Emily May’s review of I Am Pilgrim > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Lilia (new)

Lilia Surprised you haven't got to this yet? It's getting old :P


message 2: by Emily May (new)

Emily May Only piqued my curiosity after seeing it on Goodreads' underrated books post. Still not sure it's for me, but my library has a copy so we shall see... :)


Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V. Wow, I was really excited to read this but after reading your review? Not so much. I really can't stand the blanket bias of an entire people. In real life or in fiction.


message 4: by shanghao (new)

shanghao You managed further than I did, and I applaud you for writing the review. Voiced out all the issues I had with it perfectly.


message 5: by Shannon (new)

Shannon This almost sounds like a slightly watered down copy of those vile John Ringo books (Paladin of the Shadows series, I think). If they're even half as bad you should probably get a medal for making it through half of the story.


message 6: by Linda (new)

Linda This is my favorite thriller ever! To bad you didn't finish it because it is so well thought out and all the stories come together in the end. I especially loved the parts about the Saracen, what did you think of him?


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin How disgusting, I'll definitely be putting this one on my "do not read" list.


message 8: by Karen (new)

Karen WOW thank you for letting people know about this! that sounds like the worst.


message 9: by Selina (new)

Selina Thank you so much for trying to clear misunderstandings this book interprets of Islam within the characters. I really appreciate it. This will be one I will definitely be sure to avoid. Once again, thank you very very much for supporting us, you're awesome.


message 10: by Lisa (new)

Lisa "BUT Pilgrim's self-righteous superiority as he marches through this Muslim country is embarrassing."

This. Ugh. I'm so glad I didn't pick this up, considering all the hype it got. Thank you Emily for always pointing out these kind of things.


message 11: by Cathy (new)

Cathy I started this book back in March when EVERYONE recommended it to me and insisted that I read it. I'm also about halfway through and I haven't read any chapters since April, choosing instead to reread Harry Potter. I should probably DNF as well, but for some reason I still can't bring myself to do it. Why must I hate giving up on books so much?


message 12: by Sharon (new)

Sharon I agree with you 100%. I read this for a book club and I hated every single second of it. Leaving all the misogyny and islamophobia aside, his entire experience is based on coincidence, not intelligence or skill.


message 13: by Shannon (new)

Shannon How could a book like this end up with such a high average rating after almost 50,000 ratings? It sounds bad enough that I'd at least expect the rating in the threes.


message 14: by Sharon (new)

Sharon I just remembered one of the lines that made me heave, I had to go recheck my own gigantic rant of a review - "The emails acknowledged donations to an orphanage in the Gaza Strip, and my first reaction was to ask why - if [name] really wanted to help kids - she didn't give to Unicef" - because, y'know, screw those Gaza kids...


message 15: by DeB (new)

DeB MaRtEnS Excellent review, Emily May. I, too, have seen the accolades. I am Canadian and we are welcoming Syrian (Muslim) refugees. It seems that Prachett has replaced the old Cold War baddies at their stereotypical worst with Saudi Muslims, to reignite the old assassin themes which were hot bestsellers in the past like The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth. The terrible difficulty with this black and white thinking is in how it validates a belief. Like "Westerners are all evil infidels because they do not follow the Word of Allah." Yet moderate Muslims and Christians have lived together peacefully for centuries in many places, until outside political aggression forced them to separate. Thanks to you, I won't be reading this. Orhan's Inheritance would be a better book to begin understanding the mess created after WWI and why the West is dealing with the fallout today.


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan Funny, I read this two summers ago and loved it. I don't remember it as being anti-Muslim which I'm usually pretty sensitive to (I think!). Interesting take on the book - I know I couldn't put it down, but made me think I wasn't reading very critically.


message 17: by Eman (new)

Eman Great review,as usual.Being a Muslim,I appreciate it even more.


message 18: by Katrina (new)

Katrina This is exactly EXACTLY how I felt about this story. (FYI, I did stick it out through all eleventy million pages, and I can assure you, it does not get better.) I can't for the life of me understand how this keeps getting hyped as such an amazing book.


message 19: by Dannii (new)

Dannii Elle Oh no. I literally just bought this :( Great review


message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary I love this review so much, thank you


Bgurl (don't h8 me cuz I'm honestful) "I picked up I Am Pilgrim after seeing it on Goodreads' 16 Underrated Books That Deserve Your Attention post."

Well... there was your first mistake, Emily. lol.. JK. Love this review. Like, a lot!


message 22: by Laura (new)

Laura I usually stop if the main characters are xxxphobic for no good reason. Homophobic, mysoginistic and Islamophobic as well. Glad you stopped when you did.


message 23: by Jae (new)

Jae Weaver I definitely agree with you about how the Islamophobia in this book is disgusting and wrong, but I have to disagree with what was said about the Christian Bible. It does indeed say that adulterers should be stoned in Leviticus, but you are neglecting the New Testament. In John 8:1-11, the Pharisees bring a woman who has comitted adultery to Jesus and ask him what should be done to her, reminding him that the law states she should be stoned. Jesus said, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8:7). Slowly, the Pharisees left one by one until only Jesus remained. He told the woman to "Go and sin no more". The New Testament teaches forgiveness and love towards others, not contempt and hostility :)


message 24: by Aya (last edited May 26, 2016 06:02PM) (new)

Aya Hamza Emily, this review is great, not because I'm a Muslim, but because you're absolutely neutral in this situation. I mean.. if that review was from me, everyone would say that it was biased. But from you, I feel it is so honest!

Besides, who can not feel sorry for what happened in 9/11?
No one considers himself as a HUMAN can accept what happened to those innocent people!

And seems like you read a lot about religions to make this comparison, and that's amazing!


message 25: by Korinne (new)

Korinne what page are you on in The Last Star?


message 26: by Emily May (new)

Emily May Jae wrote: "I definitely agree with you about how the Islamophobia in this book is disgusting and wrong, but I have to disagree with what was said about the Christian Bible. It does indeed say that adulterers ..."

Exactly. The religious texts of both religions are contradictory on so many issues. The Hadiths is considered secondary to the Qu'ran and yet the passage about stoning is cited so often.


message 27: by Emily May (new)

Emily May Korinne wrote: "what page are you on in The Last Star?"

Just finishing up now - it's been a disappointing read :(


message 28: by Justine (new)

Justine I'm a born-again christian Emily, and I'd just like to clarify that the bible doesn't want adulterers to be put to death; in fact if you read the new testament, most of the old testament laws (such as what you've mentioned), have been revised and changed by Christ and the apostles. Adulterers who genuinely repent are always accepted by Christ and God doesn't want them to die for what they did.

But yeah, that's just to clarify. I'm not really shoving my beliegs on you lol. I respect your thiughts :)


message 29: by Justine (new)

Justine Beliefs* thoughts*


message 30: by Amy (new)

Amy Gary Atheists bringing bible knowledge to the game always gets a


message 31: by Emily May (new)

Emily May Michael Justine wrote: "I'm a born-again christian Emily, and I'd just like to clarify that the bible doesn't want adulterers to be put to death; in fact if you read the new testament, most of the old testament laws (such..."

We already discussed this above. I was simply using an example of how you can find quotes from both religious texts about being put to death - as you've demonstrated, it clearly does not speak for most modern interpretations of religion. I don't think most Christians believe adulterers should be put to death, just as most Muslims don't believe it either.


message 32: by Emily May (new)

Emily May I also really hated the emphasis on "women" being put to death in the book. Probably because the author read a few tabloids and associated Islam with poor women's rights, even though the Islamic texts include both men and women equally.


Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) A lot of the sexism in major religions comes from the fact that the societies in which they "founded" or whatever you want to say - were mostly patriarchal and it was just accepted fact for those people. A lot of the rules in the old testament are not in practice anymore because things changed with the coming of Jesus, and adultery is one of them (there's a passage in which the Religious authorities want to stone a woman to death for adultery and Jesus becomes angry at them because none of them are perfect so why should they be judging? It is also noted that the person who found the empty tomb was a woman, and, I believe, also formerly a prostitute).


message 34: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Good lord you are everywhere


message 35: by Justine (new)

Justine @ emily I see. Well anyway, great review! Your reviews are always insightful to me :)


Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) Jonathan wrote: "Good lord you are everywhere"

Her? or someone else?


message 37: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Her


message 38: by Julia (new)

Julia Carlton That's a bombing of a review :v really amazing


message 39: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Wow I really loved this book actually! I'm so sorry you didn't like it yourself


message 40: by Yasir (new)

Yasir Shaw How one can talk about law and what is wrong and what's right in islam if one doesn't really know islam , I'm curious (:


message 41: by Toby (new)

Toby Kynaston YE NICE ONE M8!!!!!


Mel (Epic Reading) Oh my. Thank you from saving me from having to throw this book at a wall (and I believe destroying books is horrible). The small snippets you shared are enough to tell me to steer clear of this rhetoric.


message 43: by Turkan (new)

Turkan Taskin Hi Emily. I really liked your review; I haven't read I am Pilgrim, but I'm glad you pointed out that the laws prohibiting women from driving etc in Saudi Arabia are not Islamic at all, and that the Qur'an doesn't discriminate between men and women in terms of punishment. A lot of people think the opposite :(


message 44: by Anna (new)

Anna Too bad it was that awful, it looked pretty good. So glad I saw your review before I added it to any lists. Fantastic, as always!


message 45: by Leena (new)

Leena Dbouk :l :l how awful...


message 46: by The Story Girl (new)

The Story Girl Just wanted to say that I appreciate the effort you put into your reviews, and the fact that you are so well-informed on Islam! It's so refreshing to see people NOT give into the stereotypes about it for once, so thank you for that!


message 47: by Hélène (new)

Hélène finally someone who agrees with me on this! I liked the beginning and I liked the ending. But it wasn't captivating and I had some serious issues with it :D


Lyd's Archive (7/'15 to 6/'18) Turkan wrote: "Hi Emily. I really liked your review; I haven't read I am Pilgrim, but I'm glad you pointed out that the laws prohibiting women from driving etc in Saudi Arabia are not Islamic at all, and that the..."

The supposedly Christian laws against LGBT people are similar. The Bible only says you're not supposed to have sexual relations with someone you're not married to or someone of the same gender and neither is considered any "worse." As for the bathroom debacle, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible about transgender people and I think the main motivation for this sort of thing is irrational fear.


message 49: by Jake (new)

Jake Haynes Your review to be honest, has put it completely into perspective. I've read 450 pages of this book and I enjoyed it to the 200-250 mark, but something was missing and you are right, it's boring and you cannot connect with pilgrim. He's just a boring unfortunate kid who was lucky enough to come into the skills he had. I've seen you on lots of book reviews on here and to be honest, every single book I read, I pretty much agree with what you say, which is strange in a way haha


message 50: by Des (new)

Des Thanks Em, I have seen this on the shelves every time I go book hunting and wondering if it's worth it, so you've just saved me time and money! :)


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