“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)
During the first few hours of listening, the darkness of the story made me often consider giving up. I stuck with it, and I am not sorry. The characters are compelling and once I committed, it was hard to take breaks from the story. This is definitely not a feel good book, but the story is so unique and it is so well written, that I was very happy to have experienced it.
This is a long narrative that covered a lot of territory in time and emotions. At the same time I was anxious for it to end ... and compelled to keep listening. Scott Brick, who is one of my LEAST favorite readers, managed to avoid his normal sardonic tone most of the time. The only drawback I can say is that after listening to the whole thing, and re-listening to the last hour, I am still not certain as to the fate of one of the major characters, and I wonder if that vagueness was a setup for a follow-on, making this the first of a series.
The book kept my interest, even though it is a long, drawn-out story. However, then it just suddenly ends, with no resolution, which I found unacceptable. I imagine a sequel is coming, but now that I've been burned once, I'm not sure I'm willing to take a second chance. I don't mind books in a series (I can't wait for the next installment in Karl Schroeder's Virga series). However, each book must stand alone and come to a reasonable conclusion.
The narration is great. I think I could listen to Scott Brick read the telephone book and enjoy it.
I don't ususally write reviews, but after reading other reviews of this book, I almost did not get it. I am so glad I did. It was great. I loved the way the story is layed out, the characters, the Epic time frame. I don't at all understand the complaints about the ending. I do hope there are sequals.
In short I loved it. The only reason I give 4 stars instead of five is for the short periods in the audio book like the litany of names that if reading the book, I would have glanced at and moved on, is not so easy in an audio format.
I'm now in Part 5 of the audiobook and after reading the reviews here to get a sense of whether the ending redeems the unrelentingly depressing slog it's been so far, I am officially GIVING UP. Because apparently the answer is no. I'm at a point where the author is obviously about to slaughter off a whole 'nother set of characters I've finally managed to get interested without answering any of the backstory questions he keeps raising and then wandering away from to do more slaughter, and without at least the hope of a decent ending, pfaaaghh. Forget it.
And an even bigger honking raspberry for the idea that he's going to follow this elephantine tome up with two more before he gets around to trying to wrap it all up. Yeah sure. Just like X-FIles and the aptly named Lost, right?
Somewhere the author has to keep faith enough along the way to reassure you the whole thing isn't going to turn out a mug's game. At least in the case of X-Files and Lost there was some fun along the way. But as the latest carnage-fest starts to unveil itself my doubts have gotten severe enough that I came here looking for reassurance and clearly the answer is no. So, sorry Justin, YOU LOST ME.
I love to read and I love to listen to books. Are you kidding? This book SHOULD NOT be attempted in either format. Please don't buy it and send your money to a charitable organization. This is PURE HYPE! LOVERS OF LITERATURE, BEWARE!
I loved every minute of it. Sometimes it was so horrific I almost didn't want to continue listening. The characters are drawn with a light touch, but this doesn't make them unidimensional. The way Justin Cronin omits some facts, some rendering of detail, somehow made me feel more involved in the story. I can't wait for the sequel!
Flyers! What a long book! But worth every minute of it and I'm looking forward to the next one. That's right - this is the first of three. My wife and I listened to this going to and from Key West (14 hours each way) and then on another trip to and from Orlando (6 hours each way) and we still weren't done! The characters and the storytelling are unforgettable. Stephen King was right - Justin Cronin has made vampires scary again. (And I was never a vampire fan!)
I read the very mixed reviews on this and have never read anything by this author in the past. I was very pleasantly surprised. I loved the symbolism and the depth of the characters as they developed in the story. The elements of fear, connectedness, loss, and hope are very powerful. I look forward to the continuing story from this author. I also thought the narration was great.
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