1 September 2017 Susannah

Reading for a Long Flight

On board Flight QF2
I Am Pilgrim

I Am Pilgrim

Do you enjoy a good thriller? If so, you might like to try I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. It has all the right ingredients – murder, espionage, several exotic locations, plenty of twists and turns, a terrifying terrorist plot, and a satisfying ending. Its 900 pages kept me gripped on the horrifically long flight from Bordeaux to London to Singapore to Sydney. Not a book for the faint-hearted, as there were some rather grim torture scenes, and it did rather over-do the clichés, but certainly an exciting read.

Reading for a long plane flight always requires some careful thought, in my view. You need something that is not too intellectually demanding, because of the interruptions, discomfort and sleepiness of a long flight, but you also need something that distracts you from the narrow seat, the person next to you who spills over into your space, and the boredom of too many tasteless flight meals in a row. I love a good thriller or detective novel for a flight. Ideally I should come to the end just before landing.

What suits you best? Do let me know about your suggestions for books to take on those awful journeys to the other side of the world? Tell me by leaving a comment.

   I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

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Featured image credit- On board Flight QF2, Av Rene Ehrhardt – originally posted to Flickr as Boing 747 London – Bangkok, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4664845
Body image credit- I Am Pilgrim, from https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18144124-i-am-pilgrim

Comments (10)

  1. Miland

    Some more suggestions:
    James Michener’s “Space”
    Frederick Forsyth’s “The Fist of God” set in the first Gulf War (but it does have torture scenes)
    Sinclair Lewis’ “It couldn’t happen here” (1930s novel, and yet very topical)
    Sam Bourne’s “To kill a President” (I’ve just ordered it myself)

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Gosh, it is many years since I’ve read a James Michener, but I’ve never read that one and will add it to my list. Many thanks for the recommendations.

      • Miland

        I just finished Sam Bourne’s book. I liked the story, but I must say I didn’t like the profanity in the dialogues, even if it is true that many people in the real world use it sometimes.

        So instead of Bourne’s book I might reocmmend two Victorian mystery stories: Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone” and Charles Dicken’s unfinished “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. A recent attempt at completing it is by David Madden. I had a few questions for him when I finished it. You could try making your own attempt at completing Dickens’ work!

        • Susannah Fullerton

          I love ‘The Moonstone’ and have also read and enjoyed the Dickens’ novel, but that will always remain unsatisfying because it was unfinished. However, I have not read the completion you mention, so will look out for that. Thanks.

  2. Barbara Mortimer

    Hi Susannah, agree great genre for travelling. My recent reads are:

    Mick Herron has a series of Jackson Lamb crime novels starting with Slow Horses, Real Tigers, Dead Lions & Spook Street.Wonderfully evocative English griminess.

    Red Notice by Bill Browder riveting true story about high finance in Putin’s Russia.

    Alan Furst’s series of 15 Night Soldiers books. I started with Spies of Warsaw(5&6)then read all 15 in order.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      With a long flight coming up in a few weeks, I will need some exciting reads. Thanks so much – those all sound like great recommendations. I love English grimness in crime novels!

  3. Miland Joshi

    On a transatlantic flight many years ago I read Khassan Baiev’s The Oath: a surgeon under fire. the title refers to the Hippocratic oath; Baiev is a Chechen-American surgeon who found himself under fire both from the Russian authorities and Chechen rebels.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      That sounds excellent, though also slightly scary. Thanks for the recommendation. I have another long flight coming up soon, so am making a list of good recommendations.

  4. Marie D

    It is real page turner – I couldn’t put it down
    I’m expecting it to be made into a film – do you have any news of that happening?

    • Susannah Fullerton

      No, I didn’t know a film was planned – should make an excellent movie. Sorry I cannot give you more details.

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