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I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller by Terry Hayes
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I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller (original 2014; edition 2014)

by Terry Hayes

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1,4831207,310 (4)41
Member:pujaguha
Title:I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller
Authors:Terry Hayes
Info:Atria/Emily Bestler Books (2014), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 624 pages
Collections:Your library
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I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (2014)

Recently added byJamesClark127, chaos-poppy, Erina39, mcnabbp, private library, jhowell
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English (109)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
(43) I guess this is a modern day Tom Clancy sort of thing. Not the Soviets and the Americans but jihadists vs Americans. And not a nuclear disaster but a bioterrorism one instead. It seemed like just the sort of thing some crazy group would try and plan and potentially all too possible. Well, except for maybe the bit with the eyeballs. . . Anyway, a retired deep undercover federal agent is tagged to find a lone wolf planning to attack America with an engineered smallpox virus. The action takes place in a Turkish resort town peopled by corrupt officials, depraved millionaires, and eastern european organized crime thugs. It all begins to feel a bit cliche.

The story is engaging. It definitely keeps you reading although the various threads are hard to pull together at the beginning. New characters and events from the past are narrated with extreme detail and it is hard to sort out where it is all going. But it eventually all comes together - though surely with a Hollywood movie kind of feel to the whole thing.

I don't mind reading a book like this from time to time, but this one didn't feel as atmospheric or as creepy and mysterious as I would have liked. But I will give the author credit for not also making our hero fall in love with the female cop in the headscarf - I would have put money on it. ( )
  jhowell | Sep 1, 2018 |
I know that this book was an immense commercial success, selling millions of copies around the world. I also recognise that a lot of people whose opinion I respect have told me how marvellous it is. Somehow, though, I can’t quite see why.

Certainly, it came close to being so good. The underlying premise of the plot was clever, and I felt that the opening sequence worked very well. Even the principal characters seemed well constructed, but Hayes seemed to lack any understanding of plot structure. Having started the novel with a gruesome murder scene the narrator then spends an inordinately long time going through ever more convoluted reminiscences of his past life and his involvement in the fight against terror over the previous twenty years.

The story suddenly moves to Saudi Arabia, with the arrest and subsequent public execution of an ordinary man who had, apparently, chanced to offer injudicious criticism of the Royal Family. Overheard by a state informer, this led to him being arrested at work, bundled away in a van and then, after having been held in solitary confinement while urged to sign a confession to his unspecified acts of treason, he was publicly beheaded. His family are allowed to decamp to Bahrain, where his fourteen year old son seeks to become a jihadi, sworn to undermining and attacking Western decadence. I wasn’t quite sure why the acts of apparently despotic regime under the house of Saud led him to swear such undying enmity towards the infidel West. I assume my attention must have lapsed, ground down by the sheer weight of verbiage. It is not often that one can suggest that a book would be better if it had been at least three hundred pages shorter, but that seems to apply here!

By a huge coincidence, as I neared the end of the book this morning I heard a programme on BBC Radio 4 hosted by Mark Lawson (one of my favourite arts broadcasters, and one whose own novels I have heartily enjoyed and whom I sorely miss from his former slot on Front Row), which was considering the way in which the nature of television programmes has changed to encompass the merging new platforms through which we access them. The growing predomination of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon prime has led to a growing tendency to binge watch series, which in turn has led to the introduction of regular cliff-hangers. One of the people on the programme suggested that this approach was having an impact on the nature of books, and particularly thrillers. Lawson cited this particular book as an example of how people have started to binge read, which has led to novels becoming unnecessarily overlong, with the introduction with almost metronomic regularlity of a new twist, not to enhance the story but merely for the purposes of spinning the book out. One of the contributors made a very telling point about thrillers written by the likes of Graham Green and his contemporaries who were publishing during the Second world War and period of austerity that followed it, during which paper was rationed. They mastered the art of writing an absorbing thriller, but keeping it down to between two and three hundred pages. Obviously I am not advocating a maximum page limit, and some very long recent novels have been simply marvellous, whether despite or even perhaps because of their length (Donna Tartt’s The ~Goldfinch leaps particularly to mind), but I do wonder whether some writers set great store simply upon the number of pages they can fill. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Aug 11, 2018 |
I Am Pilgrim is a stylish thriller, the pace of which reminded me of the novels by Gerald Seymour.

Not a particularly fast-paced tale, I Am Pilgrim takes a little while to get into, however I'd urge readers to settle in for the ride because the finale is breath-taking.

There are so many threads to this novel, with Hayes blending a carefully constructed mix of backstory and history for each of his characters. The settings evoke both a sense of place and nostalgia, while Pilgrim himself is a man at pains to put his past behind him, while being thrust into a situation only he can resolve.

I really liked the fact that Pilgrim isn't perfect - he makes mistakes and recognises his failings, but all the time he's pushing forward, trying to track down the invisible threat.

A great read - and given that I Am Pilgrim is touted here on Goodreads as "Pilgrim #1", I'm looking forward to more. ( )
  RachelAmphlett | Jul 23, 2018 |
Totally loved this book! ( )
  jnetnoe | May 8, 2018 |
I really loved this book. 4.5 stars from me. Of course I think you have to love the thriller/suspense/spy/espionage genre to truly appreciate the story written here...and I DO!!Moreover, this is actually two stories within a story and the author does a fantastic job tying it altogether.

The hero of the book is a mysterious man. We don't know his real name, because he's gone by many. Though young, he is very adept at doing his job. He is one of the best the spy world has to offer. When we meet him, he has left the spy world due to burn out, and is now in retirement mode. But as is the case with most men of this type, he always gets pulled in for one more job.

"The new job is to find a terrorist who is known as 'the Saracen.' This man is brilliant, and his goal is to destroy the United States. He has a plan on how to do this and it is a good and frightening one. Hayes makes sure we see how good it is and how in all probability he will be successful. But he also gives us details concerning the master spy’s skill set and the reader becomes aware of how good he is too.

The book is full of details. This usually means there will be boring passages while the information is being disclosed. That is how it is done by average writers, but Hayes is no average writer. He has a talent so immense that he never writes a boring sentence or paragraph. Everything on the page is essential, and more importantly it is interesting. Boredom does not exist in Terry Hayes’ world. He is the master of non-boredom.

There is so much contained in this book. There is the basic chase between the good guy and the bad guy, and this takes up the majority of the story. There are also side plots that give the book added texture and flavor. Each of these other stories are tied in with the basic one and they all come together in the end. Terry Hayes knows readers want satisfaction and he delivers it in spades." ~ Jackie K Cooper ( )
  ppmarkgraf | May 5, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
“I Am Pilgrim” is not a film treatment bloated into book form. It’s a big, breathless tale of nonstop suspense, and it has something rarely found in big-budget movies of the same genre: the voice of a single writer instead of the patchwork nonsense created by endless collaborators and fixers.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Jun 16, 2014)
 
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Er zijn van die plekken die ik me mijn hele leven zal herinneren: het Rode Plein gegeseld door een hete wind, de slaapkamer van mijn moeder aan de verkeerde kant van 8-Mile Road in Detroit, de eindeloze tuinen van een welgesteld pleeggezin, een man die me wilde vermoorden in een verzameling ruïnes bekend als het Theater van de Dood.
Hay lugares que recordaré toda la vida: la Plaza Roja barrida por un viento cálido, el dormitorio de mi madre, ubicado en el lado malo de la carretera 8-Mile, los interminables jardines de un elegante hogar de adopción, un hombre aguardando para matarme en un grupo de ruinas conocido como el Teatro de la Muerte...
There are places I'll remember all my life - Red Square with a hot wind howling across it, my mother's bedroom on the wrong side of Eight Mile, the endless gardens of a fancy foster home, a man waiting to kill me in a group of ruins known as the Theatre of Death.
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Book description
En una plaza pública de Arabia Saudí, un hombre es ajusticiado bajo un sol abrasador y un chico de catorce años observa impotente entre la muchedumbre: es su hijo.

En un lúgubre hotel de Manhattan, aparece el cuerpo sin vida de una mujer joven y todos los indicios para identificarla han sido eliminados minuciosamente.

En un vertedero de Damasco, un destacado experto sirio en biotecnología es encontrado con evidentes signos de tortura.

En una remota región de Afganistán, el hallazgo de una sustancia bacteriológica letal en los restos de unos cooperantes internacionales desata la alarma.

Una línea invisible conecta todos estos hechos, dibujando un plan perfecto para cometer un monstruoso crimen contra la humanidad, y la única persona capaz de impedirlo es un ex agente que huye de su pasado y ha borrado su identidad: ahora sólo responde al nombre de Pilgrim, el peregrino.

Ésta es la historia de una carrera trepidante contra el tiempo y, sobre todo, contra un enemigo sofisticado e implacable.
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"The astonishing story of one man's breakneck race against time . . . and an implacable enemy. An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity. One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey. Pilgrim" --… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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