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I Am Pilgrim

(19 Posts)
CtrlAltDelicious Sun 21-Jun-15 20:24:08

My brother's girlfriend and I have quite similar reading tastes and this weekend she recommended I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. Has anyone read it? I don't want to read any potential spoilers on Amazon but I gather it's some kind of crime/thriller, which I love, but very long!

Tryingtokeepalidonit Sun 21-Jun-15 20:59:49

An enjoyable yarn, worth reading.

bamboostalks Sun 21-Jun-15 21:02:13

Crackin read. Well worth it.

Georgethesecond Sun 21-Jun-15 21:04:17

It's a good read, though at the start the death is lingered on a bit too much for my liking.

MissesandMuddles Mon 22-Jun-15 14:25:18

Enjoyable but I got frustrated by how far-fetched and unbelievable the plot was at times.

iwantkhaleesiseyebrows Mon 22-Jun-15 15:26:24

Best book I've read for a long time. DH, DSis, FIL, BIL and step dad borrowed my copy and loved it too! grin

CtrlAltDelicious Mon 22-Jun-15 18:03:07

Thank you all!! I shall be buying this as soon I get paid.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 22-Jun-15 18:08:38

I thought it was absolutely dreadful, and gave up reading it half way through. Clearly I'm in a minority though!

CtrlAltDelicious Mon 22-Jun-15 18:11:35

Oh no! grin Why was that, Remus? (Without spoilers, if possible!!)

paulapantsdown Mon 22-Jun-15 18:14:08

I enjoyed it mostly, but it got totally daft (as a lot of thrillers do) by the end.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Mon 22-Jun-15 18:23:50

Disclaimer: I am an English teacher, and dreadfully fussy!

I thought it was poorly written and poorly structured. The opening chapter was okay, but after that there were pages and pages (and pages and pages and pages) of back story. English teachers talk about, 'Showing not telling' but this was all telling. I found it all very tedious and just couldn't engage with the central character or his life story.

It wasn't for me, but that doesn't mean that others shouldn't read it. I have friends who really enjoyed it.

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jun-15 21:07:22

This was a pretty good thriller, a bit too obviously written to be a screenplay, although some of the plot/details ranged from improbable to downright impossible. This is exactly my kind of beach read, but its myriad mistakes dampened my enthusiasm somewhat:

A large chunk of this 700-page book takes place in Bodrum in Turkey, and I am sorry to report that it is not only the author's ignorance about the country, its people, and the language that shines through but his condescending arrogance and Western superiority complex. And not just about Turks. Here is what a minor character has to say about Saudi Arabians:

"Don't forget - those guys where you're going, they're garbage wrapped in skin" hmm

If anyone is interested, here are some of the errors in this book:

1. "A province called Mugla", he replied. "The name of the town is Bodrum". >>> Mugla is a city. Bodrum is a town within the city of Mugla. Turkey doesn't have provinces.

2. Bodrum is on the Western coast of Turkey, not "southern Turkey" as the book keeps saying. It is on the Agean Sea, facing Greece, on the West. If it were in southern Turkey, it would be on the Mediterranean Sea.

3. "he knew that one of the foundations of democracy was the separation between religion and state. Yet to many Muslims, religion is the state". (pg 82) >>> Wrong. Religion and state are separated in secular regimes, not all of which are democracies. And of course it is entirely possible to be a democracy that doesn't separate religion and state, like the UK.

4. People smoking in police stations and hospitals all through the book >>> No smoking in public buildings in Turkey since 2008 (book was published in 2013).

5. "... with a few lire to spare." (pg 343) >>> The currency is called Turkish Lira. Plural is Liras, not "lire".

6. The character of Leyla Cumali is laughably unrealistic:
..... Her English is too perfect - she has better command of spoken English than most of my classmates' written English, and that after about a decade of full-time schooling in English.
..... Impossible that a policewoman could be wearing conservative headscarf and long coats, especially on the job. They have uniforms, would you believe.
..... Impossible that a policewoman would refuse to ride in a car with a man. (It isn't even true that Turkish women in general wouldn't ride in a car with a man. How does the author think women take taxis?)
..... Impossible that a Saudi Arab could even become a policewoman. Foreign nationals, even after naturalisation, will not be accepted into the police or the army in Turkey.

7. re "Not possible to watch foreign news channels like CNN in Bodrum" >> Who believes this?!? Surely everyone knows that (1) these are cable channels, and (2) even if you didn't have cable, all you need is a satellite dish.

8. "If you couldn't get the stations in that part of Turkey... it meant that she could have come from hundreds of miles away - from Iraq or Lebanon." >>> Why not the centre of Mugla or Izmir, another city nearby? Why not a small Greek island that is a stone's throw from Bodrum? (see map Strange to think of Iraq, which is about 2,000 km from Bodrum!

9. Turkish characters' bad English is overdone and has no relation to how a Turk would speak English.
... "they have no kissing-love" (pg 383) >> No such expression in Turkish
... "It was of the nature very simple" (pg 386) >> This is more like how a French person would speak bad English. There are no articles like 'of' or 'the' in Turkish and adjectives don't follow nouns so a Turk would conceivably say "It was simple" or "It was simple nature".
... "Squashed - flat like the cake of a pan" (pg 495) >> No foreigner would speak like this, certainly not a Turk who would either know what pancake is, or would just say 'flat like a pan'.
... "a house belonging to a cop of the female" >> Again, not how a Turk would speak. And if he knows the word "belonging", he can speak better than this.

10. "... there would also be a king low tide and far more of the old city would be revealed... the marble platform would be out of the water" >> This is completely wrong. There is no noticeable tide in the Aegean Sea, since it is a corner of the Mediterranean, not the ocean. (I actually checked this and found that Bodrum made the news in 2002 with a shockingly high tide of 30 centimetres.)

11. Re partying among ancient ruins - I don't know if you can do this anywhere in the world but you certainly can't do it in Turkey, even if tides exposed undersea ruins (which they don't).

12. Bass player Ahmut Pamuk - No such name, and no such name is possible. Ahmet, yes. Mahmut, yes. Ahmut, no.

13. "Seni" he said, and then repeated in English "You" (pg 487) >> Wrong. Sen = You. Seni = To you. It is the difference between "I" and "me".

14. They take him to an archeological site to torture him >> Why would anyone want to set up their torture chamber in a place that will surely be guarded and where tourists can wander in at any moment?!?

I know why, actually: So it looks good in the movie.

CtrlAltDelicious Mon 22-Jun-15 21:09:32

AAAAGH - is that big post full of spoilers?!

NoelHeadbands Mon 22-Jun-15 21:13:05

Yeah....but apart from that though Cote


CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jun-15 21:15:25

Umm... I don't think so. Nothing pertinent to the plot anyway.

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jun-15 21:15:51

Apart from all that... it was pretty OK grin

Laquila Mon 22-Jun-15 21:20:46

I enjoyed it - it won't win the Pulitzer, but it was a good page-turner.

Cote I'm confused - I always thought Bodrum was in Mugla province, and Wiki seems to agree:

"Bodrum (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbodɾum]) is a district and a port city in Muğla Province"

Is it possible it's a question of translation?

CoteDAzur Mon 22-Jun-15 21:42:16

Mugla is a city, not a province. Bodrum is a small town that is part of Mugla. Like the small seaside town of Cesme is part of the city of Izmir. These things don't translate exactly sometimes, but there are seven regions in Turkey. I guess those could be called provinces if you must.

Wiki has some strange notions that don't exist in Turkish, like "Izmir is the capital city (huh?) of the province of Izmir". There is only one capital city in Turkey and that is Ankara.

bamboostalks Thu 25-Jun-15 21:18:32

IT was the business of the mirror, photos and lightening that had me a but sceptical.

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