“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)
OK basically I liked this book, there were elements that were heartwarming, thrilling, heartbreaking, horrible, sad, exciting, basically all the things that make for a great novel. It was certainly one that I couldn't wait to read what happened next despite a pace that is right out of a Steven King Novel, somewhat methodical and plodding. Unfortunately though I was left rather dissatisfied when I finished listening, while I now know this is just supposed to be the first part of a trilogy, I think even a cliffhanger can leave some sort of conclusion which can satisfy, but I was left feeling like I spent 37 hours putting together a puzzle only to find that a few pieces are missing.
I have been an Audible subscriber for about ten years now and download at least two books a month. This is a good book. It reminds me of The Stand. It is dystopian and post apocalyptic. It is long. It uses a multiple point of view structure and some of the characters actually die, even those that you may like. If you like this type of novel or The Road, this book is for you. If you would rather read pre-digested pap for morons, pass it by.
After 36+ hours of invested listening time, I ended up throwing my headphones at the end. The ending was abrupt with an overwhelming unsatisfactory completion. I had to check my Ipod to see if it skipped chapter only to find out the book was actually over. I will never invest in the sequel. His attempt at capturing an audience for his next book backfired with me. He definitely lost me with that rude ending.
Unlike most apocalypse stories that just focus on the disaster and and a few days or weeks after it this book spends a third of its length sitting up the end of the world, making you actually care about the people involved and the world that you know is going to be swept away. When the action comes it is sudden and horrific. Most novels would turn into a drawn out race for survival at this point but the brilliance of this book is the way its skips past the dying time and moves the story nearly a hundred years past the outbreak, letting you see the long term consequences and how society had evolved to cope with the vampire apocalypses. Its here in the last known human colony that the meat of the story takes place, a place where no one has ever seen the stars, a place where the last few families struggle to survive as the batteries begin to fail.
Since this IS a vampire story I should mention that these are not the romantic intelligent type. They are the naked hyper fast rabid kind with a limited hyponotic/telepathic edge.
Scott Brick does his normal excellent narration, which is good because after thirty plus hours a poor reader would get really annoying.
All in all this is the kind of book that makes be keep my audible account month after month. One of the best.
I have now listened to several audio books on my daily commute (1 hour each way). This is by far the best so far. I'm only about 2/3 the way through the book, but thought I would share a favorable review.
I very much enjoy the skill of the author to develop the characters and scenes. I find it very enjoyable to listen to. And I also very much appreciate the skills of the narrators. The first male narrator was able to differentiate the characters very well, and really nailed the dialect of the African nun (I've spent a few years in that part of the world).
I'm not a horror story fan, not by any means. And I didn't know this book was somewhat along that genre. The immediate preceding book I listened to was the Abraham Lincoln, vampire killer book. That one was absolutely stupid. I had no idea this book had a vampire theme also, so had to laugh at myself for getting two consecutive books with similar topics. But I found this one to be very engaging. There is very little in it that is simply gratuitious horror nonsense.
My daily commute passes too quickly. Actually, I'm worried about my safety because I'm a little too much into the story while driving a fairly dangerous highway.
This book kept me interested at every turn. The characters were well developed and the plot was interesting. 40+ hours went by way too quickly! If you like Stephen King books, you'll love this one.
I couldn't stay away from this book then came the ending. The author must be saving hunting down the others for another book. I hope it doesn't take to long.
The worst book I've [tried] to listen to or read in the past 4 years! Disjointed and long-winded to the point of lunacy, this is amateur fiction/fantasy at it's worst.
I just couldn't get past the 15th hour as it was just too much for me but do note that of the 1,000's of books I've listened to or read in the past 20 years, this is only the second or third I have ever quit before finishing. Yes, it's really that bad, please don't waste your credit, I wish I hadn't!
I'd guess this could have been edited down to an interesting 8 hour book but wasting 12 hours just as a setup that has no conclusion should give you an idea just how poor the editing is.
When I purchased this book, I was expecting the next thing in the horror genre; unfortunately, the horror elements in the book only seemed to be present in the first parts leading up to the event and just after. The second part of the book attempts to achieve the same level terror, but doesn't really come close. Fortunately, there is still a great story to be told, and if you don't mind the pacing, following along with the band of survivors as they seek out answers to how their world came to be is just as entertaining as the first part.
Cronin's prose is great as well, I especially liked the sections on Carter, a simple and sympathetic death row inmate; at times it felt like I was listening to characterizations from Truman Capote.
I would give the review 5 stars, but the post script ending kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, by no means did it ruin the 36hr experience though.
As far as the narration goes, it was Scott Brick at his best, which is to say, some will love it and some will hate it. I think his voice fits well for the horror/high tension sections, but not as much for the action parts. If you're relatively new to the audio book world and have yet to listen to his work, listen to the sample a couple of times to really get a feel for his style and cadence.
Creative idea for a story, interesting novel construction, not quite as enthralling as you might hope but does keep you wanting to turn pages. I like the narrator but his style does get tried with this novel. Will keep you entertained and that is mostly what I think we want for summer reading pleasure.
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