The Day of the Jackal

Customer Reviews

3,565 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,086
  • 4 Stars
    1,032
  • 3 Stars
    317
  • 2 Stars
    77
  • 1 Stars
    53

Sorted By Most Useful

5 out of 5 stars
By Thomas Allen on 10-14-10

Quite a chase!

This story is quite a chase as we ride along on the investigation for a mysterious man who has been hired to kill France's president. The story is written very engagingly, and I found myself really hoping for the success of all of the authorities involved. But also, I liked the character of the Jackal. Several of his actions and reasons I could totally understand.

Overall, this is an enjoyable story and totally worth the listen. And Simon Prebble does a great job of narration.

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34 of 34 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Dean on 09-14-11

Holds Up Nicely

When I first thought about getting this book, I wondered how it would hold up after so many years. It was Amazingly Entertaining. Easy to follow, even with the European places and names. It keeps you engaged at every turn right up to the end. I can easily understand why it's considered a 'Classic'. It's a Great Book.

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31 of 31 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Parola138 on 10-24-12

awesome book

This is pretty much a flawless book. I think it's kind of old, but it isn't dated at all. Narration was superb. I was amazed by the technical details in it. It's one of those books where you wonder how anyone BUT and assassin wrote it.

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23 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darryl on 04-20-13

simply one of the best

this is one of those books you can point at as a game changer, altering a genre. i read this long ago and loved it, and it is still excellent. if you like a more cerebral spy thriller, more LeCarre style than a shoot-em-up blow-em-up Hollywood mess, then try this. Along with LeCarre's Spy Who Came in From the Cold, and Greene's Human Factor, you have 3 of the best ever written as far as I'm concerned.

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34 of 35 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 12-07-12

Tight & 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 (aka Carlos the 'Jackal') and provided both an inspiration to and techniques for several genearations of identiy thieves. That is a helluva lot for just one novel's resume.

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54 of 58 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By X on 03-26-11

Tour de montagnes russes (roller coaster ride)!!!!

Courtesy of Wikipedia, the true historical context on which the novel is based is as follows. The Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS — or Organisation armée secrète, lit. "Organization of the Secret Army" or "Secret Armed Organization") was a short-lived, French far-right nationalist militant and underground organization during the Algerian War (1954-62). The OAS used armed struggle in an attempt to prevent Algeria's independence. The OAS's motto was "Algeria is French and will remain so" (L’Algérie est française et le restera).

The OAS was formed out of existing networks, calling themselves "counter-terrorists", "self-defence groups", or "resistance", which had carried out attacks on the FLN and their perceived supporters since early in the war. It was officially formed in Francoist Spain, in Madrid in January 1961, as a response by some French politicians and French military officers to the 8 January 1961 referendum on self-determination concerning Algeria, which had been organized by General de Gaulle.

After the March 1962 Evian agreements, which granted independence to Algeria and marked the beginning of the exodus of the pieds-noirs (European settlers), the OAS attempted to prevent the on-going political process by a campaign of assassinations and bombings. This campaign culminated in Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry's 1962 assassination attempt against president Charles de Gaulle in the Paris suburb of Le Petit-Clamart.

The fictional Day of the Jackal novel commences after the failed Petit Clamart assassination attempt. In the novel, the OAS hires a contract assassin to kill de Gaulle. The assassin's planning is meticulous and his execution is daring with the French police in hot pursuit. I was on my feet pacing the room at the end of the book. I blew through this book quickly. It is well-written and the narration is superb.

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60 of 65 people found this review helpful

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