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I Am Pilgrim

November 15, 2014

I haven’t reviewed a book in a LONG time. I’ve not particularly been reading books that I’d want to review… Thrillers, chicklit etc that I don’t think need a mention.

And then I discovered I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes.

I could summarize the book but it’d be so… little. It is about espionage, the pre 9/11 and a spy and a terrorist. It sounds so banal and everyday, doesn’t it?

It is the magic of Hayes’ writing that turns this plot into magic. The loner who is a spy, who is quite imperfect. The winding path of the plot that takes you through several elements, which are all enjoyable independently and makes you wonder what relevance they could possibly have for the plot. Hell, you don’t see the plot till you are smack in the middle of it.

There is a sense of urgency, wonder and anticipation that builds beautifully. I am not particularly a fan of the ending. It was a little too abrupt and… philosophical. It would be challenging to find a fitting ending for the other hero of the book, I guess. But I wish it was better.

I like the way Hayes’ build the main character, without really describing him straight out. I am trying to recall if the book was narrated in first person because that is how it felt. He doesn’t come out and say outright “I am ex-spy, friends with a cop who I met xx number of years ago at this particular place. I am a loner with a drug habit and this has helped me.” But he lets you discover him, like you would discover a normal person and it is up to you to like him or hate him.

Not since John Le Carre and Len Deighton have I found such an imperfect hero that you would actually like to hear more about.

Looking forward to the next book, because I am pretty sure there is going to be one.

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