Sheila's Reviews > I Am Pilgrim

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
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it was amazing
bookshelves: cultural, current_issues, mystery, relationships, suspense

Author Terry Hayes has created a library of stories and character with this beautifully woven world-spanning mystery. Whole civilizations are at stake, and wholly real antagonists strive for large and small gains. Within it all, a man of mystery flees his past in search of self, only to find freedom is a concept as tenuous as self-determination.

One first-person narrator carries the tale. He’s a man of mystery, a man who has done great and gruesome deeds for his country, and this novel doesn’t gloss over the pain of gunshot, torture or terror. But the writing is spare and powerful, with no gloating over human mystery.

At first introduction, he’s solving a crime scene, creating a new antagonist from clues, like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Soon the character he’s made is real, and the scene is set to believe a wealth of other third-person tales, told through his investigation. These stories never feel like unnecessary digressions, even as they multiply; they provide real insights into the worlds and desires of the people this pilgrim meets – which is what I meant by saying I Am Pilgrim contains a library of stories.

Every detail matters here. Every insight waits to be proven or shattered. Every coincidence bears its own consequence with unrelenting strength. And mistakes are just as deeply consequential as accidental successes, with just the right amount of foreshadowing to make it all seem real.

I Am Pilgrim is a long novel because it has to be, not because the writer set out to write long. It’s as tightly woven as a terrorist plot, as perfectly soluble as a Sherlock Holmes mystery, and as filled with world-spanning characters and insights as Lawrence of Arabia. It deserves all the accolades and bookstore displays it’s received. And I love it.

Disclosure: I delayed reading it because it was long. Now I’m wondering why I waited so long. I love this book.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 10, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 22, 2015 – Shelved
July 22, 2015 – Shelved as: current_issues
July 22, 2015 – Shelved as: cultural
July 22, 2015 – Shelved as: mystery
July 22, 2015 – Shelved as: relationships
July 22, 2015 – Shelved as: suspense

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