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The Day of the Jackal [Kindle Edition]

Frederick Forsyth
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (264 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $12.51
You Save: $3.49 (22%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

#1 New York Times bestselling author Frederick Forsyth’s unforgettable novel of a conspiracy, a killer, and the one man who can stop him…

He is known only as “The Jackal”—a cold, calculating assassin without emotion, or loyalty, or equal. He’s just received a contract from an enigmatic employer to eliminate one of the most heavily guarded men in the world—Charles De Gaulle, president of France.

It is only a twist of fate that allows the authorities to discover the plot. They know next to nothing—only that the assassin is on the move. To track him, they dispatch their finest detective, Claude Lebel, on a manhunt that will push him to his limit, in a race to stop an assassin’s bullet from reaching its target.

Editorial Reviews


“Forsyth is truly the world’s reigning master of suspense”—Los Angeles Times

“When it comes to espionage, international intrigue, and suspense, Frederick Forsyth is a master.” —The Washington Post Book World

The Day of the Jackal makes such comparable books such as The Manchurian Candidate and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold seem like Hardy Boy mysteries.”—The New York Times

“Inventive, organized, believable, and absolutely spellbinding…Suspense fiction at its very best and a cliffhanger par excellence.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A masterpiece tour de force of crisp, sharp, suspenseful writing…It’s an awful cliché to say that ‘you won’t be able to put this book down,’ but cliché or not, it’s the truth.”—The Wall Street Journal

From the Publisher

The Jackal. A tall, blond Englishman with opaque, 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 of history. One man whose mission is so secretive not even his employers know his name. And as the minutes count down to the final act of execution, it seems that there is no power on earth that can stop the Jackal.

"The Day Of The Jackal makes such comparable books that The Manchurian Candidate and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold seems like Hardy Boy mysteries." -- The New York Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 797 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081KZ20E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic January 29, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What can I add to 69 other reviewers? Simply this; I first read the book 25 years ago, and I still regularly take it back down off the shelves and dip into some part that jogs my memory, and enjoy savouring the detail afresh, as with a great piece of classical music or a Jane Austen novel. I am not normally a reader of thrillers; but this is equally much a great detective story and a mind game, and the writing style and the language are also superb, as is the evocation of the French setting. It starts quite slowly but accelerates all the way to the end. It is fascinating to compare it with the great 1973 film (NOT the Bruce Willis version). Scenes from the film like the final assassination attempt create an even more vivid picture in the mind as you read the book again. On the other hand, the detail of the planning, or the moment of Lebel's realisation of how the Jackal has got a gun through the apparently impregnable police screen, or seeing how all the different threads of the storyline fit together, can only be captured in the book. Every word and every nuance count at the climactic moments. Read the book, then see the film, then read the book again. It may not be as pacy as some modern all-action thrillers, but it is never contrived and virtually every bit rings true.
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83 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frederick's Foresight August 24, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Day Of The Jackal" features a plot you know is going to fail, a protagonist who you never know much about other than he's up to no good, and a henpecked hero looked upon with contempt by most of his superiors. The Bond lovers who made up this novel's key audience back in 1971 must have scratched their heads. But they kept reading. So will you.

Ian Fleming had his James Bond take on outsized supervillains in blurry circumstances that only slightly approximated real life. Forsyth took Fleming's Anglo love for the good life and attention to how-things-work detail, and transported it to a real-life setting, part travelogue, part "what-if" hypothesis. He named real people, used real issues, and presented in utterly passionless style a story that sells you on its utter verisimilitude.

Forsyth doesn't go much for humor: a trip by the assassin Jackal to a gay bar is about the closest to a chuckle we get; a politically incorrect one to be sure. He throws in some nice descriptions: "The heat lay on the city like an illness, crawling into every fibre, sapping strength, energy, the will to do anything but lie in a cool room with the jalousies closed and the fan full on." But for a first-time fiction author, Forsyth isn't trying to sell you on his lyrical brilliance. He just moves you from one scene to another with minimum fuss, a deeper brilliance given he was a struggling writer with no track record with this sort of thing.

Spy fiction was never the same after "Day Of The Jackal" came out. It became less a thing of fantasy, more a thing of life, because Forsyth proved that such an approach not only could work but work better than the Fleming approach. Even the movies' Bond adapted to it over time, for better or worse.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply, the best thriller ever written January 28, 2007
By Teemacs
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was unfortunate for Freddie Forsyth, because he was never able to match it. But then, neither was anyone else. Set in the aftermath of the Algerian crisis in the early 1960s in which an entire Foreign Legion paratroop regiment mutinied and formed the OAS (Secret Army Organisation), there was an attempt on the life of French President Charles de Gaulle and France trembled on the edge of civil war, the story is meticulously put together and excitingly told, with a bit of repetition of language (Mr. Forsyth seems to like trains; several times he described the demolition of someone's expectations or his person as if hit by a train). The Jackal, hired by the OAS to assassinate De Gaulle, is a cold-blooded killer who's in it purely for the money, yet curiously you find yourself rooting just a little for him. And you KNOW that Charles de Gaulle died in his bed in Colombey Les Deux Églises in 1969, so the Jackal can't possibly succeed, yet the book keeps you reading right to the end - and the O. Henry-type twist that has become somewhat of a Forsyth trademark. By the way, most of the French politicians mentioned were real people in De Gaulle's government.

All in all, a brilliantly-conceived and -presented thriller. I have yet to find a better one. (For what it's worth, Fred Zinneman's film of the novel, with Edward Fox as the Jackal, is also excellent. Avoid like the plague the appalling US remake starring Bruce Willis).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The only thing I regret about The Day of the Jackal is that I saw the movie first, so I knew basically what the storyline was before I ever picked up the book.
However, what kept my interest up in reading the book was Forsyth's constant attention to intricate details, fascinating details that really painted the picture a lot more fully and clearly--and without giving away what was going to happen.
And let's not forget the basic characters of the book--they were quite realistic in their thinking and in their actions based upon that thinking. The mark of a great author, at least as far as I see it, is the ability to create such realistic characters and not have to resort to contrivance to make a point.
I touched on this a bit earlier, but I don't want to forget to mention specifically about the way Forsyth expertly kept the suspense building until the climactic point near the end.
I could go on, but I would be giving away specific plot details by doing so.
I strongly recommend for anyone to read this book. I can virtually guarantee that (s)he will not be disappointed in the least. Whether the reader's main interest is history, suspense, or just a good story doesn't matter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars better than the movie!
Being able to read a little French is very helpful. It is a very good read. I highly recommend this book.
Published 4 days ago by Thomas J. Cinquanta
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Nice read...
Published 5 days ago by Durgesh
5.0 out of 5 stars A thriller Triumph!
This was an excellent read from start to finish. When the OAS fails to assassinate Charles DeGaulle, they employ an Englishman to do the job right. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Anthony Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars ... have found the book with plenty of action and great suspense,...
I am reading this book as of now and so far i have found the
book with plenty of action and great suspense, would highly
recommend this book.
Published 20 days ago by schlager
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
A really well balanced thriller based on the real facts; Very well written.
Published 28 days ago by carlos gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book.
A great book ... later made into a great movie. Both the book and the movie deserve all the praise they get in their five star reviews ... and I agree. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
A real page turner.
Published 2 months ago by Derm
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling
Charles de Gaulle, president of France, has a great many enemies. There have been multiple attempts on his life by an organization called the OAS, but all have been disappointing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by A. Luciano
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Day For Me
What a pleasure it was to read such a finely written novel. Lately I have read some good ones, then found myself at odds with other reviewers who gave 5 stars to what I thought was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ken C.
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