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I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 | [Terry Hayes]

I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1

Pilgrim is the code name for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Awards 2014: Crime/Thriller Book of the Year

Can you commit the perfect crime?

Pilgrim is the code name for a man who doesn’t exist. The adopted son of a wealthy American family, he once headed up a secret espionage unit for US intelligence. Before he disappeared into anonymous retirement, he wrote the definitive book on forensic criminal investigation. But that book will come back to haunt him. It will help NYPD detective Ben Bradley track him down. And it will take him to a rundown New York hotel room where the body of a woman is found facedown in a bath of acid, her features erased, her teeth missing, her fingerprints gone.

It is a textbook murder - and Pilgrim wrote the book. What begins as an unusual and challenging investigation will become a terrifying race against time to save America from oblivion. Pilgrim will have to make a journey from a public beheading in Mecca to a deserted ruin on the Turkish coast via a Nazi death camp in Alsace and the barren wilderness of the Hindu Kush in search of the faceless man who would commit an appalling act of mass murder in the name of his God.

©2012 Terry Hayes (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (43 )
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3 star
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4.2 (40 )
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3 star
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Story
4.1 (37 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    01-12-14
    01-12-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where is the rest of the story"
    What disappointed you about I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1?

    I feel defrauded. Half a story, and I can't even buy the second half.
    I have to go and buy the paperback version now.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Give us the WHOLE book. I'm happy to pay for it, but it's not even available.
    Hoe can you release half a book?


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Loving the story, Disappointed in Audible


    Any additional comments?

    Warn purchasers that it is only half of the story, and the other half isn't available

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    felicity sydney, Australia 01-09-14
    felicity sydney, Australia 01-09-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why is it not the whole book?"
    What disappointed you about I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1?

    Why I was not told it was just half the book, where is the volume 2?


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot was fantastic, but very sad it stopped when it did. I would like to know when volume 2 is available so I can write the review it deserves.


    Have you listened to any of Christopher Ragland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't tend to remember the narrators names, but will keep an ear out for Christopher


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1?

    None, I would just like to listen to volume 2.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to know when volume 2 is available and why it has been chopped in half? without revealing this to very loyal customers. I feel a little pissed off as I am very keen to know what happens. He is an Australian author so not quite understanding why it is not all available.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda macquarie fields, Australia 01-03-14
    Amanda macquarie fields, Australia 01-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WHERE IS VOLUME 2?"

    Audible should make the buyer aware that only half the book is available to download before they download the first half. Who reads half a book? Its available on the uk site. What, are we expected to sign up there and pay them too? Shoddy service audible!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben UK 04-06-15
    Ben UK 04-06-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly bland and cliched"
    What disappointed you about I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1?

    Having read the generally positive reviews about the story, I was surprised at how dull and poorly written it is. This is just my opinion and perhaps I've been spoiled by reading a lot of John le Carre, etc recently (I really wasn't expecting a le Carre style thriller believe me), but I was amazed at the lack of imagination. The plot just feels like a bad action movie, filled with predictable events, endless cliches and cardboard cut-out characters...it came as no surprise when the events of 9/11 surfaced in the plot. It doesn't help that the main character has no discernible personality and continuously references his superior skills. I really wanted to like this book but found so much not to like - the wooden dialogue (which often just serves as exposition), cliched characters (with a long and fairly tedious back story to each one), cliched locations, strongly racist overtones (it's pretty clear the author does not like the middle-east), female characters who always seem to have great cleavage, 'wide, beautiful eyes' and 'a perfectly curved mouth' or some such. After a point I'm afraid I just couldn't listen to anymore. Maybe it gets significantly better later on, but I doubt it was ever going to swing it for me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Hayes again?

    Based on this, no


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christopher Ragland?

    I did find the narration fairly corny but to be honest it suits the style of the story, so I don't know that anyone else would do a better job. He does a particularly poor job with the female characters though!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritation, and boredom at times. There were moments of interest but these were always let down by the poor characterisation.


    Any additional comments?

    I think it's unfair that the book is sold in two parts, especially given that it is not a great novel in the first place. That said, I couldn't get through part one anyway.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glenn 09-11-14
    glenn 09-11-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Predictable page turner"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I doubt it. If they had an exhausting job and wanted to listen to something unchallenging on their way home from work then maybe. The literary equivalent of a Bruce Willis movie.

    Something that's particularly unfortunate is the casual racism throughout the book towards Islam sometimes bordering on being stomach turning. Also the author manages to spread his right wing agenda by various unsubtle means, the most glaring of which was explaining what a great guy the American president was because he was against unions.

    Essentially a long list of cliches borrowed from film and books, a man, reluctantly brought out of retirement because he's "the best", previously of some ultra secret black ops unit, in order to save America, his boss, "the whisperer" who sounds like Clint Eastwood with a sore throat as his handler, agrees to his hair brain scheme because "it just might work"...etc etc.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Hayes again?

    Nope.


    What aspect of Christopher Ragland’s performance would you have changed?

    He was ok.


    Do you think I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope


    Any additional comments?

    There's better, much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikon USA 05-27-14
    Vikon USA 05-27-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    127
    8
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    5
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    "Highly Entertaining"
    If you could sum up I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

    Expansive mystery with lots of background.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot was filled with background stories about all the characters. It was clear the author hoped to have all these various incidents somehow come together in the end, which they do. Unfortunately, this abundance of character information does not make the central plot about a threat to America any more original or interesting than many other books in the genre. The book is very well written and entertaining throughout, but one always has the feeling that one's heard it all before. The author is Australian and it shows, with more than the usual number of passing references to Australia, which is fine. However, the main character is American and little things in the book are obvious Australianisms, like "ring off" instead of "hang up" or "call around" instead of "stop by." It's a little bit annoying and the American editor should be taken to task for not picking up on it. In the end, this book reads like a movie with all the parts left in that won't be there when they do make a film of it.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Unfortunately for an audio book the narrator was the worst thing about this selection. His reading is fine, and he's very listenable. However, he is way too youthful to sound like the main character, which rendered the first person narrative wholly unbelievable. It's not the narrator's fault he was totally mis-cast. Also, his Australian accent was laughably bad. His foreign accents were no more authentic. If the producers of this audio book wanted to turn the book into a cartoon, they succeeded by using this narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I did, however, listen to it with interest and I did not listen to anything else at the same time. It kept me entertained for about 5 days.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avram Johannesburg, South Africa 01-07-14
    Avram Johannesburg, South Africa 01-07-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How does this story end ?"

    I Am Pilgrim captures the interest of the listener. A combination of excellent story & gifted
    Narration. Now, on tenterhooks we wait for the next volume to see how the story ends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Auckland, New Zealand 10-01-13
    Paul Auckland, New Zealand 10-01-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great first volume"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes but wait for the second volume


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes right up untill the end of the first volume


    What about Christopher Ragland’s performance did you like?

    Quite matter of fact but still engaging


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Builds tension nicely


    Any additional comments?

    When can I listen to the second volume before I forget what was happening ?
    Not good enough to release half a book, especially when both volumes are available on
    Audible.uk and itunes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 09-04-13
    Jeanette Lincoln, New Zealand 09-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't wait for the rest and the ending"
    If you could sum up I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

    Tension suspense intrigue


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Totally involved in the how why and what happens next


    Have you listened to any of Christopher Ragland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No first time


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Who is pilgrim?


    Any additional comments?

    When will volume 2 be released

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
Sort by:
  • Jonathan
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    11/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insulting pricing policy, misogynistic plot"

    Really expected more from this, it's mock 90s Frederick Forsyth spy thriller where the Americans are heroes the 'Arabs' are all villains and the Europeans are complicit or prostitutes depending on gender. Some very offencive stereotypes, and early scene of the innocent daughter of a Swiss banker being threatened with rape and death by the US government is really unpleasant but seems to have been written as if the reader will totally understand that the ends justify the ends. To reach the 10 hour mark and be told that you need to pay another credit to finish the story is high arrogance... I will not be finishing the story.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Walton on Thames, United Kingdom
    9/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shallow, uninteresting, predictable"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This is supposed to be some great new age spy thriller. The narrative is so shallow and the characters so unengaging. The main character is supposed to have risen to the top of his profession, but it just feels like the plot just conveniently gives him the right answers when he needs them, or he is put in the right place when he needs to be. It is frankly unbelievable, in the way that James Bond used to be. And the guy who is reading it is trying very hard to sound as if he is not trying very hard to sound like Tom Cruise; his breathy and deep voices sound vaguely comical, and after a while call I could think of was his voice sounding like it would be more suited for The Muppets. And that is where this is probably best aimed, boys up to the age of about 13, but given the rather graphic violence, I wonder exactly who it is really aimed at. Oh, and you might like to know that this is "Volume 1" meaning that you'll need to spend another credit to listen to the second half of this story, that is if you can be bothered. Ten hours of my life I'm not going to get back.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Hayes again?

    Yes, if he learned how to give characters substance, to create engaging situations and stop thinking that we need to hear all the name dropping of luxury goods. In other words, No.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Ragland’s performances?

    No


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, it was only ten hours long


    Any additional comments?

    This is actually half a book and it is frankly misleading to imply anything else. At the end of volume 1, no plot lines have been resolved. The only way to make anything of this story would be to listen to the second volume, and spend another credit.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    BASINGSTOKE, United Kingdom
    11/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"
    Where does I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the very best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pilgrim, as written in the first person, I enjoyed his character and cared about the outcome.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Too many to choose from, all good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Only the common complaint of other reviewers "why two books?"
    Also, why is this book not in Audibles short list, I definitely would've voted for it!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Keith S. Mason
    Bournemouth, UK
    5/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please don't download! Worst story I've heard"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Completely rewrite the plot, it starts off relatively interesting but then completely goes off the beaten track with tangent off the tangent. I can't even now really tell you what the plot was about even now. It reads like a bad HBO show, excessive descriptions of sex and violence detract from the plot itself. Not what you need on the commute in to work.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Hayes again?

    Not if it continues in the same vein as I Am Pilgrim.


    What does Christopher Ragland bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The Narrator is the best thing about this, he's clear and easy to understand excusing his accents and voices. His depiction of female characters seems a little absurd and almost funny at times.


    What character would you cut from I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1?

    The main character? I'm not sure he even had a name.


    Any additional comments?

    This is split in 2 parts. I'd generally avoid getting titles that are split on audible they nearly always seem unresolved and are terrible value for money when you break it down. Plotlines seem seldom resolved at the end of the 1st half too.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • tricia
    United Kingdom
    9/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Childish and self absorbed"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Hayes again?

    No


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Christopher Ragland?

    Anyone that can portray a female without making her sound like a sex call worker


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A. Gouldson
    9/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Less stars because 2nd book to required!!"
    What did you like best about I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1? What did you like least?

    American hero who is wonderful at everything but entertainingly so, lots of rambling subplots that will, I presume, all come together brilliantly. UNFORTUNATELY I must presume because I find that I have buy a second volume to complete the story!! first volume is not a stand alone book!
    Not made clear at the time of purchase - naughty practice Audible two credits required,
    you could be losing a loyal long time customer.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Would I have to go to see two films?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • PJ Flockton
    West Yorks, UK
    6/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "AMAZING, Truly amazing"
    Would you listen to I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 again? Why?

    I would listen to it again but knowing the wonderful twists this book has i'd leave it some time, but I will return!


    What other book might you compare I Am Pilgrim, Volume 1 to, and why?

    I am Pilgrim book 2 as it was written by the same dude and read by Christopher. :p

    In honest I cannot compare really, I don't really read this genre of books, only reason I did was because of Christopher Ragland reading it and I was blown away! It's brilliant. Both in narration and the way it was written.


    Which character – as performed by Christopher Ragland – was your favourite?

    My favourite character I could not pick out. Probably the hotel manager in book two, he was awesomes!


    Any additional comments?

    Do not hesitate any more get this book, NOW!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kit
    England
    9/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Well read, and conversation is easy to follow since the reader changes his voice appropriately for each character. Excellent first part of a gripping story. Be careful, though . . . it stops half way through the tale and you need to spend another credit or buy the download to hear the ending. The whole book requires 2 credits. Sadly, my next credit is not due for another four days - might have to splash out before then!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Misss J. Rixon
    8/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book."
    Any additional comments?

    This is a fantastic fast paced story.
    One of the best audiobooks I've listened to in ages. It kept me awake needing to keep going.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joy
    Solihull, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Far Fetched"
    Would you try another book written by Terry Hayes or narrated by Christopher Ragland?

    This was recommended by a friend but I found it too far fetched and there was one particular part near the end when I thought this would never happen. I wad disappointed.


    What will your next listen be?

    Jaqueline Winspear's new Maisie Dobbs book


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Ragland’s performances?

    possibly


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    not for me


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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