De volkomen emotieloze en meedogenloze Engelse huurmoordenaar, aangeduid als de Jakhals, is door de OAS benaderd om de Franse generaal De Gaulle uit de weg te ruimen. Nauwgezet bereidt hij de aanslag voor. Zijn plannen zijn uiterst gedetailleerd en hij laat werkelijk niets aan het toeval over. De Gaulles laatste uren lijken geteld.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Born: August 25, 1938 (age 68)
England Flag of England
Writing period: 1969 – present
Genre(s): Crime fiction,
Debut work(s): The Biafra Story (1969)
Website: The Unofficial Frederick Forsyth Website
Frederick Forsyth, CBE (born August 25, 1938) is an English author and occasional political commentator. He is best known for thrillers such as The Day of the Jackal,The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Fist of God, Icon, The Veteran, Avenger (book) and recently The Afghan.
Biography and works
Born in Ashford, Kent, Forsyth was educated at Tonbridge School. He later attended University of Granada in Spain. At the age of 19, he became one of the youngest pilots ever in the Royal Air Force, where he served until 1958.
He then became a reporter, and spent three and a half years working at a small newspaper before joining Reuters in 1961. In 1965, he joined the BBC and was assistant diplomatic correspondent. From July to September 1967, he covered the Biafran War between Biafra and Nigeria.
In 1968, he left the BBC amid allegations that his reporting of the Biafran War was biased towards the Biafran cause, and that he had falsified elements of his reports, and returned to Biafra as a freelancer. In 1969, he wrote a book about the Biafran War called The Biafra Story.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Forsyth decided to write a novel using similar research techniques to those used in journalism. His first full length novel, The Day of the Jackal, was published in 1971 and became an international bestseller, and was later made into a movie with the same name. It also earned him the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. In this book, the Organisation armée secrète hires an assassin to kill Charles de Gaulle.
His second novel, The Odessa File, was published in 1972 and is about a reporter attempting to track down a network of ex-Nazi SS men in modern Germany. Later this too was made into a movie with the same name but there were substantial adaptations. For example, the black Jaguar auto with yellow streaks depicted in the story, itself a thrill designed to engross the reader, was replaced by a Mercedes-Benz.
In 1974, he wrote The Dogs of War (novel), in which a mining executive hires a group of mercenaries to overthrow the government of an African country so that he can install a puppet regime that will allow him cheap access to its substantial mineral wealth. Following this came The Devil’s Alternative in 1979, which was set in 1982. In this book, the Soviet Union faces a disastrous grain harvest and Ukrainian freedom fighters. In the end, a Norwegian oil tanker built in Japan, a Russian airliner hijacked to West Berlin and countless governments find themselves involved.
In 1982, No Comebacks, a collection of ten short stories, was published. Some of these stories had been written earlier. One of them, ‘There Are No Snakes In Ireland’, won Forsyth a second Edgar Allan Poe Award, this time for best short story. The Fourth Protocol was published in 1984 and involves renegade elements within the Soviet Union attempting to plant a nuclear bomb near an American airbase in the UK, intending to influence the upcoming British elections and lead to the election of an anti-NATO, anti-American, and anti-nuclear Labour government. The Fourth Protocol was later filmed, starring Pierce Brosnan and Michael Caine, in 1987, with all the political content removed, which took a lot away from the original story.
Forsyth’s tenth release came in 1989, when he wrote The Negotiator, in which the American President’s son is kidnapped and one man’s job is to negotiate his release.
Two years later, in 1991, The Deceiver was published. It includes four separate short stories reviewing character Agent Sam McCready’s career.
In 1994, Forsyth published The Fist of God, about the first Gulf War. Next, in 1996, he published Icon, about the rise of fascists to power in post-Soviet Russia.
In 1999, Forsyth published The Phantom of Manhattan, a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. It was intended as a departure from his usual genre; Forsyth’s explanation was that “I had done mercenaries, assassins, Nazis, murders, terrorists, special forces soldiers, fighter pilots, you name it, and I got to think, could I actually write about the human heart?” However, it did not achieve the same success as his other novels, and he subsequently returned to modern-day thrillers.
In 2001, The Veteran, another collection of short stories, was published followed by the Avenger, published in September 2003, about a Canadian billionaire who hires a Vietnam veteran to bring his grandson’s killer to the US. His latest book is the The Afghan published in August 2006.
Forsyth eschews psychological complexity in favour of meticulous plotting, based on detailed factual research. His books are full of information about the technical details of such subjects as money laundering, gun running and identity theft. His novels read like investigative journalism in fictional guise. His moral vision is a harsh one: the world is made up of predators and prey, and only the strong survive. The novels he wrote in the 1970s are often regarded as his best work.
His research has caused headaches for governments. In The Day of the Jackal, he describes how the would-be assassin is able to get a new passport. He visits a church, and looks for a tombstone of someone who was born nearly the same time he was, but died in infancy. He then obtains a birth certificate, which enables him to obtain a passport in that person’s name – effectively stealing an identity. In the story, the government didn’t cross check passport requests with the death registry. Unfortunately, this was actually government practice at the time, and Forsyth revealed this in his writings. In The Deceiver, he describes how a British agent bugs the coffin of a dead IRA member. The microphone records the conversation of senior IRA members, who are using the funeral as a chance for a conference about terrorist activities. Journalists pressed the British government to ask if this had ever been done, and the British government was forced to admit that indeed it had.
Forsyth is a Eurosceptic Conservative. In 2003, he was awarded the One of Us Award from the Conservative Way Forward group for his services to the Conservative movement in Britain. He is also a patron of the Young Britons’ Foundation. In 2005, he came out in opposition to Kenneth Clarke’s candidacy for the leadership of The Conservative Party, calling Mr. Clarke’s record in government “unrivaled; a record of failure which at every level has never been matched”. Instead, he endorsed and donated money to David Davis’s campaign.
He is an occasional radio broadcaster on political issues, and has also written for newspapers throughout his career, including, at present (in 2005), a weekly page in the International Express.
Intriguingly, Forsyth’s novels have had echoes in reality in recent years. In 2004, a group of British-led alleged mercenaries were arrested in Zimbabwe allegedly en route to Equatorial Guinea, where it was believed they intended to assist the country’s opposition in overthrowing the government. In exchange for this assistance, the leaders of the group were allegedly offered lucrative mineral concessions in Equatorial Guinea. Media commentators immediately drew comparisons with the plot of Forsyth’s novel The Dogs of War, which had been written more than 30 years before, and also involved a coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea. One of those convicted of involvement in the coup was an ex-SAS officer, Simon Mann. Mann is a former associate of Lt. Col. Tim Spicer, the chief executive of the British “Private Security Company” Aegis, and for this reason the British government had sought advice from Spicer when they first received intelligence that a coup was being planned.
Spicer, in turn, has an interesting connection with Forsyth, in that the author is reportedly one of a small number of people who own shares in Spicer’s company. Aegis, which some argue would more accurately be described as a “mercenary” group than a “Private Security Company”, has itself been no stranger to controversy. In 2004, the US government awarded it a $296 million contract for providing “armed security” in Iraq. In December 2005, it was alleged that Aegis employees had videoed themselves firing on civilians while driving down a road near Baghdad.
In August 2006, Forsyth appeared on the ITV gameshow Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? to raise funds for charity .
On 8th February 2007, Forsyth appeared on BBC’s political panel show Question Time (TV series). On it, he expressed scepticism on the climate change phenomena
* The Biafra Story (1969)
* The Day of the Jackal (1971)
* The Odessa File (1972)
* The Dogs of War (1974)
* The Shepherd (1975)
* The Devil’s Alternative (1979)
* Emeka (1982)
* No Comebacks (stories, 1983):
1. “No Comebacks”
2. “There are no Snakes in Ireland”
3. “The Emperor”
4. “The Negotiator”
5. “There are Some Days…”
6. “Money with Menaces”
7. “Used in Evidence”
10. “A Careful Man”
11. “Sharp Practice”
* The Fourth Protocol (1984)
* The Negotiator (1989)
* The Deceiver (1991)
* Great Flying Stories (1991) (ed)
* The Fist of God (1994)
* Icon (1996)
* The Phantom of Manhattan (1999)
* The Veteran (stories, 2001):
1. “The Veteran”
2. “The Miracle”
3. “The Citizen”
4. “The Art of the Matter”
5. “Whispering Wind”
* Avenger (2003)
* The Afghan (2006)