Revisiting The Past

I’ve mentioned on the podcast that The Day Of The Jackal is one of my favourite books. It’s a gripping thriller, where fact mixes with fiction in a riveting page-turner, as Frederick Forsyth turns his journalistic eye with fantastic detail to a tale that still holds up well today. The story of a manhunt of a nameless assassin is one that I can still see echoes of in modern thrillers today. As you can see above, my copy is a rather dog-eared and well-loved, one that I remember discovering at a school fete a rather long time ago.

Forsyth has a new novel out at the end of September, The Kill List, and from the synopsis it sounds like something I’ll devour. It’s another manhunt, this time with a modern twist. So in ‘preparation’ for the new book, I decided to return to Forsyth’s earlier works, re-reading both Day of the Jackal and also The Odessa File.

I did this without giving it much thought; it was all rather instinctive as I stood before the bookshelves, but I soon began to wonder why I’d elected to do this. None of the books mentioned are linked in any way, in character or plot, so not revisiting the earlier books would not have impacted on reading The Kill List.

“In doing so, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy them.”

So why do this? Partly, I did this as they are enjoyable works and with The Odessa File, one that I haven’t read in around ten or fifteen years. It also feels like a way of re-connecting with Forsyth’s very analytical style, with his highly realised yet clinical way of writing. In doing so, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy them.

Is this something you all do? Do you revisit past works by authors when they have a new title out? If so, why?


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