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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
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    8,641
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    4,336
  • 3 Stars
    1,826
  • 2 Stars
    695
  • 1 Stars
    561

Performance

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    7,844
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    2,735
  • 3 Stars
    788
  • 2 Stars
    238
  • 1 Stars
    190

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    6,862
  • 4 Stars
    2,965
  • 3 Stars
    1,183
  • 2 Stars
    433
  • 1 Stars
    337
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Freaky

Way to much.wasted time repeating 2 full minutes stupid. This book was one of the worst I have read. I feel it was a very long waste of time. I will return for credit.

12 of 12 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.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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

Epic Scale Time Sink, Minor League Delivery

This 36 hour book was about 10 hours of plot driven story wrapped into an additional 26 hours of unnecessary bloat. Yes I know this book was well received here and even garnered a 4 plus rating. I do not know if these ratings were placed by noobs or the casual reader with only a few books under their belt.

But as any seasoned reader can tell you, 30+ hour novels with a constant flow of meaningful content and actual plot driven story telling are very few and far between indeed ! Unfortunately this book does not fall within that few and far between catagory reserved for only the truly extraordinary. However the actual premise and plot of the book is not so bad as to be rendered completely useless and may have been acceptable in about 1/3 of the volume, Unfortunately it took me 36 hours of my life to discover that.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Save your money (credit).

I am usually in for long and detailed narration but ugh! Too many words that say nothing...

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

I WANTED to love this, but....

I heard such wonderful things about this book and it's a great novel...well, 1/3 of it is great. The first third of the book moves quickly, feels original and familiar at the same time, and sets up a potentially fascinating struggle between man and monster for control of the planet...and then...

**SPOILERS BELOW**

...and then that struggle is completely ignored, all the interesting characters died (or did they...who cares because we never hear from them again) and suddenly we are hundreds (maybe? again...who cares) years in the future and we're now focusing on the most uninteresting member of the last colony of humanity and ALL of his casual conversations or mental thoughts about EVERYTHING. I find myself yelling, "Who cares?!?" at this book over and over and it kills me because the set up was so wonderfully crafted.

I think that's what pains me so much about writing this review. Justin Cronin is a damn fine author. He avoids cliches. He is truly original with his wordplay (he describes the random weeds and flowers that an old woman collects to make her famously nasty tea as "herbaceous flotsam." That's just plain, creative fun with the English language and I love it). His characters feel realistic and lived in, but...he seems to focus on the least interesting things about them. He spends too much time describing the complicated love lives of characters that we don't ever spend any real time with. I just finished listening to a long conversation that the "main" character has with an old relative only to find out at the end that she has alzheimer's, forgot everything that both she and the main character said, and the whole point of the conversation, in relation to the plot, was so that the old woman would drop a not-so-cryptic nod to the actual main character of the book whose story is fascinating and only merely hinted at in fits and starts.

I've read a lot of people's reviews saying that Cronin's non-linear style is not for everyone, but I actually find that aspect refreshing. He lets us wonder about the actual main character's passage through time and describes it as a dream state and the effect is fantastic...but then quickly refocuses back on the tedium and inane interactions of what might be the least interesting final colony of mankind in the history of literature. Things happen...and then they are abandoned or ignored as unimportant while we focus on a drab and tedious detail of history which doesn't contribute much to the overall story. I know Cronin is trying to present the second part of the story as a mystery more than a sci-fi horror, but he lost me when he decided that his protagonist would rather let things happen rather than actually engage in action. What we end up with isn't an against-the-odds primal struggle to learn a reveal a hidden and terrible truth, but rather a "Waiting for Godot" / "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" introspective, whiny retrospective on the disappearance of the protagonist's brother. At this point, Cronin has spent so much time musing over why he died that I know that he isn't actually dead. I know it. Every time the protagonist wistfully remembers a moment when his brother was complicated or they didn't get along...I know the brother isn't dead. I know he's going to come back in some weird, non-human form and it's supposed to make me horrified, but it's just going to make me annoyed. Imagine a magician that didn't use misdirection and constantly redirected your attention back to the fact that he's about to perform a trick...that's what this feels like.

I'm sorry to be so critical. The first portion of this novel is wonderful and was populated by interesting and dynamic characters and relationships...and Cronin ended that with a thud. Maybe the end of the world would actually be boring and tedious. I imagine it would be. I imagine trying to find food in a nuclear waste land would be the height of an extremely serious monotony. Maybe this book will get better, but...I don't think it will. I kinda want everyone to die, but I know they don't. I know that there are two more books and I honestly don't care anymore what happens to Justin Cronin's humanity.

I'm going to give this author another chance, but not with this trilogy.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

So Long Winded

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

English Majors who like a flowery passage and don't care that a story that could have taken 5 hours to adequately be told took 36

Has The Passage turned you off from other books in this genre?

I like post apocalyptic fiction, but if you want a well written book about a zombie outbreak, read/ listen to World War Z

Which scene was your favorite?

The Walgast and Amy at the carousel, that had some decent pacing and story line.

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

See above, this book was so slow and had so many unnecessary back stories about characters who didn't add anything to the narrative. Did we need to know every moment of their lives? Especially the minor characters? No.

Any additional comments?

Based on the good reviews this book got from other readers it gives me pause to trust anything on this site.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Nopes

It's terrible don't buy it

No I'm not going to give you a long explanation. I was just subjected to the windiest, forced melancholic and weepy drivel. And considering how many words this guy wrote I delight in the idea of giving a poor review with only a fraction of the writing

He describes a little girl peeing in the street in great detail and then goes on and on about how this was soooooo poetic and symbolic and full of meaning. Do I need to say more?

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Really weird!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you like Sci Fi and monsters you will like this book

Would you ever listen to anything by Justin Cronin again?

No. Not my thing

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was disappointed. I got it because I really like Scott Brick. This book was way too "out there" for me!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • robert
  • mill valley, CA, United States
  • 09-28-10

the passage

This book i could not finish.I can't remember ever not finishing a book.It went on and on and went off on tangents that had nothing to do with the story.This is one that would be better as a movie.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful