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Publisher's Summary

The astonishing story of one man's breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy.

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid.

A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square.

A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard.

Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan.

A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey.

Pilgrim.

©2014 Terry Hayes (P)2014 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 12-14-17

Just finished... Sorry... Could listen to more.

So Terry Hayes is a compelling writer. This novel is intriguingly salted with micro mysteries... almost short who-dunits themselves. And yet they fuel the overarching story of espionage, medical suspense,cultural rigidity, and sectarian zealotry. Yeah, there's some cringe-worthy violence within this narrative. This is not a story for the weak, but yet it is also tenderly moving.

Christopher Ragland brings this cast alive with a sensitivity I would not have imagined from reading it as opposed to listening to his interpretation of this cast and particularly his revelation of The Pilgrim's growth.

But, above all, this is a crackling paced thriller fueled by the disequilibria foaming from today's crashing cultures. Uh-huh, this is a scary tale, but the fears here aren't irrational. Which is even creepier as we read news about glowing paradigms poised to crash into each other's towers of Babble. Hayes captures these absolutes, jams them into a covered cook-pot and cranks the temperature to BOOM!

Question: Is the universal default position of humankind set to hate? Hmmmm.... The jury's still out.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • B.J.
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 08-08-14

Please let this all be fiction.

Before I downloaded the book, I saw where another reviewer warned that it takes about 9 hours to get into it. That was VERY helpful info. I easily could have put it aside those first hours. I kept at it because of the warning and I'm very glad I did.

Hayes takes his time setting up the characters and the scenario. The first part of the book sounds and feels like non-fiction. It's interesting - because of the history and insight it provides - but it can be a little dry. It really lays a foundation so you can understand what makes people who they are. And then it turns into a rip-roaring page-turner.

I normally don't go for thrillers, but this one is exceptional. There's an expert pacing to everything that keeps you engaged even when there's no action. Hayes has a way of foreshadowing that also keeps the ball rolling. The characters are well formed, flawed and interesting. There's enough history thrown in that sometimes the events feel entirely plausible. Perhaps that's what makes it so engaging - and terrifying.

It all adds up to one thing: this is definitely a credit-worthy summer read.

177 of 187 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow

Would you consider the audio edition of I Am Pilgrim to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print but the reader had great voices for the characters and made a palatable difference in how it was presented.

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

The intricacies of the story were amazing and pulled the story together masterfully.

Any additional comments?

This is one of the best books I've every read. Such attention to detail and keeps the story going to the very end. Really great.

57 of 61 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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On par with Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn

If you could sum up I Am Pilgrim in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining. Enlightening. Compelling.

What about Christopher Ragland’s performance did you like?

Superb; Outstanding. Easy to listen to. The cadence of his reading, and his timing and intonations, dignify the story and make it even more compelling. His womens’ voices actually sound like women. I was slightly off-put by Ragland's attempts to effect the voice of a dangerous, experienced operative in his mid-thirties, as he does in this book’s many first-person passages, because his voice’s timbre sounds like that of a 22-year-old. This was by no means a deal breaker, for his narration is in all other regards so much better than other narrators'.

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

No, but it had a "deliciousness" of its own. It deserves savoring.

Any additional comments?

One of my favorites. Get This Book!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, great reading

I am Pilgrim is the thriller I have been looking for. It seems to me that the last decade has not produced very many great thrillers. Hayes' story I hope opens the door to a new wave of thrillers that don't rely too heavily on the protagonist having super human abilities. This story instead relies on old fashioned Ludlum style spycraft cunning.

What I liked here was the complexity of the tale. It weaves in and out of time, characters, plots, and it all hold together. I can't tell you how many authors I have read or listened to where the act of taking on multiple characters or timelines destroys what would have been pretty decent. Hayes pulls it off.

Ragland might be my new favorite narrator. I feel that he might have been a little too boyish for this character, but I gotta applaud him. First class story telling ability.

I highly recommend this book.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great story,great narration

The best thriller I have ever listened to or read.
I am 82 and have been reading mysteries and thrillers for over 60 years. The story is intense and so well narrated you can't stop listening.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

What a lovely discovery. I am a fan of Terry's screenwriting and this book is a fantastic and well written yarn that manages to entertain on every level. Nuanced characters, dynamic plotting and well turned language. Enjoy it!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time

You have to hang with this for about 9 hours before things start rushing at a rapid pace. During the first 9, I almost gave up numerous times because it seems so scattered and disconnected with no plot. But, you should trust the author. It is all related and set-up for the show: the race to try to prevent a realistic terrorist threat to spread vaccine-busting small pox in the USA.

94 of 108 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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As good as they get

After you read this be prepared to be let down by any book you read.
In my opinion the best spy book ever written.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic ride, highly recommended!

What did you love best about I Am Pilgrim?

First of all, it was a great story with impeccable execution, start to finish. Hayes kept me safe the whole time. The reader was practically flawless.

What was one of the most memorable moments of I Am Pilgrim?

The way the receipt of the letters was executed.

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

He just nailed each of the characters. He was totally Pilgrim but did the women's voices without causing irritation and his command of a variety of accents from around the world was remarkable.

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

The current one, "a thriller", is about as dead on as can be had.

Any additional comments?

READ THIS BOOK! Thank you, Terry Hayes, for one hell of a ride.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful