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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

This thrilling novel kicks off what Stephen King calls “a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.”

Now a FOX TV series! THE PASSAGE airs Mondays at 9/8c.

Named one of the 10 best novels of the year by time and one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Esquire, U.S. News & World Report, NPR/On Point, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage, and Library Journal.

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”  

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy - abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape - but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world. 

Look for the entire Passage trilogy: 
 

  • The Passage
  • The Twelve
  • The City of Mirrors

Praise for The Passage

“[A] blockbuster.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Mythic storytelling.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Magnificent... Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them.... The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt.” (Time)

“The type of big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night.” (The Dallas Morning News)

“Addictive.” (Men’s Journal)

“Cronin’s unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind.” (Parade

©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
    8,702
  • 4 Stars
    4,349
  • 3 Stars
    1,833
  • 2 Stars
    699
  • 1 Stars
    563

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7,907
  • 4 Stars
    2,744
  • 3 Stars
    793
  • 2 Stars
    240
  • 1 Stars
    192

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6,920
  • 4 Stars
    2,976
  • 3 Stars
    1,188
  • 2 Stars
    439
  • 1 Stars
    339
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Story Okay, Narration Good, Ending SUCKS

I've noticed the last 10-15 years or so, there seems to be a trend of authors leaving their readers dangling at the end. Personally, I don't like that. It ruins an otherwise perfectly good story, and this is no exception. Overall, I enjoyed the story, and the narration was pretty good. And then, when it came time for the wrap-up, the writer decided to end it on a depressing note that completely failed to wrap up the story in any meaningful way. It's about as satisfying as the much maligned, "and then the little boy woke up" ending.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

Predictable and Low Brow

This book bored me with stereotypes of law enforcement lackeys, an Uncle Tom portrayal of Anthony Carter, a classic protagonist in any Greek tragedy, and sophomoric, deviant sexual fantasies that casually litter the thoughts of various characters. I am not a religious zealot but Cronin promotes a ridiculous overuse of “Jesus” as an epithet, perhaps because slurring Vishnu, Buddha, Muhammad, Brahma, Guanyin and Allah instead of Jesus would’ve resulted in a book ban for religious intolerance. Ironic.

I also think the plot is predictable. Life is short. Skip this book.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Not love or hate, just sort of Meh.

One reviewer said you either love it or hate it, but I didn't fall to either extreme. For me the whole thing, story and performance, just seemed unaffecting. I was so disappointed to go from, "Oh, boy! Almost 37 hours of entertainment." To, "Oh, gee, when is this thing going to be over?" The reviews from professionals were even more amazing: "big ideas"? - hey, it's a zombie/vampire thing; "unnerving" - more like enervating. Humdrum and ponderous.

The story is told with a dreamy quality, and narrator Scott Brick performs it that way - throughout! I admired Mr. Brick's work for the quality, clarity, and tone of his voice. But just how much dreamy can a person take?

The other narrators? Why?? It served no good purpose.

None of the characters or situations grabbed me. That I felt just the slightest twinge of suspenseful tension in a couple of places kept this review from being less than three stars. I won't be looking for any more works by either Mr. Cronin or Mr. Brick, and if something of theirs comes highly recommended to me, I will carefully audition it before purchasing it.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Hans
  • Wilmington, DE, United States
  • 05-27-14

Partially pathetic

The general plot is good although not really unique but taken from several other sources. I liked the first and the last part of the book. The whole part in the sanctuary though is totally overloaded with boring details about uninteresting characters and adds an absolutely unnecessary length to the book (really don't understand why). This whole bit and some other "passages" are a bit pathetic and - sorry to say - the whiny voice of the reader amplifies this effect to an extent that I sometimes wondered whether what the intonation implied actually contradicted the words of the author.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Too much brooding and too long

I really wanted to like this book, but I just could not get into it. It is WAY to long. There are long hours spent on development of characters that don't really move the plot forward, of course you don't find this out until the book abruptly ends with many questions unanswered. The author also repeated the same ideas over and over and consistently over describes people events and things. There were many interesting ideas in the book, but most of them were not brought to a satisfying conclusion, and there were a few events towards the just seem to come out of left field. The main idea and story is interesting and I think I may have liked the book a littler better if I would have read it because I could have skimmed through the tedious parts. I would not recommend this book to most people.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I liked how the book start... gripping intro of characters, building of suspence in the first part of the book...and then everything fell flat. I kept waiting for it to pick up and I was waiting for the loose ends to be tied togethers and each ending of various branches of the story were weak and disappointing. The vampires play a very weak role in this book. It is not a book I recommend to my "vampire" book reading friends. Don't wait 2 credits... I'm glad I only had to pay 1 credit!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Why, oh why . . .

. . . did not Edward Herrmann record the unabridged version of this book? The main narrator has an annoying vocal pattern that did not serve the story and in fact, worked against the style of this author's writing. The two women were great. I suspect this is a good book. Listening to it was torturous.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Janine
  • Richboro, PA, USA
  • 07-03-10

Slogging Through

I'm a little over halfway through and am posting this to say that people might consider the abridged version. The ratings there are higher, and though I'm always an unabridged buyer, this is one where I think I'd have been better off w/ the abridged. There's not much to savor in the slow parts, just lots of people and details you didn't really need to know about. I venture to say you won't miss anything crucial in the abridged version. Listening is a chore more often than not here in unabridged land.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Not for me

It felt like a slog. I did not finish it. The writing isn't bad, but nothing about this felt original. I had just finished listening to M. R. Carey's "Fellside", which succeeded in every way that this book failed, which probably made "The Passage" seem worse.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dianne
  • laguna niguel, CA, United States
  • 08-10-10

Boy was I pissed at the ending

...I gave it my all. All those hours listening, enduring... and the end? Wasted. I was really, really disappointed at how this author chose to end this book. A nutcase and a waste of my precious time!

18 of 19 people found this review helpful