Nandakishore Varma's Reviews > I Am Pilgrim

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
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did not like it

I am abandoning this book at a 100 pages. It's just too boring and full of Islamophobia.

The first chapter is excellent - which is why I bought this book. Well, silly me, that's all I have to say.

The story starts with a horrific crime and an intriguing and mysterious detective - so I thought I had it made, leaned back in my chair, and prepared to enjoy myself. Well, the story fooled me by suddenly veering off into the history of the protagonist as a fearless operative of "The Division" - a part of the US spy network, even more efficient and bloodthirsty than the CIA. He kills traitors, and wipes out a Greek tycoon in charge of "turning" American agents, and who is in the pay of the Russians. All very stirring stuff. Soon, I was yawning.

Then Islamophobia started in right earnest, as the "hero" watched the twin towers coming down. He is full of righteous indignation and wanders the streets and contemplates shooting Moroccan drug peddlers just for the heck of it. From then onwards, the narrative is peppered with gems such as the following:


Below it, almost on the lake's edge, rose the grey bulk of the President Wilson hotel, commanding a perfect view of Lake Geneva's most popular beach. Every summer, Saudis and other rich Arabs would pay a huge premium for rooms at the front so that they could watch women sunbathing topless on the grass.


Well, we all know the lecherous Arab, panting after white women...


The driver thought I was crazy - but then his religion thinks stoning a woman to death for adultery is reasonable, so I figured we were about even.


The Muslim, crazy by definition.

---------------------------

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have had it. Maybe it gets better later on, but I don't think I will be able to stomach this white supremacist trash any more without turning into a terrorist myself.

And the writing is bad to boot.
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Reading Progress

May 10, 2016 – Started Reading
May 10, 2016 – Shelved
May 11, 2016 –
page 70
7.68%
May 11, 2016 –
page 70
7.68% "Getting bored with the writing, pissed off with the protagonist and angry with the Orientalist attitude all within the first hundred pages of a 900+ page book does not augur well for the future, methinks..."
May 13, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by Aqiul (new)

Aqiul Colombowala Well that is disappointing. The plot sounded really good and I was almost ready to read it post your review.

Thank you for the review.


Sookie Since you didn't get to the part where the character (you know who) goes on and on and on about the past.
It does get better after a third of the book. But that would require copious amount of patience or you should be stranded in a tiny airport that doesn't have bookstore and your gadgets have ran out battery. :)


Nandakishore Varma Aqiul wrote: "Well that is disappointing. The plot sounded really good and I was almost ready to read it post your review.

Thank you for the review."


Maybe the story gets better later on, as I said. But I can't stand the attitude.


Nandakishore Varma Sookie wrote: "Since you didn't get to the part where the character (you know who) goes on and on and on about the past.
It does get better after a third of the book. But that would require copious amount of pat..."


Now I know what happened, and the reason behind the 3 stars. ;)


Abubakar Mehdi It does get better after 200-300 pages, but the Islamophobia never ends, not till the very last page. As far as the plot is concerned, I enjoyed it. And now that you have said it, I guess I should take off one star from my review too.


Nandakishore Varma Abubakar wrote: "It does get better after 200-300 pages, but the Islamophobia never ends, not till the very last page. As far as the plot is concerned, I enjoyed it. And now that you have said it, I guess I should ..."

I can't stand hatred of any ethnic or religious group, so I would find it difficult to enjoy. I had the same problem with thrillers written during the cold war era, with its hatred towards Russia and East Europe.


Sookie Nandakishore wrote: "Sookie wrote: "Since you didn't get to the part where the character (you know who) goes on and on and on about the past.
It does get better after a third of the book. But that would require copiou..."


Yeah, whattodooo. It was desperate times. Should knock off a star now. Thanks for this review :)


message 8: by Aqiul (new)

Aqiul Colombowala Nandakishore wrote: "Aqiul wrote: "Well that is disappointing. The plot sounded really good and I was almost ready to read it post your review.

Thank you for the review."

Maybe the story gets better later on, as I sa..."


Yeah the attitude of the book is what worries me. It's fine to paint a picture when it concerns the plot but random hate of an ethnic group is something I can't stand.


message 9: by Simone (new) - added it

Simone All Muslims AND women are idiots in this book. I am giving up on it half way through, can't tolerate any more of this drivel


Nandakishore Varma Simone wrote: "All Muslims AND women are idiots in this book. I am giving up on it half way through, can't tolerate any more of this drivel"

Good for you. I felt physically sick after 100 pages.


message 11: by Jibran (new) - added it

Jibran American literature and cinema have served the empire for ages. These great secret agents, selfless, righteous, a paragon of morality, are going about in the world to bring peace and freedom, putting right all the wrongs done by the forces of darkness and. It's a very familiar template.


Nandakishore Varma Jibran wrote: "American literature and cinema have served the empire for ages. These great secret agents, selfless, righteous, a paragon of morality, are going about in the world to bring peace and freedom, putti..."

The right-wing myth - Rambo is the greatest example.


Emily Rose I definitely agree, I found it hard to digest the racial hatred shown in this novel.


message 14: by Fuzaila (new) - added it

Fuzaila Great review! I am now looking skeptically at all those 5 star reviews o.O


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