by Russell Hoban

Hardcover, 1983




New York : Summit Books, 1983.


He climbed a ladder to reach another man's wife and gave himself up to her beauty, but then Pilgermann descends into a mob of peasants inspired by the Pope to shed the blood of Jews. Alone on the cobblestones, mutilated and unmanned, he cries out to Israel, to the Lord his God, to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. He is answered instead by Jesus Christ- 'I'm the one you talk to from now on.' Every day is the Day pf Reckoning and the judgment Christ brings is the start of straight action. Pilgermann hears a voice from within and becomes a pilgrim. Through time and war and Death itself, he makes his way along the road to Jerusalem, struggling to find God in the horror that surrounds him.

Media reviews

In the end, Pilgermann does live, both as a character in a vivid moment of the historical past and as a living, questing spirit. Hoban successfully creates a pilgrim who once traveled and who has not stopped. His novel is not an easy read only a fascinating and rewarding one.

User reviews

LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
This is the only Hoban book I've read. Very few novels about the first Crusade deal with the pogroms indulged in by some Crusaders before, or in lieu of their trips to the Middle East. The title character is traumatized by his share in such a crime. So he tries to internalize his actions. But he suffers a lot. A book that I think is revisionist rather than honestly historical.… (more)



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