Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old, and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is.... Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.... He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.... It is. The Passage.
Deep in the jungles of eastern Colombia, Professor Jonas Lear has finally found what he's been searching for - and wishes to God he hadn't. In Memphis, Tennessee, a six-year-old girl called Amy is left at the convent of the Sisters of Mercy and wonders why her mother has abandoned her.
In a maximum security jail in Nevada, a convicted murderer called Giles Babcock has the same strange nightmare, over and over again, while he waits for a lethal injection. In a remote community in the California mountains, a young man called Peter waits for his beloved brother to return home - so he can kill him. Bound together in ways they cannot comprehend, for each of them a door is about to open into a future they could not have imagined.
And a journey is about to begin. An epic journey that will take them through a world transformed by man's darkest dreams, to the very heart of what it means to be human. And beyond. The Passage.
©2010 Justin Cronin (P)2010 Orion Publishing group
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"long and absorbing"
This is a very fine and well written book though it is difficult to classify - part horror, part science fiction, post-apocalypse tale, part quest. It bears a resemblance to Stephen King's 'The Stand', but much better plotted with a far more convincing backdrop - indeed the vision that the author paints is truly mind blowing in its scope, timescale and detail - frighteningly plausible in its way. And although the book is very long, it is never less than absorbing - and clearly part of a trilogy - but if I say more as it might ruin the ending! The only ting it lacks, arguably, is a bit more humour to lighten the atmosphere occasionally.
The only slight negative point is the narration. I do like Scott Brick as a narrator, but on this book he is a tad slow for my taste, and he adopts a somewhat doom-laden tone. A brisker ore deadpan delivery would I think have been better, but that said, he holds the attention easily, with good characterisation. Sound quality is first class. Still if you are thinking of buying the book, do listen to the sample before you commit yourself as it's a LONG book!
A five star listen for me, and I think anyone who likes Science Fiction/Fantasy post-apocalypse/quest type tales will enjoy this book too.
"Almost Thomas Hardy-esque in its narrative"
Having been quite interested by the comments written by others and having avidly read Stephen King's 'The Stand' many years ago, the premise of this book looked quite interesting. I looked beyond the comments made about the change of characters referred to by other readers and decided to plunge in. I won't spoil the story by describing it to all, but suffice to say that characters in the first part DO return in the last part.
However, the author does spend a lot of time describing small actions by the characters and some events that occur in excruciating detail and length - to the extent that at times I was running the book on double speed to get past some of it. And at one point, we are treated to an extremely lengthy reading of what seems to be the New York Telephone Directory (in the last book). I thought at first that it was a joke - but no, name after name after name. It was almost as though the author was trying to sell the book to the publishers on word count!
And as for the end itself.....
This is a good book for those who suffer from insomnia - but in saying that, I did listen to it all the way through to the end! Be prepared for a long haul!
""The Passage (Unabridged)" by Justin Cronin"
Where do I start - which, I suspect is where Justin Cronin was at the beginning of this enterprise, but it does beg the question - why did I start?
Let me set my pack out - I usually love: long, descriptive, even rambling, behemoths of books, something I can get my teeth into, but this was a great disappointment. Showing such promise from the jacket notes, long and rambling, yes, but I felt without point or direction. The first third of the book read like a separate book altogether and was really rather good, with structure, character and pace and I was engaged until this point. Without giving too much away: sudden time shift and... I thought I had missed something and my iPod had jumped, but no, this was it. The book was dark, (literally) and dreary from then on with no fulfilment.
You know that wonderful dual feeling of joy and bereavement that you get when you finish a good book and you want to immediately write to the author and give them your undying love, I wanted to send JC a slap in the face for wasting my time.
The narration was indeed excellent.
"Best audio book this year."
What can I say, ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. From the first word to the last I was totally gripped. For me, I put this right up there with 'Dune' which I consider to be the best audio book I've heard, and I've been a member for a few years now. This book will introduce you to characters who you live the story with, its superb, plenty of gripping action, yes, dying heroes to keep you on your toes and a twist at the end which nearly doubled me up with 'what the hell !!!!' If there's gonna be more, what can I say but bring it on, I'm dying for more! 10 out of 10 for me.
"Approach with extreme caution"
With loads of hype, and a brilliant first third of a story, this title has been drawing a lot of readers to it. I fell for it, and for the first few hours of this audiobook, I was captivated.
Then the narrative jumps ahead in time one hundred years, and Justin Cronin's ability to tell a story falls apart. You're treated to a whole new cast of characters that you have had no opportunity to invest in emotionally, intellctually, and so on. And Cronin makes the decision that to handle this problem, all he needs to do is to tell you everything about everyone ad nauseum, while in the meantime, nothing happens ... and nothing happens ... for what must take up hundreds of pages. And, although we get a few isolated scenes that pick the pace up, the book never recovers the brilliance of its first part.
Had I not purchased this as an audiobook, so that I could listen to it whilst ironing, loading the dishwasher, or jogging (in other words, if I'd had to trudge through this during what I consider to be my quality reading time), I'd have given up on it about halfway through.
Beware, and not in a scary way befitting a good horror novel, but in that bland way, like a tortuous staff meeting at work that drones on and on endlessly while you're sitting there thinking of all the things you'd rather be doing.
Beware in that kind of way.
"Fantastic book, a hidden gem. "
Read the book twice and even better to have it on audio. Have also read book 2 and can't wait for book 3 to come out (only weeks to go)
The narrator and his use of different voice to really bring the story alive
It's a incredible long story and some chapters do get you thinking 'please end soon', but the story overall was good and still very interesting. The narrator was also very well performed!!
"Worth the effort"
Being one of the longer books I've listened to, The Passage took some effort but was ultimately more fulfilling and 'epic' than others
It's similar to Stephen Kings 'The Stand', albeit with a more mature and up to date style
On normal speed, the delivery came across a little too downbeat, almost depressed or melancholy. I ended up listening on 1.25 speed which, rather than sounding like a mouse on speed, made the slow delivery sound more normal. Of course, this helped me get through the book that much quicker as well
Stick with this one. Some reviews understandably state that the point where characters you've come to know and empathise with are suddenly replaced with a completely new set compromises the whole book. I disagree with this view but only after finishing the book. There were plenty of times midway through where I could have done with a family tree of sorts, to help identify some of the peripheral characters
"Two stories in one book"
The first third sets up a story, some likeable characters, and a world ripe for the picking as we learn price by piece of the looming threat. The last two thirds abandon this by dropping the characters, and the world. Jumping into the future with careless abandon to tell a much less interesting story, told about much less interesting people and a bland and predicable world. Such a disappointment, can only assume the author was hit over the head with a hammer 15 hours in.
When I brought this book I wasn't sure that I would enjoyed it. It took me a long time to get round to listening. I listened to the 1st 5 hours and then came back to it whilst on sick leave, could not put it down. I even feel asleep listening. I cant wait to for the next installment ( I trully hope that there is). Althought a little disappointed at the end. The narrator is excellent and very descriptive. Recommended*****
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