Update & Book Review: I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

Hi there!

Apologies for being away for so long, my summer has been somewhat eventful but I’m back now; ready and raring to go.

There is some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you’ll have to wait a little longer to read the book reviews of the books I had to study at uni. The good news is I have three other book reviews all ready and waiting to be typed up. You didn’t think that just because I had an eventful summer that reading wasn’t going to be a part of it. Oh no, dear reader, you’re much mistaken. Books are my life and I can’t not read irrespective of whether I am busy or not.

First up is I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. It is a delightful book but one filled with metaphorical cheese – I have to be honest and say the cheesy parts aren’t my cup of tea, they are chapters which are just waffle. No not the edible waffle, the verbal waffle – the stuff that the writer has put in there to fill space and ultimately slow down the pace of the story. Perhaps if there was more showing than telling in these parts, the slowed pace would have still been achieved and most likely become an even better story. .

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Technically speaking I didn’t choose to read this book, it was recommended to me by a good friend of mine from uni after she asked me what sort of genre I liked.

“You’ll love it!” she said. “A bit gory mind, but once you get past that it’s great!”

Gore, I thought, can’t say I’ve ever been fine around it either in literature or in real life.

I was about 15 and just returned from the orthodentist who took my braces out. Out on the  tables in a biology lab was a lamb heart which we were tasked in dissecting. My legs went wobbly and I fainted by one of the sinks. A chundery feeling rising up my stomach, my hand went to my mouth, I scrambled to my feet and out of the exit door. I proceeded to decorate the concrete path outside. Never been near anything like it since. To be absolutely honest with you, I can’t even watch a horror movie without experiencing nightmares and sleepless nights for at least a fortnight afterwards. So yeah, gore and I have never really got on.

You can imagine my reaction to an equivalent in a book although not quite so extreme in reaction. I had to put it down a few times and close my head and turn away for a few seconds, before summoning up the courage to plough through the pages as quickly as possible. I’ve never been a fast reader.

That being said there are brilliant aspects to the book.

Take for example, the short chapters make the whole book much more exciting and more than happy to plough through it to avoid putting it down because “it’s just getting to the good bit!”. The shorter the chapters are the more likely the book is to hold my attention. If this is the kind of book any budding authors of this genre is attempting to procreate this is a good technique to use.

The characters in the story were also brilliant. It does sound bland and rather obvious but they are the most human and ordinary of characters. A bit like you and me. We’re not all good and we’re not all bad. We make decisions and enforce reactions and changes because the timing is right and sometimes tread the fine line between right and wrong. Ultimately it may result in smashing success, and likewise in other situations it may go arse over ***. It’s much the same with these characters although there are a few which you get the feeling are slightly more dodgy than the writer portrays.

Buy yourself a copy and let me know what you think!

Happy reading.

LexC

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Lexc

Hi there! I'm Lex and I love to read and write. I spent three years at uni studying creative writing and english literature. However, just like other forms of art, writing is subjective and so many hold different opinions on different books but that's the joy of a good natter over literature. There's also much pleasure to be had over a good book, a constant stream of cups of tea and biscuits. For all of the American counterparts, biscuits are biscuits not cookies. I'm also a keen follower in egalitarianism and destigmatising mental health. I will be writing a few blog posts here and there on these topics but it won't be on a daily basis. Be sure to leave a comment, like, subscribe and share - and happy reading!

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