The Day of the Jackal

  • by Frederick Forsyth
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble
  • 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of an anonymous Englishman who in, the spring of 1963, was hired by Colonel Marc Rodin, operations chief of the O.A.S., to assassinate General de Gaulle.
France was infuriated by Charles de Gaulle's withdrawal from Algeria, and there were six known attempts to assassinate the general that failed. This novel dramatizes the seventh, mostly deadly attempt, involving a professional killer for hire who would be unknown to the French Police. His code name was Jackal, his price half a million dollars, and his demand total secrecy, even from his employers.
Step by painstaking step, we follow the Jackal in his meticulous planning, from the fashioning of a specially made rifle to the devising of his approach to the time and the place where the general is to meet the Jackal's bullet. The only obstacle in his path is a small, diffident, rumpled policeman, who happens to be considered by his boss the best detective in France: Deputy Commissaire Claude Lebel.

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What the Critics Say

"A masterpiece tour de force of crisp, sharp, suspenseful writing." (Wall Street Journal)
"Compelling, utterly enthralling....Some of the tensest thriller writing I can remember reading." (Sunday Express, London)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- X "Male. Mammal. High school equivalency graduate. I like fruit and I just got a haircut. I would describe myself as somewhere between Christmas and being buried alive."

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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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-03-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.