- Frederick Forsyth
name = Frederick Forsyth
imagesize = 200px
birthdate = birth date and age|1938|8|25
birthplace = Ashford,
occupation = Novelist
nationality = British
period = 1969 - present
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" and recently " The Afghan".
The son of a
furrier, Forsyth was born in Ashford, Kent. He was educated at Tonbridge Schooland later attended the University of Granadain Spaincite web
url = http://www.biblio.com/authors/27/Frederick_Forsyth_Biography.html
title = Frederick Forsyth
accessdate = 2007-12-01
publisher = Biblio.com] . He became one of the youngest pilots in the
Royal Air Force, at the age of 19, where he served till 1958. Becoming a journalist, he joined Reutersin 1961 and later the BBCin 1965, where he served as an assistant diplomatic correspondent. From July to September 1967, he served as a correspondent covering the Nigerian Civil Warbetween the region of Biafraand Nigeria. He left the BBC in 1968 after controversy arose over his alleged bias towards the Biafran cause and accusations that he falsified segments of his reports. Returning to Biafra as a freelance reporter, Forsyth wrote his first book, " The Biafra Story" in 1969 .
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. It was later made into a film of 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 certain ex-Nazi SS officer in modern Germany. The reporter discovers him via the diary of a Jewish Holocaust survivor who committed suicide earlier, but he is being shielded by an organization that protects ex-Nazis, called ODESSA. Later, the reporter discovers that this same SS officer murdered a German Army officer during World War II for striking him after refusing to let SS soldiers take the place of his own wounded men. This book was later made into a movie with the same name, starring Jon Voight, 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", in which a British mining executive hires a group of mercenaries to overthrow the government of an
Africancountry so that he can install a puppet regime that will allow him cheap access to its substantial mineral wealth. This book was also adapted to film, in 1981, starring Christopher Walkenand Tom Berenger.
The Shepherd" was an illustrated novellapublished in 1975. It tells of a nightmare journey by a RAF pilot while flying home for Christmas in the late 1950s. His attempts to find a rational explanation for his eventual rescue prove as troublesome as his experience. Following this came " The Devil's Alternative" in 1979, which was set in 1982. In this book, the Soviet Unionfaces a disastrous grain harvest and Ukrainian freedom fighters. A Politburo faction fight ensues. In the end, a Norwegian oil tankerbuilt in Japan, a Russian airliner hijacked to West Berlinand various governments find themselves involved.
In 1982, "
No Comebacks", a collection of ten short stories, was published. Some of these stories had been written earlier. Many were set in the Republic of Irelandwhere Forsyth was living at the time. One of them, " There Are No Snakes In Ireland", won him 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 Unionattempting to plant a nuclear bombnear an American airbasein the UK, intending to influence the upcoming British electionsand lead to the election of an anti- NATO, anti-American, anti-nuclear, pro-soviet Labour government. "The Fourth Protocol" was later filmed, starring Pierce Brosnanand Michael Caine, in 1987. All the political content was removed from the film, 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 the career of British secret agent Sam McCready. At the start of the book, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State (PUSS) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office requires the Chief of the SIS to push Sam into early retirement. The four stories are presented to a grievance committee in an attempt to allow Sam to stay on active duty with the SIS.
In 1994, Forsyth published "
The Fist of God", about the first Gulf War. Next, in 1996, he published "Icon", about the rise of fasciststo 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 forcessoldiers, fighter pilots, you name it, and I got to think, could I actually write about the human heart?" [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0004/15/lklw.00.html] 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 "Avenger", published in September 2003, about a
Canadian billionairewho hires a Vietnam veteranto bring his grandson's killer to the US.
His latest book, "
The Afghan", published in August 2006, is an indirect sequel to " The Fist of God". Set in the very near future, the threat of a catastrophic assault on the West, discovered on a senior al-Qaeda member's computer, compels the leaders of the U.S. and the UK to attempt a desperate gambit—to substitute a seasoned British operative, retired Col. Mike Martin (of " The Fist of God"), for an Afghan Taliban commander being held prisoner at Guantánamo Bay. The plot of the novel shows familiarity with terrorist methodology, counter-surveillancetechniques and grandiose thinking as evidenced in The Bojinka Plot.
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 runningand identity theft. His novels read like investigative journalismin fictional guise. His moral vision is a harsh one: the world is made up of predators and prey, and only the strong survive.
Forsyth's novels typically show the ways in which spies, gangsters, assassins, mercenaries, diplomats, business leaders and politicians go about their business behind-the-scenes; the sort of things that the average reader would not suspect while reading a simple headline. The Jackal does not just go out and shoot at Charles de Gaulle: he does meticulous research on the man at the library of the
British Museum; obtains papers for his false identities; travels around Paristo find a good location for a sniper's nest; and buys and tests his weapons.
Also a subtle twist at the end of the novel can reveal that a lot more was going on than the reader initially suspected: Cat Shannon, the central figure of "The Dogs of War", turns out to have had his own agenda all the time; Adam Munro of "The Devil's Alternative" finds out that he was not a player but a pawn to people in high places; in "The Odessa File", the reporter's true motivation is revealed at the end, and a number of events in "Icon" turn out to have been committed by people other than those who the reader had been led to suppose.
Forsyth's novels also feature famous personalities and political leaders as characters — the "Day of the Jackal" features the French president Charles de Gaulle and his interior minister,
Roger Frey, who heads the government search for the assassin — the opening chapter is based on an actual attempt by the OAS to kill de Gaulle. The "Odessa File" features the real-life Nazimurderer Edward Roschmannand the Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal. The "Fourth Protocol" and "Icon" involve several chapters indirectly featuring former British prime minister Margaret Thatcherand former U.S. president George H. W. Bush. Although unnamed or of fictional identity, the leader of the Soviet Union is portrayed as the lead antagonist in several novels. "The Negotiator" involves a fictional U.S. president loosely based on the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, Michael DukakisFact|date=December 2007.
Issues raised by his work
His research has caused headaches for governments. In "The Day of the Jackal", he describes a technique used by a would-be assassin to obtain a new
passport. The assassin visits a church, and looks for a tombstoneof 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 coffinof a dead IRA member. The microphonerecords 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.
Intriguingly, Forsyth's novels have had echoes in reality in recent years. In 2004, a group of British-led alleged
mercenarieswere arrested in Zimbabweallegedly 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 military 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.
Furthermore, in "The Fist of God," set during the
First Gulf War, a memorandum to the then United States Secretary of State James Bakerfrom The Pentagonstrongly advises against any invasion of Iraq. The reasons for this are stated to be that without the strength of the police stateunder Saddam Hussein, fractures would begin to appear between 'three nations' of Iraq, leading to an undesirable and almost unmanagable situation for the American government.
Several recent assassins have been associated with "Day of the Jackal", some with more reason than others. Terrorist
Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, or "Carlos the Jackal", received his moniker because the novel was found in what was thought to be his bag. Yigal Amirused the novel while planning his assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabinin 1995, while Vladimir Arutinian, who attempted to kill US President George W. Bushduring his 2005 visit to the country of Georgia, was also found to be an avid reader of the novel (although the actual methods employed were different from the novel's).
Yet another story Forsyth had written that has striking parallels with events that happened later is "The Negotiator", written two years before the assassination of former Prime Minister of India
Rajiv Gandhi. In that novel, Simon Cormack, the kidnapped son of the American President, is finally released halfway through the story. As he is released by his captors and makes his way towards his dear ones, he is blown into pieces in a remotely triggered blast. Upon investigation it is revealed that explosive material containing RDXwas planted in his belt unbeknownst to him during his capture and the said materials were exploded via remote control. This was the first instance in thriller novel history in which a human being was killed by a bomb tied to his own body.
A couple of years later, in the year 1991, former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a bomb blast. Investigations later revealed that a "suicide bomber" or a "human bomb" was used to assassinate him. A female suicide assassin had a belt-bomb tied around her waist which she herself triggered as soon as she came within an arm's length of her target, Gandhi. It was also revealed that RDX was the explosive material used in the belt-bomb. The similarities were highlighted by newspapers across India.
Years before the
September 11 attacks, Forsyth had planned to write a novel about terroriststrikes. He later dropped the idea, fearing that real terrorists would try to mimic the same. After the attacks, the author revealed the plot of the novel he never wrote: terrorists hijack a civilian airliner and ram the plane into their intended targets.
Forsyth is a
EuroscepticConservative. In 2003, he was awarded the One of Us Award from the Conservative Way Forwardgroup 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 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 also a strong supporter of the
British monarchy. In his book "Icon", he recommended a constitutional monarchyas a solution to Russia's political problems following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
He is an occasional radio broadcaster on political issues, and has also written for newspapers throughout his career, including a weekly page in the "
Daily Express". He is Patron of Better Off Out, an organisation calling for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.
In August 2006, Forsyth appeared on the
ITVgameshow "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" to raise funds for charity.
February 8, 2007, Forsyth appeared on BBC's political panel show "Question Time". On it, he expressed scepticism on the subject of anthropogenic climate change. On March 26, 2008, he also appeared on BBC's The One Show.
June 17, 2008, Forsyth was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 LiveMidday News in relation to the restoration of the Military Covenant. During the interview he referred to Gordon Brownas a numpty.
List of bestselling novels in the United States
* [http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,457074,00.html "They Take The Mind, and What Emerges is Just Tapioca Pudding"] : ["Spiegel" interview with F. Forsyth] .
* [http://www.forsyth.republika.pl/index.html "About Frederick Forsyth:"] : [Unofficial polish fansite] .
NAME= Forsyth, Frederick
SHORT DESCRIPTION= English novelist
DATE OF BIRTH= 1938-8-25
PLACE OF BIRTH= Ashford,
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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Frederick Forsyth — CBE (* 25. August 1938 in Ashford, Kent, England) ist ein britischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Beruf 1.1 Militärzeit 1.2 Journalist 1.3 … Deutsch Wikipedia
Frederick Forsyth — Nacimiento 25 de agosto de 1938 (73 años) Ashford, Inglaterra, Reino Unido Ocupación … Wikipedia Español
Frederick Forsyth — (* Ashford, Kent, Gran Bretaña 25 de agosto 1938 ) es un escritor británico. Es más conocido por novelas de suspenso como The Day of the Jackal (El día del Chacal), The Dogs of War (Los perros de la guerra), The Odessa File (El expediente Odessa) … Enciclopedia Universal
Frederick Forsyth — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Forsyth. Frederick Forsyth Activités romancier Naissance 25 août 1938 Genres roman policier … Wikipédia en Français
Frederick Forsyth — ➡ Forsyth (II) * * * … Universalium
Frederick Forsyth Pardee — (December 29 1866 ndash; February 4 1927) was an Ontario barrister and political figure. He represented Lambton West in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1898 to 1902 as a Liberal member and in the Canadian House of Commons from 1905 to… … Wikipedia
Forsyth (surname) — Forsyth is a Scottish surname. It may refer to:People* Adam Forsyth Australian Olympic boxer (b. 1981) * Alex Forsyth (footballer), Scottish footballer * Alex Forsyth (hockey), an ice hockey player in the National Hockey League * Amanda Forsyth,… … Wikipedia
Forsyth — heißen die Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Forsyth (Georgia) Forsyth (Illinois) Forsyth (Missouri) Forsyth (Montana) Forsyth Township (Marquette County, Michigan) sowie die Countys Forsyth County (Georgia) Forsyth County (North Carolina) und in… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Frederick (Vorname) — Frederick ist ein männlicher Vorname. Er ist das englische Pendant zu Friedrich oder Friederich, wird in dieser oder sprachlich leicht angepasster Form aber auch in nicht englischsprachigen Gebieten verwendet. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Frederick — hace referencia a: Frederick Delius, compositor inglés; Frederick Forsyth, escritor británico; Frederick Gowland Hopkins, bioquímico británico, premio Nobel de Medicina en 1929; Frederick Grant Banting, médico canadiense, premio Nobel de Medicina … Wikipedia Español