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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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8,071
  • 4 Stars
    4,143
  • 3 Stars
    1,780
  • 2 Stars
    669
  • 1 Stars
    537

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7,257
  • 4 Stars
    2,586
  • 3 Stars
    743
  • 2 Stars
    229
  • 1 Stars
    178

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,337
  • 4 Stars
    2,795
  • 3 Stars
    1,126
  • 2 Stars
    414
  • 1 Stars
    307
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicole
  • Redford, MI, United States
  • 06-23-10

You love it or you hate it...

There doesn't seem to be much middle ground with this book. The same goes for the narration...I think you either generally love Scott Brick as narrator (he's one of my favorites), or you can't stand him.

I didn't read a lot of the hype before listening to the book, so I didn't know what to expect. I like to try out different books from time to time, and I saw that it was long and only one credit, so I got it for my long commute to work. Glad I did.

First of all, this is not a cheerful book. It is at times uplifting, and at others very depressing. It is about vampires, but not the "traditional" vampires we're usually hearing about. And no one "sparkles" in this story, trust me. I thought the character development was good. Sometimes things moved slowly, but I never found myself wanting to skip sections. There was always enough going on to keep my interest. It's also like two stories in one. There is a bit about the world before, and then the story about what happens after. Not immediately after, as in the Stand, but a few generations later. I found that to be very interesting.

It is VERY long. That in itself doesn't work for some people. I myself enjoy long, rich stories, and that's what I feel I got with this one. There's a lot of description, which I enjoy but others may find dull. I was a bit annoyed with the ending, but I understand that this is to be part of a larger work (trilogy, I think) so it's more understandable.

Overall, if you can handle a long, depressing but sometimes uplifting story that is rich in detail but sometimes a bit on the slow side, give this a try. You might love it...or you might hate it.

312 of 343 people found this review helpful

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

A new type of vampire


The Passage is a well written novel about vampires, with a new and creative twist. I thought the first several hours laid out a good foundation to the rest of the story. Justin Cronin did a wonderful job in the introduction of all the main characters. They were well thought out and interesting. Overall the book was pretty good. I look forward to book number two.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but predictable

I am having a hard time giving this book a good review, but I just purchased books II and III, so I’ve got to give credit where it’s due.

Perhaps my expectations were too high. I know a few people who read it and gave it soaring reviews, but I found it predicable. More than once I knew, almost word for word, what a character would say or do.

But there were some interesting surprises along the way. And it’s still entertaining, despite the predictably. I listened for a couple hours everyday, I want to know what happens next.

If you’re looking for something easy to listen to, give it a try. If you’re looking to be amazed and inspired ... keep looking. You won’t find that here.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

WAY TOO MUCH FILLER

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book has way too much filler, the author goes into character background too much and takes away from the main story. Even characters that end up being irrelevant and one that get killed off. If you trim the fat then the main course is a good story line.

Was The Passage worth the listening time?

Worth the listening time? The main narrator brings life to the story. If I sat down to read this book I would have never finished it. Kuddos to Scott Brick keeping me somewhat interested

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Meandering muddy morass of minutia

Very long, so many details about nothing. Flashbacks within flashbacks that flash forward. Oh and there are vampires.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Give me a refund

When it isn't boring you to death it is making you depressed. This the worst book I have ever listened to or read. If the critics liked it they are also boring. Rin away.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Would be twice the book if it were half the length

Overlong, turgid, hackneyed post-apocalyptic vampire novel. Romero covered much of the same ground in "Dawn of the Dead" (infectious zombies, looting shopping malls, zombies returning to shopping malls, futile army) in two hours - which corresponds to 100 written pages - with spot on satire, which this novel lacks. "28 Days Later" covered the failed-scientific-experiment-gone-wrong plot much better - even with its rogue army unit plot diversion.

Was Cronin paid by the word? There are many, many, many, many, many (do you get the point) instances of seemingly incessantly repeated words/phrases. There are literally pages of the listing of surnames. Is this supposed to make this more profound?

This, from a university English professor? He should know better. This suffers from the modern malady of confusing length/quantity for quality.

Apparently the movie rights for this novel have been taken up. The Passage will make (if it's kept to 2 hours) for a better movie and a better investment of one's time.

This was a real slog to listen through to the end. I seriously thought to drop it many times because it was *so* tedious.

I have absolutely *no* interest in reading the sequels.

On a positive note, Scott Brick (as usual) and Co. do a laudable job of narration.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Well written but not very good.

Justin Cronin is an excellent writer and clearly pays attention to the details in life. In part that is why I found the storyline of this book to be disappointing. Vampires, viruses, government experiments, dragging plot lines, typical male portayals of female characters, one-sided religious views... on and on. The story drags and the last third of the book felt like a total waste of time. It's not original at all. A modern collage of already written books and TV shows. The audio performance was solid but the rest was disappointing after the first half of the book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Just so-so.

Long winded and with awkward metaphor this opening book is the best of the trilogy.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Not what I expected

Minor spoilers ahead!

I chose this book based on the summary provided. An FBI agent protecting the girl that was somehow involved in an apocalypse that wiped out the world? Sign me up! I found the beginning of the novel to be very gripping. It isn't often that I find myself caring for the characters in a story, and certainly not as fast as I did with this one. I loved some, despised others, and commiserated with a few. However, I knew that there was an apocalypse looming in the near future, and that knowledge detracted from the story because I knew that most characters would not be around anymore.

Then the apocalypse occurs. And time skips forward beyond the lifespan of any of the characters I'd come to care about. It was like a completely different story by a completely different author. I felt more than a little betrayed - I had signed up for a romp through the wasteland with an FBI agent and a girl with (maybe) special powers. What I got was the daily routines for a group of strangers (to me) living in a walled up shanty town.

I tried to make it, I really did, but after sixteen hours of listening, I had to stop. There was no sign of the promised story, and try as I might, I simply couldn't bring myself to care about the survivors. Maybe there's a good story past that point, but I didn't find it worth waiting for. This is one if the only books I stopped listening to before finishing.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful