be rather insufferable, and couldn't sympathize with him at all. His ridiculous fascination with his car could have landed him in the document Strange Love: My Car is My Lover, and I absolutely loathed how the author just couldn't help painting him as this ace moistener of lady gardens. It was made a far too big a point, and was there any further function to it? Of course not. Forsyth just wanted to make sure you u
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Frederick Forsyth, CBE is an English author and occasional political commentator. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol, The Dogs of War, The Devil's Alternative, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger, The Afghan, and recently The Cobra and The Kill List.

The son of a furrier, he was born in Ashford, Kent, educated at Tonbridge Scho
More about Frederick Forsyth...

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“there is no collective guilt,...guilt is individual, like salvation." [p.28]” 38 likes
“To understand everything is to forgive everything.” 2 likes
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