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Publisher's Summary

Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of HMS Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean. The real threat is whatever is out in the frigid darkness, stalking their ship, snatching and brutally killing their fellow seamen.

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

Critic Reviews

"Outstanding." (Booklist)
"Beautifully written." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Great Story - better if unabridged

I have read several books by Dan Simmons - all of them great. When I saw "The Terror" at the bookstore, I immediately checked to see if it was available on Audible. It was, but I was disappointed to see that it was abridged. Nevertheless, I purchased it and thoroughly enjoyed Simon Vances reading of this intriguing fictional account of what happened to "The Terror" and her sister ship the "The Erebus". I gave four stars instead of five, only because it was abridged. I hope Audible provides more titles by Dan Simmons.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellently written and narrated.

I've been listening to audiobooks for over 5 years, and this story is in my top 5.

This book is extremely well-written, with a narrative that moves you along like a good adventure story, but has elements of mythological tales, murder mystery, suspense drama, and historical fiction all worked in. The setting is fascinating - 1800's naval exploration of the NW Passage, and the characters are complex and interesting (though not all likable).

It's a dark tale, and doesn't necessarily all wrap up cleanly or as the reader would want, but it's nice to listen to a story that is not predictable.

I cannot say enough good things about the narrator. His style, cadence, characters, EVERYTHING is spot-on, and moves the story forward to where you more experience it than listen to it.

Overall, I highly recommend this book.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


An intriguing & creative tale concerning a 19th Century historical mystery of a doomed arctic exploration. The narrator is superb & flows between British accents realistically & effortlessly. He varies his diction enough to maintain your interest. I was sorry when it ended.
Dan Simmons is a master of futuristic high tech science fiction, & his "Hyperion" series is without equal.
More Dan Simmons please!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful Story- but abridgement ruins it

If you read the book which is over 700 pages, you get the actual depth and purpose of this wonderful book. It actually makes you feel the cold and relate to the extreme hardships these men went through. The decision to abridge this book was a huge mistake- as it is with all abridged books - The one bright spot in this audio book is the narrator- Simon Vance who is superb!!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Glenview, IL, USA
  • 08-22-08

Historical Horror

One of my favorite books of the past few years (and I've never been a Simmons fan before, although I sure am now). A totally unique, compelling mix of historical fiction and horror, with some nautical adventure and shipboard life thrown into the pot for seasoning. Moves really fast, and the characters, events and even the scares are believable. I absolutely loved it --- give it a try, even if you don't usually like books in the historical fiction or horror genres. Simmons does such an amazing job creating a new, third genre out of the traditions of the other two, fans of NEITHER should love this book just as much as fans of either one (or both).

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kevin
  • Glen Ellyn, IL, United States
  • 08-05-12

Devastated by abridged butchery

Any additional comments?

Don't buy this abridged piece of garbage. Dan Simmons wrote a 700+ page book for a reason. I urge you to pick up the novel and read it in its entirety.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth a credit to listen to...

This was a decent book. The narrator has talent and does a very good job. The story is well formed and the characters are interesting. It is definitely worth a credit. I didn't give it 5 stars because it is abridged. The process of abridgement serves one purpose, and that is to lessen the quality of the book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I tried this audio based on the strength of the Hyperion series as well. It is engrossing, bleak, and well written. I give it three stars perhaps only because it creates an atmosphere of cold, dark hopelessness so well that it was almost oppressive at times. I recommend listening to this in July or August, in your car during an afternoon commute when it's 98 degrees...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Not for me....did not finish.

What would have made The Terror better?

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.

Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Simmons again?

I won't go out of my way.

What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Terror?

The scenes involving The Terror and Lady Silent are disturbing and repellent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Good Naval Read... but abridged.. WTF?

Would you consider the audio edition of The Terror to be better than the print version?

why would anyone...ANYONE put up an abridged version of ANY book?

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

Vance has a good voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful