'Only God could think of such a game, and only humans would bother to play it.'
He climbs a ladder to reach another man's wife and gives himself up to her beauty, but then Pilgermann falls into the hands of anti-Semitic peasants, and is attacked. 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' - and becomes a pilgrim. Through time and war and Death itself, Pilgermann makes his way along the road to Jerusalem, struggling to find God in the horror that surrounds him.
Superb ... Pilgermann is history, metaphysics, a tangle of mysteries, profound and simple.
The world according to Pilgermann is a brutish place borrowing from Hieronymus Bosch's grotesque depictions of hell and the literary traditions of pilgrimage narrative, allegory and the historical novel. It is a novel of ideas... sophisticated and demanding.
A strange and beautiful work, whose mysteries are worth contemplation. Hoban's prose is constantly persuasive. Pilgermann is that rare thing - a novel that can be read with profit more than once.