Monday, May 23, 2011
The Day of the Jackal was a phenomenal breakthrough book when it was published in 1971, and it began the career of Frederick Forsyth with quite a bang. It was not a predictable success. After all, everyone reading the book knew that its unnamed hero, the Jackal, was not going to succeed in his attempt to assassinate Charles De Gaulle. But readers were undeterred (as were moviegoers in 1973). As for Forsyth, more bestsellers followed, and he's still at it.
Helen Brown talked with Forsyth about Jackal, and the rest of the author's career, in The Telegraph.
"If the terrorists really wanted the job done, Forsyth figured, they should hire an outsider: a professional hit man with no ties to them and no file with the French police. The thought simmered away. 'I would come back to it in airport lounges,' he says, 'but I never thought I’d do anything with it.... When I left the RAF in my early twenties all I wanted to do was travel, which is what motivated me to go into journalism. I just saw writing a novel – stupidly – as a way of making a bit of money. A means to get me out of a jam.' ”
Read Frederick Forsyth: 'I had expected women to hate him. But no...’