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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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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Literate Horror Novel

This is the best and most literate (or literary) horror novel in years. Simmons creates an eerie atmosphere delicious sense of dread in this tale about a 19th-century Arctic expedition that gets stuck in the ice with no hope of rescue. Starvation, disease, subzero temperatures, and ravenous polar bears claim the men as they try to survive in the unforgiving environment, but there is something even worse stalking them. The gradually unfolding mystery surrounding this demonic presence is what drives the narrative and makes the book such a compelling read/listen.

The story is partly based on the 1846 Franklin expedition, in which two ships (the Erebus and the Terror) went to the Arctic seeking a Northwest Passage, only to become lost and never heard from again. Simmons speculates on what might have happened to the crews and their commanders. Years of research must have gone into this; the knowledge of 19th-century maritime life, as well as the details of the Franklin expedition, is quite impressive.

The perfect book to read/listen to by the fireside on cold winter nights.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great read

Years ago I read the book. I enjoyed it just as much as an audio book... the descriptive writing puts you right in the thick of the action and you find yourself on the edge of your seat hoping against all odds that the hapless crew can find a way out of their plight... highly recommend

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Very well told.

A chilling story beautifully told. The author and narrator are a perfect match! I enjoyed it to the end.