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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 (267 )
5 star
 (85)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (234 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (231 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (32)
2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Carrie Burlington, ON, Canada 07-30-12
    Carrie Burlington, ON, Canada 07-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    9
    5
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    "suspenseful inlightening thought-provoking"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes. Good narrator, will make them think and question their beliefs about death


    What other book might you compare Passage to and why?

    Heaven is For Real is one book which I might compare this audiobook to. Both books explore what happens when a person dies, and each book takes a unique perspective. Some people, like myself, believe that when we die, we will go to Heaven and be with our religious Savior, such as Christ. Others have a more secular view, that life simply stops at death. After listening to both books, people on both sides will be able to debate the issue, inteligently.


    Have you listened to any of Dina Pearlman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but, like J. Charles, I found her to be a captivating narrator. I would listen to her audiobooks, again.


    If you could take any character from Passage out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    It would be Joanna, definitely! I could not stand Mr. Mandrake, and I think Richard would be engrossed in his experiments with diazamine, (I can't remember the drug that was used to put the subjects into near-death experiences), but I think that Richard would be too wrapped up in his work to be interesting. Kit is trying to take care of her uncle who has Alzheimer's, and I want her to spend as much time with him as she can. Joanna would probably be an interesting person to talk to, and I think I could learn a lot about the near-death research that she has been working on. That type of thing, (neurological research), really interests me.


    Any additional comments?

    You will not be prepared for the surprising ending, or for what happens to Joanna just as she makes the important breakthrough about the neurological role in the near-death experience! If you are interested, get Passage by Connie Willis!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia 08-12-15
    Julia 08-12-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow"

    I kept waiting for something to happen. Slogged through it and there just wasn't much payoff.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lillian A May 07-21-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too drawn out"

    Oof. Good story, good writing, but wayyyyyy tooooooo drawn out. It reads as though the author thinks that 45 things need to get in the way of every plot event, when sometimes a simpler path would have been better. I'm surprised I finished it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn Effort, PA, United States 05-12-15
    JoAnn Effort, PA, United States 05-12-15 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enlightening"

    The narration was great, each character coming to life! And the story, with its twists and unexpected turns was captivating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colonelswife 03-09-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    44
    27
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    0
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    "Disappointing"

    I have read the Oxford time travel books by Connie Willis , of which I enjoyed. I had higher expectations for this book. A lot of rambling , & the story line just didn't click for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhenda I. Strub Olympia, WA 01-22-15
    Rhenda I. Strub Olympia, WA 01-22-15 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
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    54
    6
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    0
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    "Really the same woman who wrote Doomsday Book?"

    Connie Willis owes me a credit. I listened to the ENTIRE 29 hours 44 minutes and this book and it never got past its first act (to borrow a stage term). After the first 4 hours, I mostly had it play for the soothing sound of Dina Pearlman's voice. When my mind wandered, as it often does while listening and doing something else, I never had to back up to listen again to what I had missed because NOTHING HAPPENED. It is almost 30 hours of speculation about what happens when you die. Great for helping you fall asleep. Do not expect a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
    17
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    "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 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    177
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "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
  •  
    Richard 12-03-13
    Richard 12-03-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    18
    18
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    "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
  •  
    Amy Cadiz, KY, United States 01-16-13
    Amy Cadiz, KY, United States 01-16-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    56
    26
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    0
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    "Enjoyable "read""
    What did you love best about Passage?

    It was engaging from start to finish.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The continuous wonder concerning the NDEs and where they were going.


    Which character – as performed by Dina Pearlman – was your favorite?

    Joanna Lander


    If you could rename Passage, what would you call it?

    Mysterious journies


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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