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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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
I absolutely love both the audio book and the paper copy! The story telling is amazing and you really do get the feel for all of the characters. This book is easily one of the best I have ever come across! As is its sequel...
This book was brilliant but I'm glad I listened to it as the author is very descriptive so I'm glad I could just sit back and enjoy !
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