Captain Crozier has taken over the expedition after the death of its original leader, Sir John Franklin. He draws equally on his strengths as a mariner and on the mystical beliefs of the Eskimo woman he's rescued as he sets a course on foot out of the Arctic and away from the insatiable beast. But every day the dwindling crew becomes more deranged and mutinous, until even Crozier begins to fear there may be no escape from an ever-more-inconceivable nightmare.
©2007 Dan Simmons; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
"Beautifully written." (Publishers Weekly)
Another great story by Dan Simmons and great narration by Simon Vance. 4 stars instead of 5 just because its the abridged version and not the unabridged version of the book.
I read many historical/adventure/mystery books but this story was too fantastic and repulsive for my tastes. I was surprised that I did not to like it based on my usual preferences.
I won't go out of my way.
Simon Vance is one of my favorite narrators. I probably wouldn't have read very many pages in a print copy of this book, but held out for a few chapters due to Vance's interpretation.
The scenes involving The Terror and Lady Silent are disturbing and repellent.
I've read nearly all the books written about John Franklin's final, fatal (& idiotic) expedition, and so, clearly, has Simmons. The title of the book could be seen as merely derived from the name of one of Franklin's two ships; Erebus & Terror...but it gets to meaning a great deal more.
The beginning of "The Terror" segues from staying close to historical facts about the ludicrously overloaded, overpopulated expedition --with the addition of a fictional character, the Inuit woman "Lady Silence", who seems deeply mysterious at first...then gets more mysterious & a whoooole lot weirder. As does the plot. Simmons follows, as faithfully as can be known, the tragic trajectory of Franklin's doomed men. The farther he gets into historically unknown territory, the deeper he gets into just plain mystical/bizarre/darn near alien territory, as when (for instant) the reason for Lady Silence's silence is revealed. It's not just because she's shy & doesn't speak English.
There may be some who can't deal with a book which begins so grounded in fact about a true polar exploration and then veers so far into mystical territory. I really can't go into plot details partly because I don't want to do any spoiling, partly because it's darned near impossible to describe without just inserting great chunks of the book.
There is certainly terror ongoing throughout the factual and the imaginative parts, and by the end pretty much only the possibly other-worldly mind of Dan Simmons could've produced the deeply unsettling strangeness...but it's a seriously unique & creative strangeness. If you can let your mind wide open & let it wash over you, it's a heckuva ride.
I haven't read the print version. Being as I didn't want the abridged version to end, I would buy an unabridged or print book in a heartbeat.
Frozen In Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition. One of my all time favourites about the Franklin expedition. It has the same sense of immediacy and a wealth of detail (now expanded on by recent discovery).
The death of Irving.
This book needs to have an unabridged audio version made available.
Suspenseful story of a monster, a maiden, and manly man. Fans of Dan Simmons will not want to miss this novel, which is what is best psychological thrillers. Rich with folklore and set in the 1800s with a memorable cast of characters that will kill you to the bone.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
This book is based off two real ships exploring the Northwest Passage. It is basically a historical novel with Inuit mythology inserted. The book is written partially from a third-person narrative and partially from direct journal entries from several characters. This was necessary because seaman keep getting killed off and therefore their viewpoint then must disappear.
I enjoyed the mix of historical, horror, suspense, and science-fiction. The historical part definitely brought out the high risks of such an expedition in the form of mutiny, extreme cold, hunger, cannibalism, scurvy...it all makes you wonder why anyone would have gone on such a voyage!
I didn't find the novel to be too long as others expressed. It all, to me, felt important to building the ambiance. And this book, overall, is about giving you the feeling of what it was like, versus being action-packed. There is definitely some action, of course, but building horror is more Simmons' schtick. The monster reminded me of Simmons' treatment of the Lord of Pain in Hyperion. There is so much fear for the creature and for good reason, but as you go through the series, you find that he is an equalizer in some ways and can be helpful if on your side. I enjoyed how, in this novel, he uses the monster in a somewhat similar way - as a creature outside of our Western viewpoint. And the evil of the mortal humans is a foil for this philosophical discussion.
I can see that this book wouldn't be for everyone, but I think if you're a Simmons fan, like me, you'll find enjoyment in this novel. As always, I enjoyed the great Simon Vance narrating.
Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
This was an interesting but gruesome book of survival and self discovery. A group of men, who when brought to their knees by the elements, start to uncover the depths of each individuals basic moral compass. The vigilant and unwaveringly line of command helped to hold them together until many of the men lost hope and their group splintered. That was the beginning to the end. The end was a little disjointed from the main story, but fasinating, and had some really amazing facts about the Inuit tribes. A fictional history book based on, what they know of, The Franklin Expedition, though not many real known facts were confirmed until the 1980-90's.
I think maybe I missed something in the abridged addition, perhaps if I had more time to absorb and connect to the characters I would have enjoyed it more. Even though, it was still a well written story that was, all in all, entertaining, but I would definitely recommend the Unabridged version.
Too bad it's abridged, but the novel is too long to begin with (750 pages), and Simon Vance's narration just too good to pass up. Like Patrick O'Brian meets Stephen King, or something like that.
I was skeptical if a horror novel can really work in audible form. Turns out I need not be concerned because it was not scary. Exciting sure, but not scary. Lost did the mysterious polar bear better, and Monty Python did the cannibalism bit better. Still a great read for nautical fans.
Report Inappropriate Content