Indeed P. - a sad loss. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of his non-fiction and travel writing. On the other hand his attempts at fiction are woefully bad. Best avoided, in my opinion. - I.I was shocked and was really sad to hear he had committed suicide a few years ago
Funnily enough I read this a couple of weeks ago for the first time. I really enjoyed it - it benefits from a cracking story sufficiently based in truth to be creditible and immediately engaging. There were multiple plots to assassinate De Gaulle over his position on Algerian independence. The writing style isn't great - 'what I did on my holidays' - but it doesn't matter as the plot carries all before it with irresistible force. I was completely on the side of the Jackal. I watched the film after I had read the book - it's good, Edward Fox was perfect, but the book is better for me. There are plot differences between the two, which I'm not going to point out. If you enjoyed Jackal - I'd recommend Hunting Eichmann by Neil Bascomb - similar sort of vein but entirely true. The embryonic Mossad and Shin Bet set about to abduct the fugitive Nazi in South America. Which they did of course, they put him on trial in Israel. The story is compelling and told in detail - the 'trade-craft' elements I found fascinating. A wonderfully colourful set of characters as you might imagine. My favourite being Shallom Danny the forger. The way they worked out how to get him back from Buenos Aires to Israel - what they were attempting was completely illegal - is an object lesson in chutzpah. Perhaps the most interesting section is when they have to delay moving Eichmann and the team babysat their prisoner for a couple of weeks - this began to fuck them up badly - most were either Holocaust survivors themselves or their families had been wiped out - and being stuck in a room with one of the principal archictects of the mass-murder really begins to get to them. Especially as they have difficulty reconciling the compliant and passive old man with the monster of his repute. I'd recommend it highly. Gripping. - I.