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Publisher's Summary

“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

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Oops, didn't mean to get the abridged version...

Did realize I had an abridged version until I sat down to write this review. As it is, I don't feel I have a right to write much a review about the book. But that having been said, I didn't like what I read enough to pursue the unabridged version or any sequels.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wish I had bought the UNabriged version

This book was great, but I am betting the longer version is much better. Solid character development, with enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. Not the typical Vampire garb either, which is nice.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not your typical vampire or zombie book

Not your typical vampire or zombie book, but very good nevertheless. A few reviewers complained about the transition 100 years later in the middle of the book. Did not phase me, actually I think the 2nd half is better than the first (actually more like 2/3 is in future). This is a pretty deep book and written very well. If you have read zombie/vamp/apocalypse book I would rate as this: deep writing similar to the Road (not as deep), good story but not quite as 'fun' as Day-by-Day Armageddon, so all-in-all a good solid read. Actually, a bit better than good. The Strain is another great vamp novel. 13 Bullets I did not like due to the focus on femininity and the reader was bad. So here you have it...give The Passage a read if you are a fan of DBD Armageddon, The Strain, The Road, or even 13 Bullets. Same would apply to World War Z and the other zombie books. The Passage certainly holds it own. A mix of the aforementioned books and a little of The Stand (not too much). So go buy/rent and enjoy! You will not be disappointed. I give it 4 1/2 starts, but rounded up so that others will not miss this great story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason
  • Patterson, LA, United States
  • 11-06-12

Be prepared to commit to the whole trilogy.

Well, I chose the abridged version for Edward Herremm. I'm regretting that because I found it very good and wish I would have went long form! Can't wait to read the second one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Epic boredom

I was very much engaged through the opening chapters. The narrator is exceptionally good. However, when the story zoomed ahead 100 or so years, it became dull. And it remained dull. The first part of the book features the virus as a central character. This was interesting stuff, exciting, captivating, fast-moving, visually rich, and intriguingly provocative. The rest of the novel lacks the immediacy and suspense of the first part - there are thrilling sections - but they are few and far between. What's left is an opportunity for character development, and this is where Cronin goes under for good. His characters are unabashedly crafted for film adaptation. They are thin, unifaceted, caricatures of stock action characters: the manly woman, who is both alluring and vigorous; the techy-nerd whose virility is more than it initially appears to be; the good-guy gone surprisingly bad, etc. These characters are moving paper dolls with stiff joints. Lastly, I was bothered by the lack of contextual cohesion. Life in the colony is portrayed as pre-technology primitive - at times the dialogue is two shakes shy of grunting. Then, from out of nowhere, Cronin will portray the leading characters as utterly modern. Just didn't work for me. As primitives they were uninteresting; as moderns they were ineffectual. This novel is an obvious effort to create an Epic spectacle, and I'll tell you, it desperately needs special effects.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A combination of Walking Dead and...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Glad I listened to the abridged version. Had I did the longer one, I would've definitely said "Too long. Too many characters with not enough development." Also the virals physical abilities and how they're killed seem hazy in some parts. Like on one hand, they're too fast to see, but on the other hand, regular humans are apparently shooting them and taking them out? It's hard enough to hit a slower HUMAN moving target with a gun, much less a freakishly strong/fast creature who's skin is tough enough to shrug off bullets off it's back in one scene.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have included more insight from the virals being controlled by the 12. The author gives an impression that only Babcock is the one in sole control of his faculties while the others are near mindless killing machines. Maybe this will be explored further in the next book.

What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

Author was fine, even when doing female voices, it didn't feel too far off and take me out of the story

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Depends on the trailer. I feel like it would exist somewhere between Walking Dead and 30 Days of Night

Any additional comments?

**SPOILER**<br/><br/>I'm SUPER pissed off Amy destroyed the remaining vials that would've made 10 members of the group nearly immortal. And her response "I couldn't let you become like me". Wait?!! WHAT?!!! After meeting back up with her nun caretaker who'd been given the immortality virus who GAVE them the vials and told them this is how they could fight back, and Amy just chucks it into a fire? I'd LOSE. MY. SH!T. Thanks for the apocalyptic death sentence Amy!! And while we're at it, it's not like just because you can't die through normal means you can't kill yourself. If any of those 10 decided long life sucked, cleared they could've just stabbed themselves in the heart or blown their brains out. Virals died this way, so Amy's argument is moot. She's an a$$hole

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Engaging

I loved this book recommended by a friend. Well developed characters who draw you in and keeps the reader wanting to keep listening.

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Exciting, captivating, and just really good

I've read this book before. It's been a long time and decided to listen to the audio. Finished in several days. It was just as captivating listening to it as it was reading it. It will make you look at the world a little different...

  • Overall
  • Patrick
  • Falkland, British Columbia, Canada
  • 01-05-11

The Passage

I found it hard to get into in the beginning, but once it got going I really got into it. The narrator is very good.

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  • Torben
  • wilmington, DE, United States
  • 09-17-12

Passage to what?

Would you try another book from Justin Cronin and/or Edward Herrmann?

I would not try another Justin Cronin and/or Edward Herrmann book

Would you ever listen to anything by Justin Cronin again?

I would listen to another book but I would be very leery to make the purchase

What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

The performance was very good

Was The Passage worth the listening time?

Its not on my top 20 list

Any additional comments?

This book started out great, but the further along it went the more convoluted the plot became. It never reached its potential. It ultimately turned out to be a disappointment.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful