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Passage | [Connie Willis]

Passage

Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. She is about to get help from a new doctor with the power to give her the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.
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Publisher's Summary

A tunnel, a light, a door. And beyond it...the unimaginable.

Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. She is about to get help from a new doctor with the power to give her the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.

A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Joanna’s first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined — so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why that place is so hauntingly familiar.

But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid. Yet just when Joanna thinks she understands, she’s in for the biggest surprise of all — a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page.

©2001 Connie Willis (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A true heir to John Donne, Kurt Gödel and Preston Sturges, a wit with a common touch who’s read more great books, and makes better use of them in her work, than two or three lit professors put together.” (Newsday)

“Willis has developed an idea that bears all the authority of a genuine insight: disturbingly plausible, compelling, intensely moving, and ultimately uplifting.” (Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review)

“Thoughtful, often fascinating ... Willis makes Lander’s journeys into the afterworld increasingly frightening and compelling." (Chicago Tribune)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (196 )
5 star
 (60)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
3.7 (172 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (58)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (9)
Story
4.1 (168 )
5 star
 (75)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    topcat 07-29-14
    topcat 07-29-14

    We are a couple who love books and occasionally write reviews. We rarely read the same book so our reviews express our individual opinions.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Struggled to finish it"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really. There were some interesting sections and some of the characters were likeable, but 30 hours was too long for a story that did not have much of a plot. I have an interest in NDEs but this book dealt with the topic in a very creative but somewhat bizarre manner.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something shorter.


    What aspect of Dina Pearlman’s performance would you have changed?

    I enjoyed the narration and thought she handled the different voices quite well and made the story more interesting. I don't think I would have kept going with the story if I had been reading a printed book.


    Do you think Passage needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Please no. As the whole book seemed to be trying to prove that NDEs were some sort of brain reaction while at the same time also describing the perspective of people who had "passed over" but were still somehow conscious and aware, I can't imagine what sort of crazy follow up plot would allow both these contradictory scenarios to coexist.


    Any additional comments?

    Would be willing to try another of Connie Willis's books as lots of reviews suggest her other books are better than this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 06-28-14
    Barbara 06-28-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    148
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow build"
    Where does Passage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I thought the first 2 parts of the story were a little slow going and repetitive, but the story really picked up at the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 06-22-14
    Kevin Herndon, VA, United States 06-22-14 Member Since 2011

    Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Performance - story not so much"

    I love most of what Connie Willis has written. Interesting, provocative, entertaining. She seems to have lost all that in this book. The audio performance was wonderful - otherwise I would never have made it through this book. The story seems to be confused in what message it is trying to send and confuses reality with dream like events.

    This is a book about near death experiences - a dangerous topic in any venue. She brings in the religious and scientific aspects - but never really does anything with them. You are left wondering why you just spent 29 hours of audio book time listening to the book.

    Now the performance is great. The reader handles all the characters very well and made it bearable. But I would avoid this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 12-03-13
    Richard 12-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    18
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Pretty good, but drags a little"

    This book did not go where I expected at all.

    I really liked Connie Willis' Oxford Time Travel series, so I decided to try this one. It's a good story but it's also very different from that series.

    The strongest part of this book is the characters. They're well written and realistic. There's also a good mystery about what's actually going on with the near-death experiences that the main character has.

    My only criticism is that the book starts to drag around the halfway mark, and doesn't really pick back up until about three quarters of the way through. The last quarter is good, but the book could use a little trimming so that you get there faster.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nessa near Atlanta, GA, USA 10-01-12
    Nessa near Atlanta, GA, USA 10-01-12 Member Since 2004

    Nessa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit of an ordeal"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not so much. It is so repetitive. I know that is part of the literary device, but I felt like I was trapped in the rat-maze hospital with these people and I just wanted it to be over. I also felt like the "big revelation" wasn't much of a revelation at all.

    I have to say, the descriptions were vivid and the characters were relatively well rounded. I enjoyed it but I expected a bit more from the plot line than the endless repetition.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    1Q84


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jolae 07-02-12
    Jolae 07-02-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    399
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    What disappointed you about Passage?

    The story seemed to lack a plot.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Connie Willis again?

    I really like her time travel books


    What does Dina Pearlman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration was the best part of this listening experience.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narration


    Any additional comments?

    I hope this is not a trend for Willis.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Menudo Bandito San Francisco, CA 08-08-13
    Menudo Bandito San Francisco, CA 08-08-13 Member Since 2001
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To be fair - I have not finished this book yet"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better characterization, less circular and ultimately useless internal conversation, more convincing characters


    Would you ever listen to anything by Connie Willis again?

    No.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dina Pearlman?

    I'm not sure.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Passage?

    1/3 of the book. At least


    Any additional comments?

    IF YOU ARE NEW TO CONNIE WILLISI don't know if I can finish this book. I am roughly halfway through - a 15 hour investment in what I sincerely hoped would be a rewarding 30-hour saga. I do not typically quit something once I start, but every hour that goes by with 5 minutes worth of enjoyment is really starting to bug me. I haven't posted many reviews, but felt compelled to warn others. If you've read and enjoyed Connie Willis prior, then you will probably enjoy this book. If you haven't, and - like me - this would be your initial foray into the Connie Willis Experience - listen carefully to the full sample sound byte and decide if you can listen to 20+ hours of this. If I'm to extrapolate her typical style from this title alone, I'd say she is long-winded while still managing to lack adequate characterization. Her characters are frumpish, and it makes me feel as if I'm 30+ years too young to be reading it (i am 37).Maybe the mistake is all mine. I love SciFi of all types, and in my haste to find a new book I recklessly downloaded this one on a quick sample and jacket summary alone. Do yourself a favor - LISTEN TO THE FULL SAMPLE FIRST.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janeite 01-22-13
    Janeite 01-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    345
    46
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not her best"
    What did you like best about Passage? What did you like least?

    The idea for the story. Ms. Willis has an amazing imagination.


    If you’ve listened to books by Connie Willis before, how does this one compare?

    I much preferred Blackout and Doomsday Book. And I thoroughly enjoyed To Say Nothing of the Dog. But this endless tome went on and on. After the first couple of parts it was all gloom, with scene after scene in the same pattern. It should have been cut a good 50 - 100 pages.


    What three words best describe Dina Pearlman’s voice?

    When doing Maisie (sp?) - annoying. Otherwise, she was fine.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Only if it got rave reviews.


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe if I read the book it would have been a better experience since reading is much faster than listening. But I would love a word count on the word "no." It seems the protagonist said it constantly.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-07-13
    01-07-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Probably not worth it"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. The story could have easily been told in 6 hours, but was instead drawn out into 27 long hours. The way the story was told would be similar to sitting down and telling somebody every last detail of everything you did today, including how you had to look for your car keys in your bag, how many voice mails you had (with a review in detail of each, one by one), who you passed on hall on the way to your office, which stairs you took to go visit a colleague, etc., etc., then telling them what you do at the end of the day tomorrow, when about 80% of it is the same as what you did today. Repeat for 27 hours. Yes, I get that this method of storytelling is a relevant metaphor, but it does not merit taking so many hours upon hours to relay this.
    The story itself, while being an interesting topic, lacked a solid punch at the end. The big discovery the protagonist makes seems rather obvious and uncreative. The ending was a little too sugar-sweet and happy. Definitely not one of the more interesting reads I've had here. It sure beat "14" at least, but that's not saying much!
    I will say that the narrator was excellent.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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