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The Day of the Jackal

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  78,995 Ratings  ·  1,153 Reviews
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman withopaque, gray eyes. A killer at the top of his profession. A man unknown to any secret service in the world. An assassin with a contract to kill the world's most heavily guarded man.

One man with a rifle who can change the course ofhistory. One man whose mission is
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 4th 1982 by Bantam (first published 1971)
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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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 03, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spies
”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
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
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
Said Al-Maskery
Oct 25, 2007 Said Al-Maskery rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
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
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
Paul Alkazraji
Sep 24, 2015 Paul Alkazraji rated it really liked it

'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) -
Jul 27, 2015 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
James Cox
Oct 05, 2015 James Cox rated it really liked it
Gritty. I liked it!
Mar 31, 2016 Naddy rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2016 Feliks rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Nov 29, 2008 Atishay rated it it was amazing
Hands down the best thriller I've ever read and probably would for a long time to come.
Frederick Forsyth shines and deservingly so for the amount of research he puts into his projects. This one is regarding an attempt to assassinate Charles De Gaulle, the French President, narrated from the assassin's point of view. Immaculate in its details and planning, the climax is shattering and will make you close the book for a second and look at the ceiling, eyes closed.
Another masterpiece by the mas
Apr 15, 2016 Manab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
নীলকষেতের কপি। শুকরিয়া যে পেইজ মিসিং ছিলো না কোনো।
ভালোই লাগছে। এইটা দিয়েই বোধহয় ফরসিথের উপনযাস লেখার শুরু। এই বযাপারে একটু কাঁচামো আছে তার, পাতরপাতরীদের কথাবারতা ঠিক বিশবাসযোগয মনে হয় নাই আমারে। পুষায়ে গেছে তার ভয়াবহ নজরদারিতে সবকিছুর উপরে, এবং আমারে পুরা সময় জানতে না দেয়ায় যে বনদুক জযাকল লুকাইছে কই।
আমি ওদেসা ফাইলের চে বেশ খানিকটা পিছায়ে রাখবো, এই ভিততিতে যে ওদেসা ফাইল আগাগোড়া বিনোদন। অবশয সেই কথা বোধহয় ধোপে টিকবে না আসলে। শেষ বিচারে এই বই কোনো অংশে কম না। একটু অযানটিকলাইমেটিক হইলেও। সততুর ভাগ অ
Nov 09, 2010 Manny rated it liked it
In which we discover why Continental-style kissing is better than shaking hands.
Cameron Wiggins
Mar 20, 2015 Cameron Wiggins rated it it was amazing
Believe it or not, this was the first Forsyth book that I have read. At first, I did not know just what I was in store for, perhaps a 3.5-3.67 out of 5 star book. Oh, how wrong could I have been.
Maybe this book started out just a tad slow. This is, in part, due to Forsyth’s immaculate attention to detail of every aspect of this assassin/spy thriller - and believe me there are a lot of aspects to cover. Forsyth does an excellent job of accomplishing this while keeping the writer guessing along t
Feb 05, 2012 Sarah rated it did not like it
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
Feb 20, 2015 Nigie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pang of teenage nostalgia led me to the shelf where a faded gold Corgi edition of this calmly sensational first novel awaited its inevitable reopening. Not since the pages were once unyellowed had its long-dry ink been exposed to air. A bestseller in its day, this thriller's publication made a young, impoverished British ex-journalist, formerly posted to Paris after a short string of other foreign billets, an overnight millionaire for a mere six weeks' work. His inspiration? To divulge the nev ...more
May 13, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To me the brilliance of the writing, is that my emotions toward the protagonists changed with the writing..Every time the assassin walked shy of the traps, I gave a cheer, secretly rooting for the humble hunter within the next few pages. The build up is painstakingly relentless and gripping. And although the end is no secret, it didn't come across as cliche.

The attention to details is amazing! I can't imagine what kind of research must have gone in it. The imagery, the passions, the loyalties, t
Prithvi Shams
Feb 01, 2016 Prithvi Shams rated it it was amazing
What impressed me about this story is that absolutely nothing is left to, and occurs by chance. Each and every action of the jackal, and the manhunt in his hot pursuit, is carried out according to a brute logic. This rationality makes the plot very realistic, for a thriller novel. The narrative is dispassionate, yet ironically humorous sometimes. The "Anatomy of a Plot" part of the book is a bit boring and meticulous, just like how an assassin would prepare for an assassination. The story picks ...more
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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
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“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.” 28 likes
“Yessir. A crutch, like one-legged men always have.” 5 likes
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