“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
“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)
I am living proof that the universe has a sense of humor.
The story concept of a virus virtually decimating the human population is of course not a new one and has made for some really exciting books in the past. Cronin's idea of infected killer bats in some deep jungle having this virus just falls short. As infectious as this virus turns out to be, it seemed to have just stayed put for centuries in the jungle with no human infection.
The spread of the virus does make for a somewhat interesting read. As the world starts to collapse, the story focuses on several characters and adds a good measure of suspense. However, this is were the story starts to fall apart. The rest of this long book deals with a small community of survivors roughly a hundred years after the end of civilization. The reader is subject to ongoing and all too frequently mind dulling lengthy descriptions of characters, their tasks and friends.
To add insult to injury, this book is only the first part of a series. This was only the second time in my life I stopped reading a book. I absolutely, positively cannot recommend this book!
I really enjoyed this book! I was hesitant because reviews were all over the place. Someone said the beginnign was a lot of back story abotu chjatracters that weren't relevant. I highly disagree. I enjoyed this journey through the decaded. It felt like Mad Max meets night of the livign dead or somthing. Great book though I wanted more in the end. It became a little unsurprising when (spolier alert) everyone you thought were dead began resurfacing.
The characters are incredibly detailed in this suspenseful novel. This is NOT some yarn in which the moves are telegraphed chapters in advance. Extremely well written and suspenseful. The breadth of human personality and motivation is amazing. This is one good book. No cliches in the story lines or characters. My only criticism has to do with the narration by Scott Brick. His default reading persona is that of a cynical slightly sarcastic story teller. It was not a good fit for this book. His tone is better in police procedurals than in this type of book.
Cronin's attempt at "epic" is missing ...no, is too detail-heavy ...no no, at times, tedious ...no, painfully tedious(that's it) ...no, insultingly tedious(aww, yes, much better). What Cronin and publisher is selling here is 36 hours of fishing with incredibly boring detail which, for some inexplicable reason, is deemed "epic" ...I suppose for it's length. "Epic" is not multitudes of descriptive narrative stacked one upon another, rather, it is story evolution. 36 hours of my time wasted by what is the most insulting, abrupt ending I've ever experienced. The sad thing is ...there is a story here. A good story, which deserves better treatment. This book is completely formulaic with only one intent ...sell the sequel. Sorry, but this writer is one fish that is swimming away.
I won't even call this a book. It was an adventure from the time I started listening until the last sentence was spoken, it was a roller coaster ride. Very well done. Great Plot. Kept my interest. More over, I hope another will be available soon. Justin Cronin surprised me utterly. I am a total Stephen King, Dean Koontz girl but there is definately a new sheriff in town.
Listening to this book is definitely an investment of time. However, unlike others, I was captivated by the story. It did end a little abruptly but I am not put off by a less than tidy ending. It ends with a new beginning implied. I hope Cronin continues in a new book with the rest of the story. I can see the next title as "The War." If you think of it in terms as a continuing story, the book ends at the only place it could.
This was my first audio book and while it took me a bit to get into it, I soon found that I couldn't wait to keep going. I agree that the ending could have been different even given that this is supposed to be a trilogy.
I'm listening to the book now. I was so in love with the book for the first third, and have just started the second third. Jumping decades into the future with none of the characters it took you hours of listening to get to know is frustrating. Only the fact that I've listened to the whole first third is pushing me to listen to the rest. I hope it gets better because I have a lot more to go. Right now I feel like I have started a whole new book and am upset about the non-conclusion of the first...OMG!
Read Mike's "Really Bad" review from July 9th, which totally captures my impression of this book. I finally finished it today and immediately called my sister to tell her to put it on her "Do not read" list.
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