Day Of The Jackal

Write about a book you read that stayed with you after you closed the last page.

The Day of the Jackal (1971) is a thriller novel by English author Frederick Forsyth about a professional assassin who is contracted by the OAS, a French dissident paramilitary organisation, to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France. The OAS, as described in the novel, did exist and the book opens with an accurate depiction of the attempt to assassinate de Gaulle led by Jean-Marie Bastien-Thiry on 22 August 1962; the subsequent plot is fiction.

I was so fascinated by this novel that even if I was already familiar with the story (having watched bits of the the 1973 film with the same title that is based on the novel) and it being a very popular one among my cousins and uncles, I was still engrossed when I first read the novel back in 1994. I couldn’t put the book down as it was so fascinating and well written. I was so into it that I got and made black coffee when the lead detectives drank black coffee and at age 18 I had picked up occasional smoking and lit one whenever the detectives smokes.

Ofcourse I was even more fascinated by the life of an assassin who was a bit of a playboy and carefree socialist in his lifestyle but a cold-blooded killer when hired to do a job. I always thought, what it would be like to get jobs to do that you are hired for, maybe a few times in a year, make a lot of money so you can live off it for the rest of the days. Like say each job paid you $500k or more so you only had to do it 3 maybe 4 times a year and enjoy the rest of the time pretending to be an heir who was left a good sum of money so you can drink, enjoy the beach and date models and live in exquisite hotels all over the world.

And the mind of an assassin. How he gets ready, steals passports, forges documents, smuggles in weapons to get ready for the kill. And how no one can stand in his way. Except ofcourse the detective who won in the end. But it almost too late and luck had a big part to play in it. I love this novel and have read it several times since.

Prompt from 31 Days of Writing Prompts for May at the SitsGirls

Arsenal 0 Villarreal 0

Arsenal’s Europa League hopes were dashed as Villarreal sealed a semi-final victory that will almost certainly end the Gunners’ unbroken 25-season run of appearing in European competition. Trailing 2-1 from the first leg in Spain and knowing that victory in this tournament represented their only realistic route back into the Champions League, Mikel Arteta’s side could not find a way past the visitors’ stubborn defence. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck the post with a volley but it was a rare moment of threat in a display strangely passive for large parts.

Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe both fired efforts wide early in the second half and Aubameyang hit the post again with a downward header later in the game, but such moments were few and far between. That the defeat came at the hands of former boss Unai Emery will be especially galling for the Gunners. Emery was¬†sacked in November 2019 after 18 months in charge, ultimately leading to the appointment of Arteta. With Manchester United seeing off Roma in the other semi-final and Chelsea and Manchester City into the Champions League final, Arsenal’s loss ruins hopes of a Premier League clean sweep of European competitions this season.

More importantly for the Gunners, though, the result effectively ends their season and their European chances – a big blow to a club that, a little over two weeks ago, was one of 12 prepared to walk away from the Champions League in order to join the proposed European Super League. Arsenal have been a mainstay in European competition since the 1996-97 season, much of that time spent in the Champions League under Arsene Wenger, with the last four campaigns in the Europa League. But that run is now over, serving warning that the Gunners are arguably at their lowest point in terms of on-field performance since George Graham was sacked in February 1995.