Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Day Of The Jackal” as Want to Read:
The Day Of The Jackal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Day Of The Jackal

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  82,138 Ratings  ·  1,244 Reviews
The Day of the Jackal (1971) is a thriller novel by English writer Frederick Forsyth about a professional assassin who is contracted by the OAS, a French dissident paramilitary organisation, to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

The novel received admiring reviews and praise when first published in 1971, and it received a 1972 Best Novel Edgar Award from the M
Published (first published 1971)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Day Of The Jackal, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Philip Lane Definitely. Very strong plot with plenty of suspense even though we know from history that the assassination never took place. I prefer character led…moreDefinitely. Very strong plot with plenty of suspense even though we know from history that the assassination never took place. I prefer character led narratives but couldn't put this down.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 29, 2016 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies, book-to-film
”A professional does not act out of fervour and is therefore more calm and less likely to make elementary errors. Not being idealistic, he is not likely to have second thoughts at the last minute about who else might get hurt in the explosion or whatever method, and being a professional he has calculated the risks to the last contingency. So his chances of success on schedule are surer than anyone else’s, but he will not even enter into operation until he has devised a plan that will enable him ...more
To those that gave this 4 or 5 stars…I completely get it…I really do.

I found much impressiveness in this classic spy story, despite the 3 star ceiling I ended up placing on it. Technically proficient and drenched in details, this is as authentic an anatomy of an assassination attempt I have ever seen. Forsyth’s “Jackal-like” control over the narrative was singular and I can certainly understand this being considered a classic among the spy-thriller genre.

Despite the significant amount of superi
Tim The Enchanter
Still Amazing the Second Time Around - 5 Stars

In the past 16 years, with the exception of the Bible, I have never read a book twice. I enjoy the unknown and the mystery of the unravelling. When doing a Book Pal read, I decided to pick up a book that is in my Top 10 and to break my rule about never reading a book twice. What an excellent decision. Even the second time around, I was amazed by the excellent story and the author's ability to created suspense even when you know the eventual outco
Re-reading The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth's 1972 Edgar winner for Best Novel, was perhaps even more satisfying than reading it for the first time (can it really have been 36 years ago?) I would never quibble with the committee's choice on this one.

As most people probably know, the book deals with a plot to assassinate Charles de Gaulle, President of France, by a group opposed to his policies on Algeria. Not only does the reasonably well-informed reader know that, historically, de Gaull
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
عنوان: روز شغال؛ نویسنده: فردریک فورسایت؛ مترجم: سورنا مهرداد؛ تهران، خامه؛ 1363؛ در 507 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، درسا، 1363؛
پاریس، در یک روز سرد ماه مارس، ساعت شش و چهل و پنج دقیقه صبح، مردی که روبروی جوخه اعدام قرار گرفته بود بیش از دیگران سردی هوا را حس میکرد...؛
پس از تلاش نافرجام برای ترور دوگل در اوت سال 1962 گروه او.آ.اس. با مشکلاتی روبرو میشوند و بسیاری از اعضای گروه شناسایی میشوند. رئیس جدید گروه، سرهنگ رودن تصمیم میگیرد تا آدمکشی حرفه ای را که هیچ ار
Sanjay Gautam
Mar 02, 2015 Sanjay Gautam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the best books in its genre. Haven't found a book which can be at par with The Day of the Jackal.
Pramod Nair
Usually i don't re-read thrillers but 'The Day of the Jackal' & 'The Dogs of War' are two books from the genre that i have repeatedly read over the years. And each time they provide me with such an intense feeling of thrill and suspense.

The plot takes place in the turbulent France of the early 60s which was bracing itself for a civil war. The steps taken by the French government from 1961 to consider and form a referendum on self-determination concerning Algeria and later the Evian Agreement
Said Al-Maskery
Oct 25, 2007 Said Al-Maskery rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-novels
I was walking around a library in Malesya when I found a shelf selling "classic" books. I wondered what does the Jackal mean ? Why is this book sold on a shelf that is presented infront of the entrance ?

I took the book without knowing any history about it, never heard of the author & never thought I was entering a new world of thrillers!

Since my native language is Arabic not english, I had difficulties understanding the first chapetr, especially with the small letters used in the edition I b
So I actually saw the movie and the other movie well before reading this book. While the Bruce Willis version adapted the book to an American setting, the original was slavishly loyal to the book (and excellent to boot). In a way that is good and bad.

On the one hand the plot of this book is very well constructed. It opens with an actual historic event, an attempted assassination on French President Charles de Gaulle. From there Forsyth weaves a fictional assassination plot to be carried out by a
May 10, 2016 Checkman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of classic suspense novels
One of the things that I like about Goodreads is that it's more than just a bunch of book reviews. It's a location where book-lovers can exchange stories, discuss books, buy and sell books and simply go on and on about their favorite (and no so favorite) books. So please indulge me as I provide a longish backstory before actually getting into my review because that is part of the fun. To begin with please look at my bookshelves. You'll notice that one of them is labeled "seventies-classics". I w ...more
Executive Summary: Slow at times, but with a great finish. I liked but didn't love this one.

Audiobook: Simon Prebble is a great narrator. I liked him more in the last book I read by him, but he speaks clearly with good inflection and adds some voices into the mix. He was a good fit for this book making the audio a good option for this book.

Full Review
Apparently the real life "Carlos the Jackal" was given his nickname because this book was spotted on him. I'm not sure if that's true, but I had
Dec 06, 2012 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
A tight and fantastic political/cat-and-mouse thriller. Edgar award winner 'The Day of the Jackal' is well-paced, originally plotted and filled with amazing research. Forsyth clearly belongs among the top ranks of the great thriller writers. He is often immitated (Clancy, Thor, McBain) but NEVER really replicated.

Beyond the merits of the novel itself, the Day of the Jackal has also influenced actual assassins (Yigal Amir and Vladimir Arutinian), inspired the nickname for Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (
La Tonya  Jordan
Aug 29, 2015 La Tonya Jordan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to La Tonya by: Thirller Book Group
Shelves: favorites
My impression is that the book started off slow giving you so much detail about Algeria, OAS, and other secret services. This book is a true story; therefore, to me it starts to get good when the Jackal enters the novel. It kept me in suspense and excitement because I did not know the Jackal's next move or how clever he could be to alter his plans when necessary.

The French police working with other countries' security forces to track one man seems unreal. But, the respect people of different ba
Joshua Rigsby
This is, without question, the best thriller I have ever read.

Forsyth builds the narrative slowly and expertly, then crescendos to a satisfying finale.

There are so many things to like about this book, it's hard to know where to begin. First of all, the premise is extraordinary, yet extremely realistic. A group of disaffected former military officers fail repeatedly to kill the president of France, so they hire a professional. Everything from the descriptions of the characters, the offices they
May 12, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audiobook

An enjoyable thriller that takes you back in time to a land where detectives had to root out evil doers with old fashioned police work and when the bad guys could get a passport the next day by using a technique known to me from The Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob became mayor.

There isn’t much I can say about this one which probably hasn’t been said previously. The story is well written and unfolds nicely from a number of perspectives split throughout the novel. The jackal was well ro
Nandakishore Varma
May 28, 2015 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This was the quintessential thriller during my teens, where we keep on rooting for the villain while praying at the same time that he doesn't succeed. "The Jackal" has become an iconic figure.
Feb 17, 2010 Meaghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: suspense novel lovers
This is one of the great classics in the suspense novel genre, and with good reason. I was stunned by it. This book made me want to go to the library right away and check out every Forsyth novel they had.

You know at the beginning that the assassination plot failed -- it says so -- but that doesn't stop you from clinging to the edge of your seat as your follow The Jackal and those who are chasing him. He's the consummate killer, using money, sex, drugs and whatever other tools are at his disposal
Sep 15, 2016 Nooilforpacifists rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
One of the greatest spy/thrillers of all time; move is too.
May 29, 2016 Naddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It doesn't matter to write one more review about this book when it has already received zillions of accolades but i couldn't stop myself to write a crisp review.
ahhh.. What a book ,Loved it thoroughly. Can't find any book in this genre even close to it. Very nicely written.

I picked this book with great expectations and Frederick Forsyth lived up to my expectation. Thanks to Forsyth for being very astute in the realm of international intrigue, will keep u hooked till the last page. If you are in
Paul Alkazraji
Jul 14, 2016 Paul Alkazraji rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

'The Jackal' had Charles De Gaulle in his sight on Rue de Rennes.

“Half a million dollars is the price,” says the blonde Englishman being hired to assassinate French President Charles De Gaulle. “Considering you expect to get France itself, you esteem your country very cheap,” he adds noting the shock at his fee. With the contract made, the story commences of how the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS) hire ‘Charles Calcot’ - the first three letters of each name making CHA-CAL (jackal in French) -
Aug 16, 2016 Samuel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"One shot. One kill".- US Army Sniper motto.

Frederick Forsyth. In terms of thriller writers, he's one of the greats or perhaps the great modern thriller writer. A journalist by trade, Forsyth made his name working in France and the slowly disintegrating republics of Cold War era Africa. It was in the latter where while reporting on the Nigerian civil war, he ran afoul of the British establishment for supporting the secessionist Biafra province in stark contrast to British forei
In the forward to this book Forsyth writes that he seeks for ‘interesting, accurate, and feasible’, I would say he has succeeded with this book.

This is historical fiction in that the story is woven around people who actually existed and events that happened. French President Charles de Gaulle was hated by many of the French people and Jean Bastien-Thiry did organize an assassination attempt on 22 August 1962. As for the details of the French police and some events related (kidnappings and tortur
Jul 31, 2011 htanzil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buntelan
Tentunya kita masih ingat sekitar dua tahun yang lalu Presiden SBY dalam sebuah konferensi pers mengatakan bahwa foto dirinya dijadikan sasaran tembak oleh para teroris yang sedang berlatih. Sebenarnya ini bukanlah hal yang aneh karena para pemimpin negara di berbagai belahan dunia ini seringkali menjadi target utama pembunuhan dari para lawan politiknya.

Presiden Soekarno sendiri selama masa pemerintahannya telah tujuh kali mengalami percobaan pembunuhan, begitu juga dengan pemimpin-pemimpin neg
Selvakumar Subramanian
Amazing read !
Jul 16, 2016 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audio, detective
Excellent thriller. This book, published in 1971, tells the story of an anonymous political assassin hired to kill French President Charles De Gaulle. The OAS, angry because De Gaulle gave in and let Algeria have its freedom, actually did try to kill De Gaulle numerous times using its own members. Who knows , but maybe they did hire someone like the Jackal to give it a go!

In this book, we learn how the Jackal gets extra identities and a way to hide his rifle. Then we see the French authorities a
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ماجرایی تروریستی جنایی در پانصد و چند صفحه که درباره ی طرح ترور دوگل ،یکی از رییس جمهورهای فرانسه می باشد توسط شخصی با اسم مستعارِ شغال.
البته فیلمی هم از روی داستان این کتاب ساخته شده،که فکر میکنم دیدنش خالی از لطف نباشد.
James Cox
Oct 05, 2015 James Cox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gritty. I liked it!
Feb 05, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Day of the Jackal was for me a laborious read. This book consists of many information dumps, and was not at all suspenseful. As with all books I rate one star, I did not finish it, I only got to 46% complete. To get this far even, required constant encouragement drawn from the many positive reviews, and hopes that the books shinning light would start on the next page. I am in fact still holding onto the opinion that from the point of which I’ve left off, the book must begin to turn exception ...more
Sep 15, 2016 Feliks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-thrillers
Frederick Forsythe is easily the most well-known writer of the action thriller. Action-fiction today is lucrative business in part because of its tight integration with the movie industry (action-flick franchises are the nearest thing to a steady dividend Hollywood can rely on). The paperbook side of thriller-dom is thus highly competitive but also highly programmatic; as authors all grapple with each other for name-cachet and movie-adaptations. Its a tough field to stand out in.

The more so, be
Michael Havens
Aug 18, 2008 Michael Havens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like Spy/Suspence thrillers
Guilty pleasures? Got them? Ok, here's mine. I love to read Spy,World War Two thrillers, and techno-thrillers. I especially like the World War Two and Cold War era type, though Frederick Forsyth's novel 'The Day of the Jackal' is not one of them. What it is is a cat-and-mouse chase between Great Britain and France to find a hired killer, code named "Jackal", before he gets to General de Gaulle, now President of France (who actually was a military commander and resistance leader during World War ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Smiley's People
  • The Eagle Has Landed (Liam Devlin, #1)
  • The Matarese Circle (Matarese #1)
  • The Ipcress File (Secret File, #1)
  • Six Days of the Condor
  • Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, #1)
  • Ice Station Zebra
  • Marathon Man
  • The Boys from Brazil
  • The Eiger Sanction (Jonathan Hemlock, #1)
  • A Coffin for Dimitrios
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...

Share This Book

“It is cold at six-forty in the morning on a March day in Paris, and seems even colder when a man is about to be executed by firing squad.” 29 likes
“Yessir. A crutch, like one-legged men always have.” 5 likes
More quotes…