In the early 1970s, I read The Day of the Jackal, and it changed my reading habits forever (in a good wayJ). It probably remains my favorite novel by Fredric Forsyth, although The Dogs of War and The Odessa File rank right up there…
I had no idea that Forsyth’s tales of espionage and intrigue were based on real-life exploits, nor did I expect to ever be able to read his story and have it be as entertaining as his novels. But, trust me, his memoir The Outsider is an amazing and entertaining tale of his life and exploits that contributed to his ability to write the BEST espionage stories.
In The Outsider, Forsyth takes us back to his childhood, into the war years, leading to the way he became the RAF’s youngest ever pilot (age 19). Subsequent stories recount being strafed by a MiG during the Nigerian civil war, smuggling packages between Germanys (back when there were two), and experiencing “situations” with the Stasi (they arrested him), the IRA, and various political eruptions in third world countries.
Through it all, Forsyth must have kept a journal, or else he has an amazing memory…and he is a consummate storyteller, making The Outsider a memoir that is worthy of “the grand master of international suspense.”
I requested an advance copy of this book to review, and I appreciate NetGalley for providing it (in exchange for my review), although the file was corrupted and I ended up getting the hardback – well worth it, it was a fun read!!! (Also glad to have gotten the hardback as it has GREAT photos from the early years of WWII to the present day. Four enthusiastic stars!