Author Feature: Frederick Forsyth

One of my favorite thriller authors, one I've grown up with. Frederick Forsyth is the author I'm featuring this month.

Brief Bio: Forsyth was born in Ashford, Kent, educated at Tonbridge School and and later attended the University of Granada in Spain. After serving as one of the youngest pilots in the Royal Air Force, he became a journalist, joining Reuters and then BBC. His first full-length novel, The Day of the Jackal, was published in 1971 and became an international bestseller. Since then, he has written many bestselling novels, some of which have been turned into movies, notably Dogs of War, The Fourth Protocol and The Odessa File.

Selected Bibliography:

The Day of the Jackal
The Odessa File
The Dogs of War
The Devil's Alternative
The Fourth Protocol
The Fist of God
The Icon
The Afghan

My Views: I haven't reviewed a single Forsyth book on my blog, but it's not for the want of reading them, but because I read every single one of them long before I started blogging. I probably will review a couple of them soon, but as of now, there are no reviews you can read.

I was introduced to Forsyth when I filched my dad's library copy of The Day of the Jackal many years ago. Since then, I devoured his books, and I loved most of them. He is usually my benchmark when I read other thriller authors, I keep comparing them with the thrill I felt as I turned each page of The Day of the Jackal or The Devil's Alternative, my two favorite Forsyth books.

What will strike you when you read his books is the amount of research involved. From money laundering to identity theft to stealth satellites to political maneuvering, every word he writes is carefully researched. The meticulous plotting and the keen eye for detail keeps you hooked. And also, almost every book has the twist in the tale, the hidden agenda which is revealed at the end which brings things to a head. His books have a heady pace, but nowhere do you feel it is rushed. Though recently, I've felt that the magic of his writing is dimming: I had a lot of difficulty finishing The Afghan.

A lot of the stuff Forsyth describes in his books have actually come to pass. For example, the technique of identity theft he describes in The Day of the Jackal was actually possible during the time he wrote it, and the bugging of IRA leaders' coffins by British agents was also confirmed by the government. Almost all his books feature fictional events happening to or connected to real life personalities. This trueness to real life is something I find awesome, it adds a touch of reality to the grandiose plot and makes you believe that the events he describes in his stories could actually be true.

If you have not read Forsyth, you are definitely missing something. Whether or not you like thrillers, I am sure you'll be hooked by the world of assassins and spies he creates.

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2 Responses
  1. Eva Says:

    It's funny, I've barely reviewed books by some of my favourite authors for the same reason! :)

    I don't usually read thrillers, so if I wanted to give him a go, which one would you recommend me trying?

  2. Hazra Says:

    I'd recommend The Day of the Jackal. It's really well-written and well-plotted. You could also try out The Devil's Alternative, and my roommate recommends The Fourth Protocol.

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