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
I love a great long book but this one was not for me. Loved how it started but then it lost me over and over again. Each to their own, you may love it as I know others have.
My main reason for choosing this was for the reading by Scott Brick – I love his style.
The rave reviews surprise me.
The start is very good even if a little predictable but I was hopeful for a great 36 hours.
Maybe I'm just not into post apocalyptic novels. I have a greater faith in humankind to make more of things and to be more sensible.
Warning semi-spoiler coming.
The set up for the future colony was stupid and hence the whole of the last 2/3rds of the story became irritating. The quasi religious stuff was interesting and showed great promise, but was never fully developed. As ever I always hang in to the end hoping there will be relevance to the boring bits in the middle. But no. I think the author realised that eventually he wasn't actually going anywhere with the story so just called it a day, much the frustration of many, but for me a relief.
Overall avoid this one if you like your stories to have a semblance of rationality about them.
Justin Cronin is a master at weaving a story around human emotions and reactions. But if you're looking for something warm and fuzzy choose another because this is in NO WAY A ROMANTIC TALE where everyone lives happily ever after. Cronin seems to have an amazing gift for getting in to the reader's mind - or in this case, the listener's mind. A very descriptive style that allows you to sink so deeply in to what the characters are feeling that it often becomes quite heavy going. Its altogether possible that you might need to take a break every now and then because its a bit overwhelming. You name the emotion and its in this book: fear, despair, love, grief, joy, desperation, hope, jealousy, faith, evil. But don't be fooled in to thinking its all just a yarn about touchy/feely stuff, because there is great depth and variety in the story line - how the characters feel is wholly (and believably) related to the action and story line. I nearly ignored this book based on the cover art. At first glance I was tempted to think it was simply a book about an abandoned little girl. But the addition of 'Something is Coming' enticed me to read the full description. Its always nice when you find a book that provides such bang for your buck (in terms of both quality and listening time). This is a long book but I never lost interest or wondered where the hell the story was headed. About to start on the next in the series - you really cant go wrong with Scott Brick. This book was primarily read by Scott with short journal extracts performed by Adenrele and Abby. If you're looking for a great read that's based around tough choices in extreme circumstances you're likely to enjoy...
Ok, so it was the length of the story that first grabbed my attention; I do so love a long book....but only if it's good! Had I seen any of the marketing that refers to it as a vampire book, I probably wouldn't have even looked twice, as they're not usually my thing. I do like a good post-apocolyptic story though, and that's the other thing that drew me in.
All that aside, I was expecting something just OK. What I found instead is a very cleverly written, well paced and mostly believable story. More importantly, the characters are real and not too larger than life, although some aspects of the environment are. The scientific elements, although unsual, make sense. And for me, that's important. I have no problem in suspending my disbelief as long as the concept is plausible, which this one is.
All in all, it just works. It's not perfect, but nor can I find anything that rubs the wrong way, annoys or detracts. It's totally engaging and I find myself looking forward listening to it, yet at the same time, I don't want it to end. Imagine my delight when I learned that it was the first in a Trilogy? I am almost at the end of this epic adventure and have already purchased the second one, so it looks like it doesn't have to end after all.
All of it!! Mainly though the believability of all the characters and the story that follows each of them. You really feel invested in each of them.
Probably "The Stand" but only because thats another end of the world epic.
Its Scott Brick. Nothing more to say!
The first chapter really got to me. I won't spoil it but as a grown man it was the closet I've come to crying at the first part of any book.
Hands down one of the best books I have ever read.
I would recommend the book to a friend, but not this audio book.
I am going to go out and buy the book because I really want to read it. I couldn't finish this audio version because of the narrators droning voice! If this was a short story or normal length novel it might have been alright but considering the length of this epic story having a narrator who cannot emote even a little was simple bad casting.
I couldn't even finish the first installment. The story is amazing but his voice just makes me want to scream.
For a book to get five stars from me, it'd have to be good. So far in my audiobook journey, 'The Passage' and it's sequel, 'Twelve' come the closest. Not a vampire story as such (thank goodness), but the fresh and innovative take on the vampire myth is compelling. While the character development is a bit hollow and predictive I really enjoyed this action packed adventure. Don't however, read The Passage unless you also plan to read the sequel Twelve. The Passage does not conclude at all, but leaves off in the middle of the story. Twelve is just as good as The Passage and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion but with hints as to how the story will continue in the third book 'The City of Mirrors' - can't wait!
Although one has to give Justin Cronin credit for incredible imaginative and descriptive powers, I cannot recommend this book as I found it really disturbing and violent. Obviously it would appeal to some people, but not to me. Extremely well developed characters and detail. The narrators performance was a little over the top, particularly when he tried to imitate accents, which was irritating.
"Everything I want in an Audiobook."
This is my perfect Audiobook, superb long story, very well narrated and produced, one of those that you really dont want to end. From the first 10 minutes I knew I was going to really get into this one and I did, could not get enough excuses to listen to this in my days and evenings. The best post apocolypse audiobook I have listened to since Oryx and Crake. 5 Star rating no question.
"Hold on! Stay with it guys!....it gets better!!!!"
This is a good book but it could have been a great book. Reminds me a little like "The Stand" by Stephen King. A journey of many parts centred around a virus. I nearly gave up after the first few hours but I stuck with it and I am glad I did. The first part started off really well and at a decent pace. The second part was a little fragmented and the character development was lacking and lead me to be a little confused about the massive jump the story made. Apart from that its a good read and it recovers well. I have got my moneys worth from this title. But it maybe useful to know that this is the first part of a trilogy but I will be reading the second part with my next set of credits with great anticipation.
"you need to be tenaciuos"
This book is so frustrating, it keeps changing its mind from one grand plan to another and goes on and on and on. It is not badly written and has flashes of brilliance, but I think it needed a good firm edit or to be split into a number of books. It would be great to be able to flip back to an earlier section now and then to remind ourselves who is who, but cant do that in an audio book. Narration good.
"Stunning, stunning and thrice stunning"
Not normally my type of book. I don't do horror and I don't do vampires...but this blew me away. I didn't think I would read anything better than the Stig Larson books for a very long time, but this topped them. It was Stephrn King's 'The Stand' on steroids. I did a complete extra lap of the M25 at 2am to listen to this. Currently my fave book of all time.
"Brilliant book, had no idea it was unfinished"
Ok, i loved this book but unlike everyone else i did not hear all the hype about it. So i had no idea that this is part of a proposed trilogy, if i had known that I would not have bothered.- especially as the next part is not due til 2012. I wondered why the ending was so abrupt and lame but I will not spoil it for you.
I loved all of the characters and the plot was great, so what if it was another vampire book, its so diffrent from any other. A couple of boring bits i had to double speed through i.e. the 'who am i?' bit and the listing of names (in answering the aforementionned question) that went on and on. Other than that this book kept me on my toes and i was very sad it ended. Maybe they wll make it into a film.
So bottom line, buy this book it is a good investment but beware it is unfinished
"Hooked from the start to the last"
Wow. quite a tale! I was sucked in from the first sentence to the last. Still thinking about it, few days after finishing. Its not my usual genre of book either, submitted to the many good reviews and haunting cover! Glad that I did. The suspense does not let up. Cant wait for the next volume.
"This book fills a much-needed gap"
Despite the supposed pre-release hype overload, which passed me by completely, I found 'The Passage' on Audible linked from Stephen King's tremendous 'Under The Dome'. His even better 'The Stand' contributed to choosing this, but while it bears comparison in its post-apocalyptic theme it certainly does not in its readability, its pacing, its characters, its plot, or in its entertainment.
Cronin seems to confuse the epic with the merely long: I can't remember the last 850-page book I read in which so little actually /happened/. It opens well enough, though, the enjoyable first part setting the satisfying if fairly hackneyed near-future scene, the threads of the cast's stories drawing them towards a shadowy military installation and its doomed experiments.
There is then not so much an evolution of the plot but a saltation - a completely new story, but it's not a very good one. The characters stop being interesting, few develop in any satisfying way, and while there's lots of travelling around for the next sixty chapters they don't seem to go anywhere. I finished it two hours ago, and beyond a couple of set pieces I can hardly remember what happened. My plot precis could fit in about twenty words.
Overall it feels like a literary novelist - and the man can certainly write a sentence - choosing to demonstrate his genre flexibility with a move into highbrow sci-horror, but it simply pales as entertainment next to a King, Straub or Koontz who could have made so much more of this. Too long by far, too light on plot, too heavy on backstory for characters with such a short lifetime; and as the first in a trilogy (I'm told) demonstrates a kind of 'Lost'-esque hubris about the stamina and dedication of his audience.
Thirty six hours of investment, yet I have no interest in the next two parts. The abridged version of this might make for a tighter narrative. If you try it at all, save yourself twenty hours of padding and try that.
"Like fingernails down a blackboard."
It says much for the quality of the book that I was willing to endure ten agonising hours of a narrator who left me wanting to claw my eardrums out. The almost complete lack of any range in intonation is truly breathtaking. On rare occasions he switches from his default "mournful hopeless whining" and graces the listener with "mournful whining hopelessness" but he switches back soon enough. Yes, that's the right tone for some scenes but hour after hour after endless hour left me unwilling to endure it any more. The narrator was, if it is possible, even more unbearable than the narrator of Oryx and Crake. I might read the paper book sometime, but if you really MUST wade your way through this, consider availing yourself of Audible's functionality of speeding up the recording. This has the twin virtues of making the tone slightly less offensive on the ear and of forcing you to listen to the narrator's mithering for a little less time. Good luck...
"Faaaaaaar tooooooo loooooong!"
OMG, this book never ends. It has some good stuff in it, but far from enough to keep up the pace. A ruthless editor is needed before anyone should read this book.
"A great start"
It's worth bearing in mind that this is the first part of a trilogy and the second and third are not yet out (as of May 2012). That said, what a fantastic start, I can't wait for the sequel, The Twelve, which is apparently coming out in hardback later this year. Don't agree at all with the complaints of others about the dual nature of the book, it was a necessary device to make the plot work. Those who felt they had just invested in characters when they were swept away in favour of a new cast clearly missed one of the book's major themes, the effect of cataclysmic events and the endurance of human spirit. Just take it as two stories with a common theme, or assume the first third of the book is prologue and you'll get along with it just fine.
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