Say something about yourself!
Cross my heart, I tried my best with this book. Notwithstanding many poor reviews, I spent 2 of my precious credits on it, and started building castles in the air about a trilogy. What a thrilling horizon: over 100 hours of post-apocalyptic vampire saga on the tracks of King's legendary "The Stand"! I could not ask for more, nor could I obtain less. I've reached part 5 and I must say, much to my dismay, that the plot is so slow that I've been using it as a sleeping-aid for weeks now. It is also one of the least thrilling books I've ever stumbled upon. Hundreds of useless characters and insignificant details on their private lives. For the first time in my life I wished I bought an abridged version. Take my word, do not buy this audiobook.
I liked it, and I will purchase the next one in the series when it comes out. With that Justin Cronin has done what he likely enough, set out to do when he wrote this book, he hooked a reader into his story.
I usually do not read vampire books because I do not like the genre and I purchased this one (like other reviewers) because of Stephen King's recommendation. While I do not like all of Stephen King's books, he is still one of my all time favorite writers, and his opinions on the writings of another author appear rarely enough to still matter to me.
The book could have benefited from some additional editing, some passages were a bit very drawn out in my opinion (but there is that handy double speed button on my IPod for such instances), that is why I deducted one star. But the characters are well fleshed out and engaging, and I for one want to know how the story continues.
The book has been compared to The Stand. It's not in the same league. It is about a viral apocalypse that kills most people and leaves a few survivors holding out against rabid vampires. This scenario is set up plausibly but it is shockingly boring boring boring.
The first part is slightly compelling as the background is set up, although the author is too long-winded with descriptions and inner monologues that never pay off. He's simply not good at creating differentiated characters.
Then there's the second big setting where a large community hides in a fortress against "the virals." It's hour after hour of nothing but not very intriguing descriptions of political alliances and love triangles among the residents.
There are a few skirmishes with the virals but they're not tension-filled. And the computer hacking 90 years after the end of civilization is preposterous.
The last thing I would say is that I might've given the book two stars because I could see how maybe fantasy fans might like some of it, but the book costs two credits! There are longer (and better!) books available for a single credit, such as The Pillars of the Earth. I can't imagine anyone finding this book worth two credits, all of the positive reviews notwithstanding...
P.S. The narrator is fine, perhaps a bit slow or maybe that was my desire for action to happen.
If I follow you, it's because I've glanced through your reviews and more than likely found books I've agreed with you on and also found at least one book that the majority loved, and you and I were less than thrilled with. I know I should follow you then for that next read that I will enjoy.
It is a good listen. I usually don't care for Scott Brick a whole lot because sometimes I just can't get into the characters he reads, I think he does a good job at narrating, but that wasn't a problem for me in this book. I think he did excellent. Also, as others have said, it's more end of the world as we know it, contagion more than vampires. Vampires are definitely not glamorized. To me, also, this book could have been four or five books because you go through hours and hours of a story, then it changes, hours and hours of another well-developed plot/story, then it changes onto another long phase. All tied back in at the end, but they could kind of have stood alone. To me I like some Stephen King books, but not all, I definitely feel like it was a good use of a credit, I've listened to all 36 hours in a matter of five days, it kept me entertained and interested. I don't have to "believe" in everything like a friend of mine does in movies she sees or books that she reads. If she can't believe it, she doesn't enjoy it. I just want to be entertained with a good story and a good narrator and this fit the bill for me.
This is the first time that I've written a review after being with audible since 2004 or so, but I had to because this book is simply breathtaking. 3 reasons come to mind:
1. It is epic in scope, spanning over a century in its development,
2. The characterization combined with the apocalyptic setting put you there asking not only, "what would I do" but also, "What am I capable of enduring".
3. 30+ hours of phenomenal literature for 1 measly credit! Like I said in the title, I knew the 1 credit charge wouldn't - COULDN'T last!
This one is absolutely worth it, even for 2 credits!
This book is soo frustrating. I can tell its exciting and well written, but as it goes on, I can't get past the awful narration. The reader has a tick- on every line, EVERY line, he drops the pitch of the last word. His voice carries an actorly dread throughout, which is wearisome and undermines the sections where that emotion is really needed. I end up approaching the book with dread and I'm not even past the first section. I doubt whether i will be able to finish it.
I couldn't stop listening to this book. I don't understand anyone who didn't find this book engrossing, thrilling, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Now I have to wait two more years for the sequel. Yes, there were some rough spots, but I think this book was all of five stars and if there were six, I'd give it another. Read it, you won't regret it.
First, I hate vampire books, second I don't like the emotive Scott Brick. But third this book is not all that bad. It sure held my attention, and I really liked the first half of the book, before Dark Night. Before Dark Night the book was a bit disjointed bringing several stories together to meet and make sense. I could not stop listening to that part of the book and liked several of the characters. The book picks up about 93 years after Dark Night with new characters and a new story. This one I did not like as much but is still a good story. These sticks, viruses, dracs are sometimes called vampires but are just people that have gotten sick and been changed. Virals is the best name for them, and folks cluster together to avoid being killed by them. All in all it is a fantasy and if you can get into it I think you will enjoy it. At almost 37 hours I admit I was a bit tired of it all at the end but still rate it four stars, and think you should get this before it goes to two credits, as it surely will.
The author must have been paid by the word - there's no need to use 50 words to describe something that would ordinarily take 5. And the narrator - he's whiny voice made it hard to listen to more than 1 hour at a time. I wasted my credits.
Well, that's 36 hours and 52 minutes of my life I'll never get back. And in all that time there were two moments that rose above the tedious: the witty reference to garlic (one sentence) and the description of Texas (one or two paragraphs). Otherwise, there's nothing to recommend The Passage. Plodding prose, heavily dependent on insipid dialogue. Indistinguishable good guys and equally undifferentiated bad guys, with a few stereotypical folksy characters for comic relief.
Did any of the publishing world figures who hyped this novel actually slog through it? Certainly no one edited it. The plot drags to the point of sadism. Maybe that's it! Maybe the author, famously a professor at Rice, is (consciously or otherwise) punishing us for valuing vampire stories over more serious literature.
Finally, the narration of the audiobook is unrelievedly whining and portentous. (So why won't the Audible review system let me give this zero stars?)
Honestly, I love a good beach novel. The Dragon Tattoo series is hardly great prose, but those books are redeemed by the marvelous characters Blomqvist and Salander. The Passage, in contrast, is just a thoroughly poor effort. If feel like a lesser person for having stuck with it.