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The Day of the Jackal

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  68,589 ratings  ·  966 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
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 4th 1982 by Bantam (first published 1971)
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Othelie Moor It's an easy read, a little dry and emotionless. But the story is good, very historical and down to earth and realistic. The movie is quite good as…moreIt's an easy read, a little dry and emotionless. But the story is good, very historical and down to earth and realistic. The movie is quite good as well, the original 1973 version not the horrible american remake.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Steve Sckenda
Feb 24, 2015 Steve Sckenda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Plausible International Thrillers
Ici Chacal? This is one of my favorite thrillers of all time, and I have fond memories of staying up all night, reading this great story while I was in high school. It is based loosely on real life plots in the early sixties to kill French President Charles De Gaulle, who had withdrawn French troops from Algeria after a bitter colonial war. Many in the French Army and Foreign Legion believed that they had been betrayed and that their dead had died in vain, so ex-soldiers formed a paramilitary re ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”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
Stephen
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
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Nikki
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
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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
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Said Al-Maskery
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
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Sanjay Gautam
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.
Darwin8u
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 (
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Meaghan
Feb 17, 2010 Meaghan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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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
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♥Belleza★✰
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
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htanzil
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
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Feliks
Frederick Forsythe is easily the most well-known writer of the action thriller. Action-writing today is big 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 book 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, because the m
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Michael Havens
Aug 18, 2008 Michael Havens rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Atishay
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
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Cameron Wiggins
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
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Nigie
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
Kay
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
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Graham Stull
This was the first book which I was unable to put down until I got to the end. Easy to read, yet with a plot so compelling, and action that moves along so swiftly, that the pages seemed to turn themselves. Luckily it was short enough, because I had school the next day.

After reading it, I marvelled at how the author managed the feat, and swore to myself that one day, I would try to achieve something like this.
Les Aucoin
This book remains one of the tautest, most exciting suspense stories I've read. The Jackal's immaculate, elegant planning of the assassination of the French president is spell-binding. I ended up pulling for him as well as the police detective who was closing in on him. This was a thoroughly satisfying read.
Mike
Too long and occasionally so poorly written that it bordered on the amateurish. Slightly entertaining, but only slightly.
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
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Sarah
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
Jane Stewart
Wonderful intellectual suspense. Intricate, smart plotting. Excellent ending.

This is a classic - a great experience. I’m frequently smiling at the smart and unexpected actions. Leading the investigation is homicide detective Lebel. He is short, rumpled, quiet, unassuming, and blinks a lot when criticized. There are no scenes with his wife, but we hear that he is henpecked. Don’t expect a charismatic hero. This is a humble man doing smart things in a methodical manner. I loved the nuanced charact
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Dhejan
Seseorang yang tak dikenal… seorang pembunuh bayaran!

Bersetting Prancis pada tahun 60-an, novel ini mengisahkan tentang upaya pembunuhan terhadap Presiden Prancis kala itu, Jenderal Charles de Gaulle.
Percobaan pembunuhan ini telah enam kali dilakukan. Dan sebanyak enam kali pulalah kegagalan harus ditelan pahit oleh para petinggi OAS (Organisation L’Armée Sacrète).

Matinya Letnan Kolonel Jean-Marie Basytien-Thiry, pemimpin sebuah geng pembunuh dari OAS yang dihukum tembak mati pada 11 Maret 1963,
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shana naomi
one of the best suspense books i've ever read - can't believe it took me this long. it's not a quick read, but that didn't stop me from trying to make it one - i read for hours and hours on end, heart ACTUALLY pounding, waiting to find out what comes next.

and the brilliance of it is that you know the ending, or part of it. (historical spoiler alert: DeGaulle doesn't die.) and yet the planning of the assassination, and the investigation to uncover and stop it, and even the day of the attempt are
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Vit Babenco
The Day of the Jackal is a very remarkable and memorable thriller – while the other novels of this sort are usually forgotten too soon this book has stuck in my head for good. It is a real duel of masterminds –one staying on the side of crime and the other serving on the side of justice. Frederick Forsyth's meticulous and competent elaboration of the tiniest details made this novel unique.
Christy
I started The Day of the Jackal with high hopes, and I was just making my way through the first chapter, trying to sort out the characters, when I came across this information: On August 22, 1961, dusk had fallen at 8:10 pm, but on August 22, 1962, dusk fell at 8:35 pm. Those 25 minutes were to change the history of France." Maybe some physicist or astronomer out there can correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that impossible? On the same day of the year, in the same location, wouldn't dusk fall wi ...more
Thomas Strömquist
"There is no surprise as to the success of this book; well written and very suspenseful. The final chapter I think I set my speed-reading record. This is of course an even greater achievement by the author, considering that that we already know the ultimate conclusion of the story (mixing real with fictional events). I won't say anything about the plot, as it is so well known. But the book is definitively worth reading (again)."
Franky
One of the more remarkable aspects to Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal is how events are presented so realistically. The book is based on the true life attempts on French President Charles de Gaulle’s life, and Forsyth uses much of his experience covering news in France during the 1960s as well as thorough research to present a fictionalized account of these events.

The novel is structured in a way to first give a picture of the two sides, and then give a timeline for the events to foll
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Frederick Forsyth, CBE (born 25 August 1938) 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, educ
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More about Frederick Forsyth...
The Odessa File The Fourth Protocol The Dogs of War The Devil's Alternative The Negotiator

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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.” 31 likes
“Yessir. A crutch, like one-legged men always have.” 5 likes
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