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The Odessa File

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  57,495 ratings  ·  808 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 September 1972)
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Marcus Laurén This maybe a late reply. I read this book when I was younger than 12, and I still recall some parts of it. I picked it off my parents bookshelf - I do…moreThis maybe a late reply. I read this book when I was younger than 12, and I still recall some parts of it. I picked it off my parents bookshelf - I doubt they read it as it felt like new :)(less)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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 ·  57,495 ratings  ·  808 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2, 1960-s, thriller
”Had he asked, he would have learned that of the crimes against humanity committed on the German side between 1933 and 1945, probably 95 percent can accurately be laid at the door of the SS. Of these, probably 80 to 90 percent can be attributed to two departments within the SS. These were the Reich Security Main Office and the Reich Economic Administration Main Office.”

 photo Waffen20SS_zpshltgwkgb.jpg
Waffen SS hat insignia.

President John F. Kennedy has just been assassinated, and Peter Miller, ace reporter, finds himself f
Pramod Nair
Jan 27, 2015 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
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the early 1960's in West Germany with some scenes from Israel and Nasserite Egypt , this electrifying book has all the elements of a good historical spy novel - suspense,danger,action,human drama as well as a lot of food for thought.We come across a lot of interesting real figures from the time such as Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal and the head head of MOSSAD Meir Amit as well the evil psycopathic SS Officer Eduard Roschmann who in the novel is hunted by a young German journalist , Peter M ...more
Sonia Gomes
Apr 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People everywhere, so that we do not repeat this terrible period in the History of Men
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, the patience, the resources and the desire to annihilate millions of men, women and children. What is chilling about the Holocaust is
John Culuris
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
An early work from the father of the modern espionage thriller, and it contains my biggest pet peeve: a protagonist doing something incredibly stupid. And it’s okay. Peter Miller is a reporter, not a trained undercover agent. Through the convergence of bad luck, laziness, entitlement, and not truly believing all the precautions taught to him were necessary, he blows his cover almost immediately. The story never really hinged on this anyway. It’s about how the diary of a Holocaust survivor who ki ...more
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of quality thrillers
Shelves: wwii, spies, 2015, thriller
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
Terence M
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Hunting Nazis, particularly SS Nazis, still had some cachet when "The Odessa File" was written in 1972 and the deeds of famous Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, who had aided the Mossad division of the Israeli Secret Service in identifying and capturing Adolph Eichmann only twelve years earlier, were in the news quite regularly.

I read "The Odessa File" years ago, in the seventies, after reading "Day of the Jackal". Remembering recently that I had enjoyed "The Odessa File", I decided to read it agai
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
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
Feb 02, 2013 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. It is a very well researched and has 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 be ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: suspense, mystery, pop-lit
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
Jul 21, 2011 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. ...more
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THE ODESSA FILE (1972) was British author Frederick Forsyth's second novel (the first was THE DAY OF THE JACKAL). This one is set in the weeks following John Kennedy's assassination in 1963 and concerns a complacent Hamburg photojournalist (played in the movie by Jon Voight) who stumbles across the diary of a recently deceased concentration-camp survivor and, partly for humanitarian reasons and partly for reasons of his own, seeks justice for the decedent and publicity for the cause of bringing ...more
Jul 27, 2015 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. ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great investigative romp through the German countryside in a very compelling and charming era. As always with Forsyth the depth of research and attention to detail is key.

Some dark moments without being self indulgent. The gradual rise in tension from start to finish is managed so carefully that you don't realise you're on the edge of your seat until almost toppling off.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Oct 16, 2015 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. ...more
Jul 08, 2009 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.
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
Paul Bartusiak
Aug 13, 2013 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
Oct 21, 2014 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. ...more
Feb 28, 2010 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
Jan 28, 2016 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.

Avi B
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. ...more
The infamous Nazi organization ODESSA, internationally famous for its war aids after the Second World War, is discovered in its labyrinths by a journalist researcher.
The German journalist finds a common thread when investigating the reasons for the suicide of an old Jew, finding some accusing documents of the deceased against ahead of a Nazi extermination camp.
All this immerses him in a vortex where, surprisingly, he must face facts of his family past.
Forsyth's novel is compelling, forcing the r
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
I don't like the storytelling structure: Something happens, and then we get a huge historical background story. A new chapter starts, something else happens, and then we get another huge info dump.

If you can put up with this type of structure you will probably like it, but it's too tedious for me. I'm reading more about the story than I'm reading of the story. It's too bad, because the blurb makes it sound so much more interesting than it is.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young journalist is handed a diary of a dead Jew, who has written about his time when he was in the camps of the Nazi. The journalist then decides to track down the person responsible for thousands of deaths during the time.
The research, background and plot of the book is very good.
There is suspense, danger, action, drama and once the story gets going then it turns into a real page turner.
A good time pass read!
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-read
A secret organization comprised of former Nazi SS officers, plotting to deploy WMDs against Israel? That's heady stuff, especially 45 years ago when it was first published. Reporter Peter Miller is tracking a member of the shadowy Odessa organization but his motives remain unclear. Author Forsyth is known for meticulous plots that slowly build suspense, and this novel is no exception. Forsyth's characters don't normally make much of an impression but there's a riveting section late in the story ...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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