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Publisher's Summary

The men onboard HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape. A haunting, gripping story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.

©2007 Dan Simmons (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The best and most unusual historical novel I have read in years." (Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe)
" The Terror is both dazzling history and a sparkling chiller." (Caroline Leavitt, People)
" The Terror is nothing less than a revelation. Dan Simmons is a giant among novelists, and I am in awe of his achievement." (Lincoln Child)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

F**KING AWESOME!!!

Thank you Dan Simmons for writing such a fantastic epic horror, historical, supernatural, adventure novel that is “The Terror”.

For the days that I spent listening to this book, I ate more ravenously, I felt colder then normal and I thought a lot about “what would I do if placed in a similar situation”.

“The Terror” is the story of two English naval ships that set out on an exploration in 1845 and become trapped in solid ice... that’s the shortest synopsis. The real story is about the people’s lives on the ships. The people you get to know intimately and grow to love and hate or the other way around. There multiple villains to this story, from the unseen “Ursa Maritimas” (or is it) lurking around the ships, to the mutinous sailors, to the most important villain of all... the ice.

I highly recommend this emotional roller coaster dark, epic book.

The narration by Tom Sellwood was amazing and I loved listening to his ability to change his tones and accents ever so slightly to conjure the image of the new characters.

37 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Finally in Unabridged Form!

I've been waiting for years for this in unabridged format. Dan Simmons tells a gripping story of courage and perseverance amongst the crews of HMS Erebus and Terror. Fascinating historical detail mixed with all kinds of horror. One of my all-time favorites expertly narrated by Tom Sellwood.

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A truly gripping story, with a payoff beyond satisfying

At first I will say, until Dan Simmons opened my horizons, I never expected to read a book about the crew of an Arctic expedition, their varied fates leading to one inevitable one for all (except one, and I promise no spoilers here), stories of good and evil, revelry turning to survival, true heroism juxtaposed with cowardice, and ultimately, for one man, redemption.

Some background: I have read about 8-10 Dan Simmons books so far on Audible, starting with Carrion Comfort (still my favorite albeit with stiff competition), and my journey has taken me to places I never expected to go. The reason for this is that I trust Dan Simmons to introduce me to well-rounded, fleshed out characters, in backgrounds rich with historical significance, who define, aggregately, the human condition. Some have said the some of Simmons works are ponderous: I say--so is life if we live it fully. In addition to this, most of his books combine, inexplicably yet somehow fittingly, a
combination of superb plot and character development, immersion into the relevant history of where the story takes place, spine tingling adventure, real horror and fear, supernatural elements, and, above all, a deep sense of spirituality. For those of you who shy away from books that are a bit too lengthy for your personal taste, please, take the time to immerse yourself in the worlds that Simmons will introduce you to. Be patient. Because in the end, the payoff will take your breath away.

The Horror does not disappoint in any of these regards. The final three hours will leave you spellbound.

In short, The Horror is a voyage worth taking.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Chill read for hot summer

I enjoy this story so much that I have read the ebook for two summers in a row and the audiobook this summer. I love the dark and stark polar setting where this story is played out. Dan Simmons' writing style is smooth, descriptive and gives this tale the kind of ambience that carries the reader right into the world of these polar explorers. Simmons' characters are very well created and each unique personality makes them seem real. Based upon an actual expedition, the author has provided a well researched mesh to support the imagined account of how the ships, Terror and Erebus and all hands disappeared while trying to discover the Northwest Passage.

The performance could not have been better and it definitely enhanced the somber ambience of the story.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • anne
  • RICHMOND, CA, United States
  • 04-03-17

Good but then...

Great narration and the story started out good but it's long and then it began to drag. Truly there were some terrifying and haunting moments. I WAS invested in the very well developed characters so I rode it out. Then somewhere around the 17th hour there was some shouting in different accents that sounded more cartoonish than dramatic and I realized I didn't know what was going on because I'd just completely tuned out. This plus the boredome just made me resentful and I stopped listening. It's not that I can't listen to long books but I dunno... I couldn't stay with this one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow burn, some worthy horror, kinda weird ending

Started slowly, grew into some truly frightening horror, then took an odd left turn. I thought another book crashed into the one I was reading... Then, about a half hour later, saw where it was going. I'll never forget this book, but I will also never re-read it. Narrator is FABULOUS. I cannot believe the range of voices and accents he can do. Outstanding! I'm not sure whether to recommend this or not. If you are partial to historical fiction, you'll love it. If you're just up for a fast moving horror story, maybe you should pass on this one.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Epic Horror/Survival Novel

In spite of its somewhat unsatisfactory ending, this is an excellent “wilderness horror” tale in the tradition of Algernon Blackwood. It shows the influence of other classic writers, too, such as Poe and Melville. Of particular interest is Simmons’s use of the true story of the Franklin Expedition to the Arctic in search of a Northwest Passage during the late 1840s. Although the remains of the two ships have recently been discovered, the exact fate of their crews, although no doubt gruesome and horrible, remains a mystery. Simmons imaginatively fills in the gaps with a story that blends the factual and historical with the supernatural and mystical, for a supremely eerie and unsettling effect.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Can't Get Enough

This is my second time through listening to this book and I am still in love. Wonderfully written. And the performance is the best I've heard. Thank you for the added joy to this novel, Tom Sellwood

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too drawn out.. I wanted to like it

I almost gave up on this book for the simple fact that they took a very interesting plot and overall cool, dark atmosphere and drug it completely too far out. This book could of been compressed by half and been so much better. I found myself daydreaming so much that I had to rewind because I missed something. The narrator, however, is very good!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • Frankston South, Australia
  • 04-15-18

Too Much Of A Mediocre Thing

Basically I have two main criticisms.

The first is the narrator who was just a terrible choice for this book. His voice has now depth to it, no gravitas, and listening to characters who are meant to be hard-bitten sea-faring types is akin to hearing teenagers role-playing practising their all 'grown up and stuff' voices.

As a comparison, I'm now listening to the Patrick Melrose novels narrated by Alex Jennings who's capable of giving clear and distinct voices, across accents and gender, and can thus give his characters both variation and life. Sellwood just wasn't up to this task.

The second criticism is of the book itself. If Stephen King can be accused of 'verbal diarrhoea' in the length of density of his books, then Dan Simmons must do his writing from the toilet seat.

Good grief but the man can waffle, especially towards the end of the book and in particular the last chapter or two which should be full of melancholy and atmosphere but instead seemed to be little more than the other showing off his 'Inuit to English' dictionary.

Another occasion where I find myself distinctly in the minority. How this has 4.5 stars baffles me.

So, yeah, two main criticisms of an audiobook; the audio... and the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful