I Am Pilgrim

I like to read books.

And not even books with pictures - books with just words!

Reading this blog, I can understand that you find that hard to believe. But there it is, it's a fact.

People that know me know that I like to read books. They'll often buy, lend or recommend books to me - almost always literary tomes to make me think. Which is good for two reasons:

  1. Sometimes it works, and I do actually think about things
  2. It makes me look good when I read them in public

However, I'm not above admitting that I like a good old page-turning thriller. And a month or so ago my wife took a break from buying me obscure South American literature (which she really buys so that she can read them and then moan at me that I never read the books that she buys me) and she bought me a thriller. It was called I Am Pilgrim.

I'd never heard of it, and as I don't read the back cover before I read a book because I like to get my own perspective on a book without preconceptions (I know that it's sad but it's what I like to do, ok), I had no idea what the book was about.

Within a couple of pages I was in no doubt. this was a good old page-turning thriller.


But it got better. On page 261 it said

...from which, years later, Bill taught me to sail. As a child he had spent his summers in Newport and fell in love with the twelve-metre yachts which competed for the America's Cup.

'Hey!' I thought, 'He mentioned sailing.'

This was exciting stuff. But did it end there?

No. No, it did not.

On page 262 it says this:

...one Saturday, sitting on the upturned hull, Bill told me he thought I had a chance of going to the Olympics.

Knowing I always kept myself apart from others, he had the good sense to suggest one of the solo classes - a Laser - and worked hard with me every weekend.

To be honest, there's not much more about sailing Lasers for the rest of the book. But I was excited. Two thoughts occurred to me in quick succession.

The first was that this was a novel essentially about me - a lone wolf type character, with nerves of steel, a brilliant analytical mind and amazing physical ability. And who sails a Laser.

A man with immense bravery, incredible will-power and who attracts beautiful ladies. And who sails a Laser.

The author is only bloody describing me!

And so the second thought that occurred to me is obvious. I should offer to play the lead role in the film. Sure, I've never acted before, but how hard can that be? I'm the obvious choice.

I knew it would be a big career change, so I decided to break it to my wife gently. Using my best off-hand, throw-away-comment voice I said "I'm thinking of becoming a Hollywood film star. The lead role from this book would be perfect for me."

And then I paused to allow her to consider the comment. Let her think it through. Sure, it would mean big changes for the kids - big changes for all of us, really - but there would be so many positives, too.

My wife laughed so long and hard I had time to finish another chapter (in a huff, I might add), sigh, start to get worried, fetch her a glass of water, and begin dialing an ambulance for her. Eventually she stopped laughing, climbed back onto the sofa, wiped her eyes, and carried on reading her own book, occasionally giggling and shaking her head.

I have to be honest, her reaction rather took the wind out of my sails (so to speak).

water please bruce willisBut who should play a Laser sailor in the movies? I think a young Bruce Willis, maybe? He always seems to be able to suffer extreme pain and extraordinary punishment and still soldier on - surely the archetypal Laser sailor characteristics?

Or perhaps Sigourney Weaver? I wouldn't fancy getting in a luffing match with her on the wrong day.

Or what about other boats? I think Robert De Niro would have made a good Soling Sailor in the Olympics in the eighties. He has that look about him - strong, un-panic-able, battle-hardened, not to be messed with. And he wears a hat - I like to think that Soling sailors from the eighties would be able to pull off a wearing a good hat too.

Or maybe Jim Carrey - he's a pretty good match for the size and shape of a 470 crew - and he seems to be full of energy.

But I still reckon I'm the best option. So if Steven Spielberg is reading this (and I am perfectly sure that he is), then come and get me Steven. I'm the full package.

(TheFinalBeat legal team disclaimer: The above piece is in no way a guarantee that Damian is the full package. In fact, many that know him would say that not only is he not the full package, but that there is no evidence that any package exists at all. You employee him for a Hollywood blockbuster starring role entirely at your own risk.)

I Am Pilgrim

The cover of the book I read didn't look like this - I think even I might have known it was a thriller before opening the book if it had been

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