“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 like unabridged books and this one was one worth savoring. It was so riveting that sometimes it left me holding my breath or wishing that what I thought could happen, wouldn't or would. I enjoyed the characters, I felt what they went through and wanted more for them. When it ended, I still wanted more. Hope there will be Book 2. Bravo, well done. 10 star book.
I like long audio books so when I saw this one discounted, I bought it, although I was wary about the general topic-vampires. Definitely needs some editing and drags in places. Really liked the characters and cared about them. I personally liked the narrator; not the greatest of all time but good. A few slightly irritating anachronisms (mentions of things that people after the apocalypse wouldn't know about) and the absence of the internet was strange and unbelievable, no explanation of why it apparently disappeared. Most disappointing was the end; not that at the very end it was abrupt (I actually liked that) but a few threads didn't seem tied up, some things weren't explained (with such a long book, it seems like he could've explained everything). This might be due to a planned sequel but that doesn't excuse it. I don't agree that this is on a par with Pillars of the earth at all, but it is generally a pretty good read, although it does drag at places and the ending isn't satisfying.
It's not often I give up on a book, but I couldn't take it anymore--it just went on and on and on without getting to the point. Maybe someday I'll finish listening to it, but not right now.
While I mostly enjoyed this book, I'm a bit surprised by the hype. There were passages (no pun intended), that were completely captivating, but there were other long drawn out sections where my mind kept wandering and I would have to go back and figure out what was going on. I just kept wondering where the editor was, because every word in this 40 hour book wasn't worth it.
Obviously, it's very popular, but I, like others, found it difficult to follow at times. Perhaps reading it would have been better, but as a listen, I wanted to be blown away and it didn't come anywhere near that for me.
I have never taken the time to write a review before but was compelled to with THE PASSAGE. His use of prose is fantastic! I was hooked from the first sentence. He writes characters that you care about and manages to carry them all the way through and tie it up with a bow at the end. I listened to this book almost compulsively until I finished. I smell a sequel and I can't wait!
People who have only listened to the first few hours of this book obviously didn't realize it's about 800 pages. Of course you're not gonna know everything that's going on in the first few chapters and the truth is the first few hours of the book are extremly well written character developement. I couldn't stop listening to this book!! I kept trying to figiure out what was going on and how they were gonna fight back against the virals. It has a very LOST type feel and the ending was just the kind of cliff hanger you'd get in a lost season finale, but hey there are two more books and i really can't wait to see where they will take this epic story. BUY IT!!!!
Also China Miéville, Peter Hamilton, good space-opera, No Zombies, Apocalypses, Women who sigh and go weak at the knees when seeing a man!
For those who hate to read a book without the entire series being available, take heart, I listened to this entire novel without realizing there would be, or seeing the need for, a sequel. Yet, I still liked it. It is not one of the all too common "Gee, aren't Vampires cool"! novels that seem to have saturated the bestseller lists, it isn't a thriller that describes slice & dice horror in such detail that you may as well attend an evisceration. The author (Cronin), could have spent more time on character development, especially on little Amy, who lives a long life and yet never seems to change or to overcome any of her childhood experiences. Cronin explores an interesting idea, although, as one reviewer points out, I Am Legend does the job in part already. However, this novel has a much broader scope. Where the idea that ALL of humanity would be easily (as in I Am Legend) destroyed really belongs in the 1950, 60's and early 70's horror genre, along with giant ants, brain-eating Zombies and mask-wearing Slashers. Cronin does do a good idea of exploring certain ideas. E.G., the medical abuse of prisoners, and its possible results (in horror). Or questioning the ethical responsibilities of Doctors and Scientists in Government pay. The effects of an apocalyptic event on survivors, especially if the the majority of the survivors are children. What is and isn't important to a society that must live as prey, and only in light. What will become of technology when those who understand the technology die? What will death mean to people who cannot be sure if their loved ones are dead? (Cronin here may have garnered ideas from the treatment of Aids victims in various African countries). All in all, it's both a great beach listen as well as a book you'll be able to discuss with your friends. One only hopes Cronin will aviod the deus ex machina of a suitcase nukes in future novels.
This reminded me of Stephen Kings Dark Tower. I loved the way it went from one group of people to another so you followed along the time line of all the people. Even though it was a long one I wanted it to keep on going. This and Under the Dome have been my favorite books this year.
This book is worse than a made-for-TV movie. It's like a low-grade Stephen King, but it's closer to the R.L. Stine teen thrillers. The author has mid-level descriptive powers; that is one plus. But the characters are stereotypes, each operating within the scope of one or two defining qualities. And even though it's a horror story, the action lacks any kind of authenticity, so one's willingness to suspend disbelief is constantly challenged. Improbable rescues occur predictably, like in a silent-picture melodrama. Only the quirky, evil, or peripheral characters die, except for one whose end comes with a suitcase nuke. That's a pretty big clue right there. But the worst part is the incredibly slow pacing of the story, making it boring on top of its other flaws. This includes at one point a dry recounting of those "taken up" -- dozens of names, maybe scores. Couldn't we have been spared this and so much more? It's sort of an interesting story concept although I Am Legend preceded it. I just wish the author who wrote World War Z had done the writing, or else Cormac McCarthy.
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