PLOT: early 1960s plot to kill DE Gaulle.
After several "failed" plots to kill French President Charles De Gaulle...the OAS hire an unknown killer with the name of the "Jackal"......This is entertaining and is different than the movie plot. "Jackal" is skillful and knows every person in every country who can aid his plans for killing....from the gunsmith who can build him a special "gun" ....and he travels to Italy to get several new forged identity papers. AS he carefully plots his skills he is soon pursued by French Detective Lebel who soon has some clues to the hired killer from clues from a kidnapped OAS man. A blonde Englishman is soon being hunted in the UK and abroad. With clues to his "Alexander Duggan".Id........but the Jackal is already on to ID #2...and headed to France from Italy. this is fun and interesting complete with a sexy spy who come mistress of an old man close to De Gaulle to keep tabs on him. This is first rate and keeps you absorbed to the intrigue and very plausible crime. his excellent methods of truly getting close enough to kill is first rate........ I give this 5 STARS all for the way for excellent plot, reader and story that is entertaining even 50 years later.
my ipod and audible make the daily 10 mile walks a "breeze"....
somewhere, sometime...I remember someone telling me that the book couldn't be published until after the death of de Gaulle....because it would have been so reasonable for this to happen....one of the best books of its type...I read the paper version years ago....and after recently listening to "The Cobra"...decided to listen again to the "Jackal"...and I'm glad I did....even knowing the outcome and all the plot...it kept me on the edge of my seat....
Listening while I run.
This is a great listen. I like the perspectives from both sides of the story. The author takes a complex story and weaves it together brilliantly. Nice touches of humor along the way. Simon Prebble is a perfect choice and keeps the story moving. The bits of history are an added bonus.
I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.
I had read this book 40 years ago when it first came out and loved it then. Except for the basic story, I had forgotten most of the detail of the book. Listening to this book was a great experience and, as always with a great reader, better than the written text. It's hard to imagine that the author wrote this book in 35 days. In these days, it seems that author's do years of research so that they can accurately document the detail in the novel. When I think about it, who cares whether the gun used is a P-24 semi-automatic rifle with a 10mm short stroked bored and blah, blah blah. I guess this is to satisfy readers of "Rifle Today" magazine. This story was so realistic and so engaging that the specifics of the gunnery were show to be irrelevant. There were several plot holes that I found annoying. For example, having the mistress of the Minister of Air Force in position to relay information seemed contrived. Forsyth needed this desperately to keep the Jackal one step ahead so I understand this need. The second gripe is the negative attitude of the Council when Lebel couldn't find this unknown assassin in three days. This was really hard to accept. This book reminded me of Martin Booth’s 1990 novel A Very Private Gentleman. I could easily see the Jackal as the protagonist in this book. I made me wish that George Clooney had played the Jackal instead of Bruce Willis in the movie remake. Of course, Clooney would not have gone along with the ridiculous plot rewrite. Why mess with a great story? The ending of this book was so fantastic that it deserves to be remade. Was George Smiley of John LeCarre fame the basis for Lebel?
Breathtaking thriller I could not stop listening to --even though I read the book years ago and knew how it would end. Simon Prebble is a reader I would listen to 24 hours of a day!
I love spy thrillers. James Bond, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., even Angelina Jolie's Salt is in my top favorites. So I figured that my loves for those kinds of movies would translate to a love of the spy novel. Instead I found a mixed bag.
The Day of the Jackal is meticulously planned out and executed. Forsyth knows his details and sticks to them, sometimes to the detriment of the story. Pages and pages were devoted to the smallest thing, and this really killed the momentum of the book. And let's talk about that for a moment -- what would have been excitingly fast-paced in a two hour movie is instead spread out over a thirteen hour book. I never had any fear that the Jackal would be caught before the finale, because what would be left for the story? This made tertiary characters even less interesting when they were disposed of.
Do not misunderstand me, though -- I enjoyed this book. Especially because I picked it up as a whim, and had no expectations to go into. (It wasn't until halfway through the book that I learned this is somewhat of a classic.) That made this find something more natural and refreshing than I would have found if I was told this was an important book.
Simon Prebble's narration is inoffensive, if a little boring. I had to switch it off and find other entertainment at times, but it became a good groggy distraction with my morning tea.
You know from almost the beginning how the story will end, and yet the voyage is so enjoyable. No superhuman skills, just wits.
Tension at the gunsmith's shop
Actually, the movie was quite good, too.
Almost perfect. A rare 5-stars across the board from this listener.
Very good story, mostly very good narration, but...
... if you are going to sing a national anthem - learn the tune! And for a book with so many French names and phrases, choose a narrator who can get close to an accurate pronunciation. And the few Danish phrases - I don't know what they were meant to be, it sounded like the Swedish chef from the Muppets.
A detailed recital about how a mercenary, hired by the OAS, planned the execution of the president of France, Charles De Gaulle in 1962.
Once you start, you won't stop.