“Nobody’s ever been arrested for a murder; they have only ever been arrested for not planning it properly.”
I follow a wonderful blog called Modern Mrs. Darcy written and run by Anne Bogel. Anne also hosts one of my all time favorite Podcasts called What Should I Read Next which I HIGHLY recommend. On a recent episode of WSIRN, Anne recommended I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. I happened to be in the mood for something outside of my normal reading genres, so I decided to pick this book up as my next read. Lucky for me, I also made the wise decision to use one of my monthly Audible credits and listened to this over audio. I was beyond impressed with the narrator Christopher Ragland and this rich, attention grabbing (and holding) story. PS: The audio version was over 22 hours, so thankfully this book kept my attention. I have abandoned many shorter books in the past because of the narrator or because the story doesn’t translate well into an audio book. But luckily, I Am Pilgrim was INCREDIBLE! I almost didn’t believe the headlines that said it was “the only thriller you need to read this year.”
Sometimes when a book takes a deep dive into a characters entire backstory from their youth to adulthood I go cross-eyed with boredom and shout at the book “I don’t need this many details, get on with the story!” But in I Am Pilgrim, I loved getting to know these characters. The twisted bio-terrorism plot was intense and terrifying. It hits very close to home in the volatile world climate we live in where bio-terrorism is an all to real threat. There is one scene in particular where I found myself cringing listening to the description (in great detail) of the removal of a mans eyes. This man was injected with a medicine that paralyzed his body but his mind was fully functional allowing him to see and feel the entire procedure. Yuck, but also OMG!
I just read through some reviews of I Am Pilgrim on Good Reads and am surprised at the negative reviews. Some called it “American Propaganda” and one review said “you will love this if you are a conservative American.” I am always interested in reading the bad reviews when I loved a book, and the good reviews when I hated a book to see what the other sides opinion is. While I loved this book for its unbelievable plot and twists, some saw it is over the top and impossible to imagine. My question is whether those same folks walk into a movie thinking that if the movie isn’t realistic, then the movie wasn’t good either? Many times we read stories with extreme story lines to enjoy the fantastical potential and unreal events that don’t occur in our everyday lives. I really enjoyed the whole ride that I Am Pilgrim took me on.
Bottom line, I loved this book. I really think you will too!
A 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.