We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
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.
Regular Price:$39.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (181 )
5 star
 (53)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
3.7 (158 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.1 (154 )
5 star
 (68)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Aser Sacramento, CA, United States 06-02-12
    Aser Sacramento, CA, United States 06-02-12 Member Since 2004

    I am a blind attorney and aspiring writer, trying to broaden my interests beyond my sci-fi, thriller and history staples.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You Can't Get There From Here"

    During the course of this novel, my attitude shifted from eager interest, to patient progress, to determined resolve, to anguished plodding, to absolute fixation. Ms. Willis has this way of making you feel so comfortable in the worlds she creates that you begin to grow attached to her characters, while putting up with things you know full well are bad decisions or wrong attitudes on their part. And then things happen, that make you terribly invested in the outcome. This was an easier process to endure in the Oxford Time Travel books because of the immediate and understandable hazards at play there, plague, the blitz, the end of time as we know it, etc. It seems to work well in her shorter novels too. Passage suffers, I think, from its generally "normal" setting and hefty length, taking a little too long to get where it needs to go, and in the process making the protagonists seemed by turns close-minded and scatterbrained. Of course, then that moment comes along and the stakes are suddenly different, or are revealed for what they truly are as the case may be, and you're back on board again.

    Where the author continues to excel is creating a broad cast of characters that all have their own problems and deal with them in their own ways. I have always enjoyed Ms. Willis's portrayal of people facing adversity, and this book has some great examples of that, both in the discussions of historical disasters, and the everyday troubles of people who find themselves in the employ, or requiring the services, of a hospital. The hospital itself seems to be a character, as many plot points revolve around the inability of anyone to reach anything by taking a logical route. This is played for laughs regularly, and it's surprising how it can still be funny even near the end.

    Ms. Pearlman's performance is good, with recognizable characterization and clear narration.

    My overall score is based on my complete impression of the book, including my particular fondness for most of Ms. Willis's characters, however much I feel the story may be lacking. I also loved the ending.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 06-02-12
    Amazon Customer United States 06-02-12 Member Since 2005

    starts w/ 'b' ends w/'b' 0 in the middle

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    236
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining 'what if' novel"
    Would you listen to Passage again? Why?

    I would listen again. Actually I find all of Ms Willis's books that I have read worth the re-reading. This is no exception. I found I cared about the characters and what they were learning and doing. I also found the narrator is a good match for the tone and content of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the mix of plot tension with character development. Some readers / listeners may complain of "pseudoscience," but I think the point isn't "Gee this might be true," but rather the point is, "I can see these people doing these things in this situation," and I care about them.In another vein, I think this story compares very favorably with "The Brief History of the Dead" by Kevin Brockmeier. If you liked that book, I believe you would like "Passage." If you didn't like "Brief History...", you may like "Passage" nevertheless.


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

    I have listened to Clementine by Cherry Priest. I guess this compares favorably, because I didn't realize I had heard Dina Pearlman before until I looked at my library to see if she is there. Since I didn't remember her reading of Clementine, that says to me that she is unobtrusive enough as a reader that I wasn't distracted by her reading from the content of the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did laugh at places in "Passage." I didn't actually cry, but there are places in the story that would be suitable for a "bitter sweet" label.


    Any additional comments?

    Once again, just to say I have enjoyed each Connie Willis book that I have read or listened to. I find "To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last" to be one of the most perfect books I have ever read (or listened to).

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS, United States 09-17-13
    Dennis SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS, United States 09-17-13 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    47
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very interesting concept, nice twists"

    Loved the concept, liked the story. The story draws you in and you really can't quit till the end. My Only complaint is that it was a little to long and there was way to much of the same
    situation happening over and over. Got on my nerves a couple of times.
    That being said, I did like the story

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette United States 09-04-12
    Annette United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2004

    I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    369
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    283
    72
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    31
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love Connie Willis, but this was just "good""

    Having said that, good is still pretty good. The basic premise seemed a bit oversimplified for a neurosurgeon to let himself fall into and there was a lot of repetition near the end to where it felt a bit like today's favorite genre "the gaming puzzle" format. Usually, her wit and writing take the mechanics in hand, but here, I got a little worn out from the layers of puzzle/literal twists/maps/clues format versus her usual good banter/hints of relationships. I could have cared more or sensed closer relationships among the main characters... but it's nitpicking. Overall, a good read and a superior performance. I'm not complaining really - this was better than MANY books I get, just not better than some of Connie Willis's...which is a little unfair.

    I'm also a sucker for near death and /or time travel. So she was playing right into my hands here... and I realize not every single book can hit on all fronts. Go ahead, get it. I'm not sad about the purchase at all. I mean I didn't really expect her explain life after death (I did have hopes...). It was just more TV than movie - but sometimes, that's okay.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aser Tolentino Vacaville, California USA 06-02-12
    Aser Tolentino Vacaville, California USA 06-02-12 Member Since 2004

    I am a blind lawyer and aspiring writer, trying to read a little bit of everything but partial to sci-fi and military fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    254
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    415
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    50
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You Can't Get There From Here"

    During the course of this novel, my attitude shifted from eager interest, to patient progress, to determined resolve, to anguished plodding, to absolute fixation. Ms. Willis has this way of making you feel so comfortable in the worlds she creates that you begin to grow attached to her characters, while putting up with things you know full well are bad decisions or wrong attitudes on their part. And then things happen, that make you terribly invested in the outcome. This was an easier process to endure in the Oxford Time Travel books because of the immediate and understandable hazards at play there, plague, the blitz, the end of time as we know it, etc. It seems to work well in her shorter novels too. Passage suffers, I think, from its generally "normal" setting and hefty length, taking a little too long to get where it needs to go, and in the process making the protagonists seemed by turns close-minded and scatterbrained. Of course, then that moment comes along and the stakes are suddenly different, or are revealed for what they truly are as the case may be, and you're back on board again.

    Where the author continues to excel is creating a broad cast of characters that all have their own problems and deal with them in their own ways. I have always enjoyed Ms. Willis's portrayal of people facing adversity, and this book has some great examples of that, both in the discussions of historical disasters, and the everyday troubles of people who find themselves in the employ, or requiring the services, of a hospital. The hospital itself seems to be a character, as many plot points revolve around the inability of anyone to reach anything by taking a logical route. This is played for laughs regularly, and it's surprising how it can still be funny even near the end.

    Ms. Pearlman's performance is good, with recognizable characterization and clear narration.

    My overall score is based on my complete impression of the book, including my particular fondness for most of Ms. Willis's characters, however much I feel the story may be lacking. I also loved the ending.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BookReader Chicago, IL, United States 03-19-14
    BookReader Chicago, IL, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    123
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    145
    94
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Passage"
    Any additional comments?

    Audiobook. Passage is just over twenty-nine hours of audiobook, at least ten hours too long. The book has tons of reviews, in many you’ll find a synopsis of the story, so I’ll refrain from repetition. This, in my opinion, is one of the problems with Passage. There are many, many instances of repetition, all over the board with regard to topic, some repeated more than once. Enough. You get the idea. Get the abridged version, if you care to pursue.

    With regard to fundamental beliefs, I’ve no bone to pick with Connie Willis. All of human kind has struggled with the answer of what happens after death. This is simply one opinion I can’t say I believe, although the theories of brain activity are indisputable scientific facts. The thought process resulting from this physiciological activity, is still, and probably always will be, speculative … and fodder for fictional authors.

    An entertaining read. The ending is a bit of a let down. In my opinion, it is hardly breathtaking, as some reviews state.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Poway, CA, United States 03-14-14
    Ann Poway, CA, United States 03-14-14 Member Since 2011

    Ann

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing........."

    I'm a Connie Willis fan. My favorite is To Say Nothing of the Dog. I've also read The Doomsday book, Blackout and All Clear. This book, Passages, was my least favorite. You have to get to hour 12 of the recording before anything really happens in the story. Then, another 12 hours of listening for something else to happen. In between, it's just the same details over and over........and over again. By the 24th hour, I couldn't care less what happened to the characters, I just wanted the book to end!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Lead Hill, AR, United States 02-08-14
    Shirley Lead Hill, AR, United States 02-08-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story Line"
    What did you love best about Passage?

    The book followed a topic that I have always found interesting.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Dina Pearlman?

    Her reading style takes alot to get use to. She made the main charactor of this book ALWAYS sound so ominous. It was a struggle at times listening to her, but the story itself was good enough to keep me going.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I had the time to sit and listen to an entire book at one time, this book would not be the one.


    Any additional comments?

    The story line is good. The book is about 200 pages to long. While I really enjoyed the story line, at some points it did get montonous, the same thing over and over again. I would recommend this book to someone, overall it is a good listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Cadiz, KY, United States 01-16-13
    Amy Cadiz, KY, United States 01-16-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Burlington, ON, Canada 07-30-12
    Carrie Burlington, ON, Canada 07-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • Greg
    Seaford, United Kingdom
    4/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Titanic Entertainment"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes I would, good story, took a while to get into it, however had a few twists but a good ending


    What other book might you compare Passage to, and why?

    Similar to her other books, past and present, very good detail and obviously lots of research.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I guess the ending, but cant say too much!


    Was Passage worth the listening time?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    good listen while out on the bike!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Old Woking, United Kingdom
    8/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    What made the experience of listening to Passage the most enjoyable?

    The story flowed nicely and the main character was sympathetic.


    Would you recommend Passage to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, for the unusual nature of the storyline and the good way in which it was written


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

    Not yet


    Any additional comments?

    The subsidiary characters were deeply annoying, it felt that they were written that way to aid in plot development but I was hoping the old guy and the kid would shut up!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    4/21/13
    Overall
    "What's the hidden message?"

    It's hard to say too much about this listen, without spoiling it. So I will say that it's a totally intriguing concept about NDEs (near death experiences).



    A psychologist and neurologist join forces against a fame seeking doctor; to examine what exactly happens when you die.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Terry
    GLASGOW, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "passage"

    really didn't know what to expect when I started to read this and maybe at the very beginning it was a bit too strange but I perserved and was really glad that I did. A strange tale but thought provoking and incredibly sad in places. Well worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.