Carol's Reviews > I Am Pilgrim

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
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it was amazing
bookshelves: debut

"Who is this guy, Terry Hayes?", I asked myself when I was 200 pages in to the 600+ page I Am Pilgrim I was so hooked I had to read a bio of the author and you might want to also.

I Am Pilgrim is a big book, in more ways than one. It's 600+ pages requires a time commitment but reads quite quickly. I think publishers spoil us with the neat packaged books of 340 pages so when we get something longer, it scares us off. Don't let the length of this one bother you. I think this debut is going to be a word of mouth huge best seller this summer.

I Am Pilgrim has got it all. It starts off with an expertly described ghastly murder scene of a young woman found dead in a bath of acid in a dingy hotel called The Eastside Inn. I couldn't believe where this beginning took me. Hayes has managed to weave a plot that includes the beheading of a man in a Saudi Arabian public square, an adopted child who becomes an agent in an organization that doesn't exist, a NY city hero cop, a boy with Downs Syndrome, the death of a wealthy playboy, religion, love, honor, and a terrorist plot that will eradicate millions in the US and that's only the half of it. He pulls this off in a hair raising adventure all over the Mideast and back which at times pushes the limits but doesn't spoil the ride. Just thank heavens someone's on our side. Be warned some of the scenes of murder and torture are gruesome. I found myself cringing at the least and skipping over some the worst.

I Am Pilgrim is one of the best spy thrillers I've read in some time. Scary for certain, plausible, I'd love to have a scientist chime in. The Film rights are still up in the air but I can see it.

Take my word for it - get it - read it. It's that good!
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Quotes Carol Liked

Terry Hayes
“I was angry about injustice--about the uncaring way the world works. I knew a lot of ordinary people had died that day, not because of fire or falling masonry but because of their compassion. It was their desperate attempts to save other human being--often total strangers--that ended up costing them their own lives.”
Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim

Terry Hayes
“As a Turkish proverb says--it was going to be like digging a well with a needle.”
Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim

Terry Hayes
If Only--but it has been my unfortunate experience that you can't rely on divine intervention and that fate favors the bad as often as the good.”
Terry Hayes, I Am Pilgrim


Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 18, 2014 – Finished Reading
June 19, 2014 – Shelved
June 19, 2014 – Shelved as: debut

Comments Showing 1-34 of 34 (34 new)

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Kats This is the book I read some time before Christmas and very quickly decided I was going to take it to Vermont for our Yankee Swap at Booktopia.....
Well, my suitcase was so full once I packed all the "essentials" that I had to leave this doorstop home and go for a slim book instead. Glad you enjoyed it, it's a very thrilling read.
I mentioned it to Ann at Booktopia, but she had not heard of it - glad it's getting some buzz now. It was big in the UK last summer.


Carol Kats wrote: "This is the book I read some time before Christmas and very quickly decided I was going to take it to Vermont for our Yankee Swap at Booktopia.....
Well, my suitcase was so full once I packed all ..."


I would have been thrilled to get it. I had heard of it way before it was released and had hoped to read it prior to pub but put it off due to size. No problem there-as I said it reads quickly.
Did you comment on it?


message 3: by Mmars (new) - added it

Mmars You make me want to read this, Carol, but I think it's out of my reading comfort zone. I'm going to add it to my "not the usual" list. You never know........


Carol Mmars wrote: "You make me want to read this, Carol, but I think it's out of my reading comfort zone. I'm going to add it to my "not the usual" list. You never know........"
IF you mean due to the brutality of it, I'd agree that you might not want to read it. It's not always easy to skim over those parts.


message 5: by Alejandro (new)

Alejandro Great to know that this book is so good! :)


Gail Great review, as ever, Carol. Can't wait to read it


message 7: by Mmars (new) - added it

Mmars Well, yes, brutality. But moreso, I get overwhelmed by too much stuff going on in a book.


Karen Wow! Loved your review Carol!!!! Now I have to read it too :)


Sarah If you give it 5 stars, I have to read it soon.


Carol Karen and Sarah - those that know me know I love a good thriller, that I'm an optimistic star giver and that I'll never mind if you disagree with me.


message 11: by Denise (new) - added it

Denise i don't normally read spy thrillers, but your review makes me consider this one!


Carol Denise wrote: "i don't normally read spy thrillers, but your review makes me consider this one!"
Let me know if you do Denise.


Trish Carol, my review is up. You will wonder about the star count, perhaps. I liked it, but generally speaking, I prefer my thrillers more streamlined. He does an astonishing amount of storytelling & I liked that he seemed to enjoy the telling so much.


Celeste Fantastic review. I loved this book. Do you have any recommendations for what to read once pilgrim has ruined you for all other books?


Carol Celeste wrote: "Fantastic review. I loved this book. Do you have any recommendations for what to read once pilgrim has ruined you for all other books? "

Good question Celeste. I will think about this and get back to you.


message 16: by Gail (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gail I absolutely loved this book too, based on your review Carol. One of my top ten that's for sure. Just recommended it to my brother and he said it's the best book he's ever read. Brilliant


Carol Gail wrote: "I absolutely loved this book too, based on your review Carol. One of my top ten that's for sure. Just recommended it to my brother and he said it's the best book he's ever read. Brilliant"

Good to hear. Thanks for letting me know Gail.


Celeste Celeste wrote: "Fantastic review. I loved this book. Do you have any recommendations for what to read once pilgrim has ruined you for all other books? "

Thank you Carol :)


Carol Celeste wrote: "Celeste wrote: "Fantastic review. I loved this book. Do you have any recommendations for what to read once pilgrim has ruined you for all other books? "

Thank you Carol :)"


Let the ball down on this question. Sorry about that.
It's not always easy to suggest a similar book to one that is loved. This is a book that I just loved for the pure adventure of it. It's Indiana Jonesey in a good kind of way. Nothing jumps out at me but I'll attempt to give you some ideas.

I see Mike suggested Intercept by Dick Wolf. I did like that one. I'm certain some would suggest Dan Brown.
Read my review of The Informationist by Taylor Stevens. I think you might enjoy this.
Try some books by Daniel Silva, Nelson DeMille, even Tom Robb Smith. Charles Cummings is a suggested as a readalike author for Hayes but I've never read him.

Some people who liked these liked Chelsea Cain's books. Not spy thrillers but good gritty thrillers.

If you like thrillers here's a website that features these:
http://www.thebigthrill.org/

I'm hoping others will offer some additional suggestions.


Celeste You didn't let the ball down and I appreciate you taking the time to reply. Thank you.

I've done the whole Dan Brown thing, I have Intercept (thanks Mikr) yet to start it. My husband and I read them together as he is overseas for 12 months and it gives us something to do together. However this genre isn't my forte so I'm feeling a little lost. (I can be a bit of a book snob at times)

I am excited to start looking at these books. Especially the informationist!

Thanks sooo much :)


Carol Celeste wrote: "My husband and I read them together as he is overseas for 12 months and it gives us something to do together. "

What a wonderful way to connect while he is away.What kind of book does your husband like?


Carol Carol wrote: "Celeste wrote: "Celeste wrote: "Fantastic review. I loved this book. Do you have any recommendations for what to read once pilgrim has ruined you for all other books? "

Saw two reviews of books today that you might like:

The Hunter by Tom Wood

Joe Brennan Trilogy by Sam Powers



Celeste Carol wrote: "Carol wrote: "Celeste wrote: "Celeste wrote: "Fantastic review. I loved this book. Do you have any recommendations for what to read once pilgrim has ruined you for all other books? "

Saw two rev..."


You're a gem! :)


Celeste Carol wrote: "Celeste wrote: "My husband and I read them together as he is overseas for 12 months and it gives us something to do together. "

What a wonderful way to connect while he is away.What kind of book ..."


It is fantastic. A lot of fun and gives us something we can talk about.

He leaves the choosing up to me and just says "you read anything and I'll listen" so it's a little difficult to tell lol. But so far he LOVED pilgrim. So I think we've found his genre.

But mostly anything that is engaging and has a killer plot twist it takes time to build in a way that when it all comes together it's a master piece. (The way Pilgrim was told)

I'm a big reader but most of the books I read Are non-fiction on crimes and criminals. (I'm studying criminology, psychology and forensics, so I tend to sway that way) or on a completely different level have a romantic story line. Not necessarily romance, but a romantic element. So I'm out of my element when it comes to finding a good book to read with him that we will both enjoy.


Carol Celeste wrote: "I'm a big reader but most of the books I read Are non-fiction on crimes and criminals. (I'm studying criminology, psychology and forensics, so I tend to sway that way) or on a completely different level have a romantic story line. Not necessarily romance, but a romantic element. "

Sounds like interesting course study.

I like books with a romantic story line also.

How about some non-fiction true crime for you and hubby that is very narrative and compelling?
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

My husband really like that one (not a reader, we listened).


Jennifer Masterson I "like'ed your review on this already but I will like it again! Great review Carol! :)


Jennifer Masterson I "like'ed your review on this already but I will like it again! Great review Carol! :)


Jennifer Masterson I "like'ed your review on this already but I will like it again! Great review Carol! :)


Zoeytron I've had this marked for quite some time, but had fiddled around and forgotten about it. Your review makes for a fine reminder, Carol.


message 30: by Miriam (new) - added it

Miriam Smith Had this for a while now, like you said put off by the size.


Carol Zoeytron wrote: "I've had this marked for quite some time, but had fiddled around and forgotten about it. Your review makes for a fine reminder, Carol."

See you added it so if you get to it look forward to your review.


Carol Miriam wrote: "Had this for a while now, like you said put off by the size."

It reads quickly...look forward to your thought if you read it.


message 33: by Renata (new)

Renata Great review Carol of a style of book I usually do not read. Yesterday a friend of my husbands highly recommended i read this book, but the description had me wondering if it was too gruesome for me. Well, it still sounds gruesome but your review and five stars have convinced me to give it a try!


Carol Renata wrote: "Great review Carol of a style of book I usually do not read. Yesterday a friend of my husbands highly recommended i read this book, but the description had me wondering if it was too gruesome for m..."

Very well done. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts Renata.


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