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 drive 55 metre roadtrains in Western Australia, a kiwi working in Australia. Love my Harley and my saxophone...
The main reason i gave this 5 stars is not because it was one of the best books i have read, although it certainly is great, but because this book is so bloody long and it never loses you, and there is no way for myself that it seems that long... great....
I read this book a few years ago and couldn't put it down, then bought the audible edition in preparation for the sequel "The Twelve", to be released in Australia soon. I expected to fast forward through much of it, just wanting to re-familiarise myself with the storylines, plot and characters. I have been unable to separate myself from my iphone ever since. Scott Brick does a remarkable job narrating this complex, deeply human, apocolyptic but somehow real story of humankind destroying itself while trying to save itself. The story itself is vast in scope and scale taking the listener from the beginning of the end, travelling on waves of , connection, loss and grief while twisting through the horror of isolation and desolation. The novel leaves no stone unturned in its intricate and amazingly imagined evolution to a time when just a few people remain. The reader knows 'she is coming' but those who remain are yet to realise that their safe place, their world (enriched by just the right amount of modernity to make it believable) is about to become very, very different....
I had rated "The Passage" as one of my favourite sci-fi reads of all time and it still is, but listening to it has coloured in and defined the story, made the characters seem like close relatives and I just can't wait to see them again in "The Twelve".
At first I thought I'd scream at the melodramatic narration (Scott Brick), trying to make every syllable drip with nuance, but either he settled down or the story just got me in, because I really did look forward to my daily commute to hear the next chapters.
It's an epic, and I'd often rewind because I thought I'd missed something, only to find it was explained further down the track. In that way, it may have been a better story to read than listen to. Also, so many characters make it a bit hard to keep track of everybody, but ultimately it was an engaging story and well worth the cost of the download.
As others have said, it's only part 1 of a possible 3 books. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger - in fact I often felt through out the book Cronin was writing it with a movie screen play in mind.
The story reminded me of the movie I Am Legend (Richard Matheson book) and a little of the book Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. (which is also a great audio book)
there are two styles of books I like to read
first type I called it easy read, where the story line is simple and no complication, these books are easy to find
the second types is where complicated plots, stories and writing. I enjoyed this book so much I make excuses to clean my house so I can listen to it, because that only time I have time to listen to my audio books. It keep me so enthralled that it kept me from doing other things. The only fault with this book is I have to wait till next year for the next instalment. I also bought a paper copy as well to add to my library of favourite books.
Scott Brick, the narrator, has such an engaging manner it was a real pleasure to listen to him telling the story. As for the story itself it, was seriously unnerving. To such an extent that while I will often listen to audio books to help me nod off at night this story kept me awake and when I did get to sleep my dreams were full of "virals" and the like. Notwithstanding this a really great listen.
I really enjoyed this book and the following sequels. I usually pass these type of books up as not interested in the main topic (vampires). However this is not your ordinary vampire story. This puts an entirely new spin on vampires to the point of which they probably would be if ever real. Excellent characters and the book spans generations with some interesting outcomes.
The Remaining by D.J. Molles. Also worth a read. Not vampires but Zombies. Again, not a topic I usually listen too, but both of these Authors have come up with a unique portrayal of them. Very gripping.
Yes, Scott Brick is a great Narrator and is how I got onto this. I often search for books based on others I have listened to by the same narrator. He is very good.
Impossible, this book and the series are very long, but if I didn't need to eat, sleep and work I probably would have listened to it all in one go.
Don't let the topic of vampires put you off. Trust me, they're not vampires its not even close to vampires and thank god is absolutely nothing like twilight. This book is worth a read and would make an excellent mini series.
This would have to be the best book I have ordered in the years I have been an Audio customer, and the very fact I am moved to write my first review should speak volumes.I ordered it, not really knowing too much about it, but I got it, intrigued to find out what these people have in common and I got lucky!.This book has it all.......and more
After about twelve hours, I felt a little sad, knowing it was coming to an end soon, having forgotten the length.To my delight, when I looked it up, I had another twenty odd hours of it.Excellent!...I thought. And yet I was still...ohhhhhhhh noooooo when it ended.Where did the 36 hours go?
My only regret is I cant give it more stars.Get the book.I would say its worth two credits at least, and for it to only cost one is a bonus.You wont be disappointed.As for me....next part please.......soon!
This book is filled with so many "moments" I find it hard to choose just one, but the moment Peter and Amy meet for the first time really got me.I literally held my breath for them.
The main narrator (Scott Brick) felt comfortable with the story, and brought each character so vividly to life that I could see them in my mind.Great choice of narrator.Brilliant.A good narrator can make or break an audiobook and Mr Brick nailed this one good.
The character I liked most was Brad Walgast.He was written as a wounded, jaded man, just doing a job who immediately had his heart touched by a little girl, and would do (and did) anything to protect her.
YES!..........Part two please! I'm in withdrawal.!
i liked the believability of the characters
Awesome narration. really brings depth to the different characters and emotion to the story. He really engages your mind and its quite easy to sink into the story for hours.
Definately not the story I had anticipated. I love a long read, with lots of characters and complicated parts. The beginning was excellent and for a while, I couldn't stop! I kinda wished he could have kept up that type of storytelling for the entire book but the pace slowed in the middle with the need to establish characters and set the background for the next book. Hope the next installment is as good as the first part of this book. Be a winner for sure if so.
This book was randomly set out on a table at my local library, and I grabbed it on a whim. The trouble was, right from the start I couldn't put it down (and wasn't getting any work done because of it!) so I was very happy to find that it was available on audio so I could work AND listen, without having to take a pause in the story at all. I understand the tone that the narrator uses, yes he sounds a little forlorn and monotone at times, but it sets the scene perfectly - no doubt I would sound exactly the same in the same situation!
I was also attracted by the length of the story. I love it when something isn't over all too quickly, and it held my attention all the way. I realise it's not the first 'virus outbreak' story, but I found it to be completely set apart from all the others I've come across so far. I just HAD to find out what happened next, almost to distraction!
I'm so happy to hear that it's the first part of a trilogy, though I can't bear the thought of having to wait until 2012 and 2014 for the next two!
Highly, highly, highly recommended. I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
"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.
"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.
"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!
"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.
""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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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