Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 7:30pm: Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal!) with former NPR reporter Mike Shuster


At the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at New Roads School, 3131 W. Olympic Blvd., Santa MonicaImmediately west of Centinela. Free Parking. Tickets, $20.

Frederick Forsyth wrote one of the great political thrillers in recent memory, The Day of the Jackal.  Published when he was just 33 years old, The Day of the Jackal was really a quick interlude between international reporting assignments for the BBC.  He wrote The Day of the Jackal in 35 days.  Between postings.  That novel reinvented the political thriller. To call it an “instant classic” doesn’t do it justice— the BBC ranked it at 109 on its list of all time great novels.  It ranks higher than The Hound of the Baskervilles, East of Eden, Les Miserables, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Pride and Prejudice, Grapes of Wrath, The Lord of the Rings, David Copperfield, and a Harry Potter or two rank higher than The Day of the Jackal, just for context.  So 109 is still pretty good.  We are extremely honored to host the author of one of our favorites, The Day of the Jackal and The Kill List, his latest. Other Forsyth novels include The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, and so many others.

Frederick Forsyth is at heart an investigative journalist.  His books jump from newspaper headlines, or smaller stories that he feels deserve greater notice.  Even the title of his new novel reverberates with controversy from news stories a year or so ago: the President’s Kill List, which includes the names of targets deemed dangerous enough to threaten safety and security that they must be eliminated.  In the fictional Kill List, Forsyth treats us to a story about an extremist and charismatic Islamic preacher who encourages his flock, via sermons online, to take aim at the West.  Our hero, aptly named Kit Carson,becomes enraged and engaged when the fight gets personal.  With as much drive as his predecessor, The Jackal, Kit Carson launches himself into an international manhunt for a very dangerous guy.  Look out for hackers, a detour with Somali pirates, a few spies, and some great British/American teamwork.

We love Frederick Forsyth.
Since Frederick Forsyth is at heart a journalist, he appreciates a brilliant newsman when he sees, hears, and reads one. It is fair to say that few journalists know the intricacies of the Middle East as well as does Mike Shuster.  In the trenches with NPR since 1980, Shuster has covered wars in Iraq and Iran, the Intifadas in Israel, September 11, Afghanistan, Africa, and South Asia, including India and Pakistan. He is considered to be one of the most experienced Middle Eastern correspondents in the world, and has won numerous prestigious awards for his distinguished reporting. Mike recently retired from NPR, so now is a great opportunity to reconnect with his encyclopedic knowledge of every hotspot he has ever covered.

At the Ann and Jerry Moss Theater at New Roads School, 3131 W. Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. Immediately west of Centinela. Free Parking. Tickets, $20.