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The Passage Audiobook

The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.

©2010 Justin Cronin (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Read this book and the ordinary world disappears.” (Stephen King)

“Magnificently unnerving . . . The Stand meets The Road.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Justin Cronin has written a wild, headlong, sweeping extravaganza of a novel. The Passage is the literary equivalent of a unicorn: a bona fide thriller that is sharply written, deeply humane, ablaze with big ideas, and absolutely impossible to put down.” (Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (11950 )
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4.3 (7972 )
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4.5 (7975 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Allison Jacksonville, FL, United States 06-11-10
    Allison Jacksonville, FL, United States 06-11-10

    If I follow you, it's because I've glanced through your reviews and more than likely found books I've agreed with you on and also found at least one book that the majority loved, and you and I were less than thrilled with. I know I should follow you then for that next read that I will enjoy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the Credit!!"

    It is a good listen. I usually don't care for Scott Brick a whole lot because sometimes I just can't get into the characters he reads, I think he does a good job at narrating, but that wasn't a problem for me in this book. I think he did excellent. Also, as others have said, it's more end of the world as we know it, contagion more than vampires. Vampires are definitely not glamorized. To me, also, this book could have been four or five books because you go through hours and hours of a story, then it changes, hours and hours of another well-developed plot/story, then it changes onto another long phase. All tied back in at the end, but they could kind of have stood alone. To me I like some Stephen King books, but not all, I definitely feel like it was a good use of a credit, I've listened to all 36 hours in a matter of five days, it kept me entertained and interested. I don't have to "believe" in everything like a friend of mine does in movies she sees or books that she reads. If she can't believe it, she doesn't enjoy it. I just want to be entertained with a good story and a good narrator and this fit the bill for me.

    26 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alberto Thiene, Italy 11-03-10
    Alberto Thiene, Italy 11-03-10

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The most boring audiobook ever recorded"

    Cross my heart, I tried my best with this book. Notwithstanding many poor reviews, I spent 2 of my precious credits on it, and started building castles in the air about a trilogy. What a thrilling horizon: over 100 hours of post-apocalyptic vampire saga on the tracks of King's legendary "The Stand"! I could not ask for more, nor could I obtain less. I've reached part 5 and I must say, much to my dismay, that the plot is so slow that I've been using it as a sleeping-aid for weeks now. It is also one of the least thrilling books I've ever stumbled upon. Hundreds of useless characters and insignificant details on their private lives. For the first time in my life I wished I bought an abridged version. Take my word, do not buy this audiobook.

    37 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    msthompson824 07-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I couldn't stop ..."

    I couldn't stop listening to this book. I don't understand anyone who didn't find this book engrossing, thrilling, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. Now I have to wait two more years for the sequel. Yes, there were some rough spots, but I think this book was all of five stars and if there were six, I'd give it another. Read it, you won't regret it.

    22 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Medford, MA, United States 06-22-12
    Andy Medford, MA, United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2010

    Im a good listener

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    "very over rated"

    I think this is probably a good book, but it's not a very good audio book. The narrator doesn't seem suited to the book at all. There are large parts with no dialogue and his cadence is sleep inducing. It's probably a combination of the reading and the author being rather wordy and overly descriptive. If I were reading it there are parts where the ability to accurately skip ahead or skim would make the book a much better experience as the core story is pretty cool.

    I'm really bummed out I spent both my credits this month on this. I feel obligated to finish it but listening to it is like when your wife is watching Housewives of Somewhere and you're on the couch pretending to watch with her while you pick at your fingernails or play games on your phone.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 05-11-12
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 05-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "After 25 hours, nothing had happened so I gave up"
    Any additional comments?

    The book has been compared to The Stand. It's not in the same league. It is about a viral apocalypse that kills most people and leaves a few survivors holding out against rabid vampires. This scenario is set up plausibly but it is shockingly boring boring boring.

    The first part is slightly compelling as the background is set up, although the author is too long-winded with descriptions and inner monologues that never pay off. He's simply not good at creating differentiated characters.

    Then there's the second big setting where a large community hides in a fortress against "the virals." It's hour after hour of nothing but not very intriguing descriptions of political alliances and love triangles among the residents.

    There are a few skirmishes with the virals but they're not tension-filled. And the computer hacking 90 years after the end of civilization is preposterous.

    The last thing I would say is that I might've given the book two stars because I could see how maybe fantasy fans might like some of it, but the book costs two credits! There are longer (and better!) books available for a single credit, such as The Pillars of the Earth. I can't imagine anyone finding this book worth two credits, all of the positive reviews notwithstanding...

    P.S. The narrator is fine, perhaps a bit slow or maybe that was my desire for action to happen.

    26 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tim booth 07-07-10
    tim booth 07-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thespian"

    This book is soo frustrating. I can tell its exciting and well written, but as it goes on, I can't get past the awful narration. The reader has a tick- on every line, EVERY line, he drops the pitch of the last word. His voice carries an actorly dread throughout, which is wearisome and undermines the sections where that emotion is really needed. I end up approaching the book with dread and I'm not even past the first section. I doubt whether i will be able to finish it.

    30 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 06-14-10
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 06-14-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Not average vampires"

    First, I hate vampire books, second I don't like the emotive Scott Brick. But third this book is not all that bad. It sure held my attention, and I really liked the first half of the book, before Dark Night. Before Dark Night the book was a bit disjointed bringing several stories together to meet and make sense. I could not stop listening to that part of the book and liked several of the characters. The book picks up about 93 years after Dark Night with new characters and a new story. This one I did not like as much but is still a good story. These sticks, viruses, dracs are sometimes called vampires but are just people that have gotten sick and been changed. Virals is the best name for them, and folks cluster together to avoid being killed by them. All in all it is a fantasy and if you can get into it I think you will enjoy it. At almost 37 hours I admit I was a bit tired of it all at the end but still rate it four stars, and think you should get this before it goes to two credits, as it surely will.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia Rossville, GA, USA 06-18-10
    Alicia Rossville, GA, USA 06-18-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I knew it wouldn't - IT COULDN'T stay at 1 credit!"

    This is the first time that I've written a review after being with audible since 2004 or so, but I had to because this book is simply breathtaking. 3 reasons come to mind:
    1. It is epic in scope, spanning over a century in its development,
    2. The characterization combined with the apocalyptic setting put you there asking not only, "what would I do" but also, "What am I capable of enduring".
    3. 30+ hours of phenomenal literature for 1 measly credit! Like I said in the title, I knew the 1 credit charge wouldn't - COULDN'T last!

    This one is absolutely worth it, even for 2 credits!

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Washington, DC, USA 07-07-10
    Holly Washington, DC, USA 07-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Makes Michael Crichton look like Tolstoy"

    Well, that's 36 hours and 52 minutes of my life I'll never get back. And in all that time there were two moments that rose above the tedious: the witty reference to garlic (one sentence) and the description of Texas (one or two paragraphs). Otherwise, there's nothing to recommend The Passage. Plodding prose, heavily dependent on insipid dialogue. Indistinguishable good guys and equally undifferentiated bad guys, with a few stereotypical folksy characters for comic relief.

    Did any of the publishing world figures who hyped this novel actually slog through it? Certainly no one edited it. The plot drags to the point of sadism. Maybe that's it! Maybe the author, famously a professor at Rice, is (consciously or otherwise) punishing us for valuing vampire stories over more serious literature.

    Finally, the narration of the audiobook is unrelievedly whining and portentous. (So why won't the Audible review system let me give this zero stars?)

    Honestly, I love a good beach novel. The Dragon Tattoo series is hardly great prose, but those books are redeemed by the marvelous characters Blomqvist and Salander. The Passage, in contrast, is just a thoroughly poor effort. If feel like a lesser person for having stuck with it.

    20 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benson Montpelier, VT, USA 06-18-10
    Benson Montpelier, VT, USA 06-18-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Yarn But Also a Potboiler"

    Cronin has latched onto a clever conceit: Man's hubris leads to a pandemic that, like rabies perhaps, turns victims into vectors and nearly destroys the world.

    At best a good plot line with stretches that capture our attention. But the story as a whole sprawls--an endless trek, rather than a passage. Cronin is best when the theme is mystical and etherial, but often when the mists clear, there are simply more mists.

    The action scenes are jumbled and too long. They might be good action directions for a movie, but they are flat as direct fiction.

    Not every story needs a linear plot, and dystopias fall into that class perhaps especially. But Mr. Cronin ultimately does not know where to go with his nice conceit, and at some point I had less and less interest in where it was going--but hoped that it would get there sooner than later.

    Minor note: Mr. Cronin has not yet mastered the simile and should use it sparingly. "Wet, like the sea," "dark like the night," and "empty as a vacuum" (not actual excerpts--rather my models of the problem) are tautological, add little, and are annoying.

    Summary: A good yarn with much entertainment value, but also much missed potential.

    The readers are all excellent, and they make the most of the material.

    28 of 41 people found this review helpful

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