I first read “The Day of the Jackal” by Frederick Forsyth in the early ’70s and he soon became one of my favourite authors. I vividly remember the book ( and the subsequent movie) even to this day, decades later. Such was the appeal of the story. In my view, it is one the best thrillers ever written. I was amazed to read that he wrote it in just 35 days! If you haven’t read it yet, grab a copy! You will not regret your decision.
I was enthralled by the way Forsyth picked a plot and built a fictitious account of an attempted assassination of the then President of France, Charles de Gaulle. He starts the story with an incident based on real life: an attempt to assassinate de Gaulle by a group headed by a French Air Force Lt Col, Jean-Marie Bastien Thiry. I loved the way Forsyth brought in real life elements, incidents and people in his story which made the plot that much more credible. Those of you who are interested, would find this article in Fact Behind Fiction to be of great interest, as I did.
Right now, I am engrossed in ” The Cobra”, Forsyth’s thriller on the international war against drugs. It’s gripping ! Having read most of Frederick Forsyth’s books, I got this idea of paying a small tribute to the ace story teller by means of this post. I hope many new readers get hooked on to his works, as I did decades ago. It is sacrilege to criticize the master craftsman but I wondered if in “The Cobra” he spent too much time describing the Blackburn Buccaneer in such minute detail. I felt that amount of detailing was not essential to further the plot.
Apart from being a huge fan of his works, I have learnt so much from Forsyth’s writings. I particularly like the way he incorporates real life characters and weaves them and real life events into his fiction.