Apologies for the radio silence last week, but I was tanning my tootsies in beautiful Mauritius. What I love most about island holidays is the complete break from reality and the outside world. Of course the hotels offer excellent wifi (even on the beach), and this does tempt one to look at one’s phone, but even that becomes an effort after a while. All I can say is that I am seriously missing my sunbed and afternoon naps!
But back to things of greater importance. The Christmas holidays are upon us, and what better time to immerse yourself in a book that has been hailed as ‘the only thriller you need to read this year’.
I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes is one of those books that you could read cover to cover in one go, if it wasn’t 888 pages long. Even Hayes confesses that its a long book and “the pages just grew and grew.” He likes epic books himself – ‘ones that you can just immerse yourself in’, and so he wrote the sort of book that he would like to read.
It’s his first novel, and after you’ve read this spell-bounding, nail-biting, fast-paced thriller, you just want to read more of his work. The story line is hugely relevant – espionage and terrorism – and the main character is definitely a guy that you really learn to like and trust and applaud from the side lines. Hayes injects a bit of humour every now and then and I truly enjoyed his style of writing. I can honestly say it is one of the best books that I’ve read in a long time. I am Pilgrim is available through Takealot.
Terry Hayes is an accomplished journalist and screenwriter, born in the UK, moved to Australia as a child and worked in Los Angeles as a screenwriter. He now lives in Switzerland with his American wife and four children. I am convinced that this epic story will still be adapted for the big screen in due course. It is in the same ilk as Homeland and Bourne Ultimatum, and would make a thrilling movie.
I thought I would end with a quote from the book: ” Very soon I would learn that one great task still lay ahead of me, one thing which – more than other – would define my life. Late one afternoon, a short time hence, I would be dragged back into the secret world, and any hope I had of reaching for normal would be gone, probably forever. Like people say – if you want to make God laugh, tell Him you’ve got plans. With precious little information and even less time, I was given the task of finding the one thing which every intelligence agency fears most: a man with no radical affiliations, no entry in any database and no criminal history. A cleanskin, a ghost. I’m afraid that what follows isn’t pleasant. If you want to sleep easy in your bed, if you want to look at your kids and think there is a chance they will live in a world better than the one we leave behind, it might be better not to meet him.”