Idioma original: English
Original title: I am Pilgrim
Translation: Cristina Martín Sanz.
Year of publication: 2014
Valuation: quite recommended

Best Seller territory, absolutely. And let it be known that I know something about this book as a result of the recent commotion surrounding the author’s new novel, which is being duly promoted, because in due course, I must be refractory to so much scandal, nor was I aware of its enormous repercussion.

Let’s put it in context, this is eight hundred and sixty pages (a tear of contained nostalgia from our TochoWeek) of thriller geopolitical plot concocted with a certain grace. although resorting one after another to all the clichés of the genre, including the obvious and powerful audiovisual component – tgal Hayes has intervened in quite a few film productions – which is reflected in the structure of the novel: four parts that come together, short chapters (some of just three pages) that seem like scenes that pursue a necessary confluence, a climax and also in the scant lyrical ambition: no currents of consciousness, no metaphysical speculation on the situation of Humanity that leads to certain confrontations, no questioning of a certain established order .

All right, so we are not going to complain about the somewhat simplistic approach, nor about the literary style, the prose is dynamic and there is no feeling of embarrassment, at least, although certain expressions (“his drug was intelligence”) can provoke passing episodes of slight blushing, in general the stereotype is fulfilled, and chapter after chapter there are hooks that force a light and relatively exciting reading, in the chaste sense of the word, because although our hero (Pilgrim, the name he takes for the mission, but throughout his extensive career he has used dozens of names with his perfect false passports issued by dark para-governmental agencies) is thirty-two years old, he is not much for sentimental adventures or sexual dalliances. Despite which, all The women who swarm these pages, whether they are similar or not, turn out to be authentic beauties. Endemic problem of these novels: we are talking about a classic progression of bad versus good in constant physical growth, where hero and antihero have chiaroscuros in their pasts, whether one serves one cause (the West) or the other (Jihad). Even the names chosen already pose this dichotomy and practically everything that can be presented beyond a brief synopsis represents spoiling its reading.

Pilgrim (Pilgrim, older, wise, endearing) is the last guise of an agent of an ultra-secret service, naturally the best of his promotion, to the point of having written a book that is an obscure reference for aspiring executors of the perfect crime. . The guy knows everything, from criminal behavior analysis to political trends, legal and illegal substances, languages, weapons… which does not prevent him from having committed some clumsiness in the past that has led him to be expelled (or removed) until that a case arises so complicated that only him can solve, even his strenuous efforts to erase any trace of past existence and experience (damn intern!) have proven insufficient and someone has managed to contact him. The axis of good is constituted to counteract that of evil: the Saracen (devious, dark, fanatic) suffered arbitrariness firsthand: his father was executed by the Saudi regime and he had to flee his country and take refuge while he became radicalized. . He is also a young, intelligent and brilliant guy, he has the respect of the Pilgrim who respects him as an enemy equal to him, but the antagonism is served and the narrative progression is served. You don’t have to ask more from these books than that. The typical enclaves appear: what if Jeddah, the Afghan mountains, Paris, the Oval House…

Stereotypes that are absolutely necessary for these readings, which require nothing more than a sun lounger (preferably in white and blue stripes), a sea breeze or a pool cushion, a shelter in the shade, relative silence, since there is not much plot to concentrate on or much mystery to unravel. Oh! And a size that is strong enough to last as long as a vacation. As easy to read as it is to forget, that’s why.


Leave a Reply