HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Terror by Dan Simmons
Loading...

The Terror (2007)

by Dan Simmons

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3771552,440 (3.98)319
  1. 40
    On the Proper Use of Stars by Dominique Fortier (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Both are fictionalized retellings of the Franklin Expedition. The Terror contains supernatural elements whereas On the Proper Use of Stars aims to be more of a nonfiction novel.
  2. 40
    Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition by Owen Beattie (VivienneR)
  3. 40
    Dark Matter by Michelle Paver (Jannes)
    Jannes: More Arctic horror. Simmons might is a bit more viceral, but the heart of the horror - the cold, darkness and isolation of the arctic north - is the same in both novels.
  4. 30
    The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and The North Pole, 1818-1909 by Pierre Berton (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Compelling non-fiction work detailing historical facts around the quest for the Northwest Passage, including the Franklin expedition. Listed among Dan Simmons' sources at the back of his novel.
  5. 20
    The Martian by Andy Weir (TomWaitsTables)
  6. 20
    Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol (caimanjosh)
    caimanjosh: The Terror is rather less literary-aspiring and far longer, but the same elements of horror in the desolate Arctic/Antarctic, combined with some meditation on the nature of man, is present.
  7. 10
    Tales of Unease by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (saltmanz)
    saltmanz: Doyle's short story "The Captain of the Polestar" also features an artic expedition with elements of the supernatural.
  8. 10
    The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For death and the cold and the nameless, stalking monster.
  9. 00
    Last Call by Tim Powers (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For an alternate interpretation of historic events.
  10. 12
    The Queen of Bedlam by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  11. 12
    Mister Slaughter by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  12. 13
    Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  13. 02
    Drop City by T. C. Boyle (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For characters failing to adapt to their environment.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 319 mentions

English (147)  French (3)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (154)
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
Dan Simmons never runs short of ideas, and his capacity to create powerful scenes and characters complex enough to ensure that the horror never misses its mark is once again on full display, but this one isn't peak Simmons.

At the quibble end, I'm frustrated by the personal writings of Dr. Goodsir, which may have been written with an eye to keeping the tone of the real man's letters, but which nonetheless used some recent phrases and concepts and (ugh) capitalized scattered mid-sentence words neither for emphasis nor for linguistic reasons. There were death tallies that took five more paragraphs than they should have done, multiple times, in the same manner. Slightly more seriously, little in the first three-quarters of the book prepared the reader for the more detailed look at Inuit culture in the area that emerges in the final chapters, and the book would very much have benefited from some foreshadowing, especially since Simmons' retelling of Inuit myths - I can't speak for accuracy, only my midwestern perception - were among the most engaging passages in the book. Most frustratingly, however, some bland plot points concerning the history and fates of a couple of major characters detracted from the richness and depth Simmons gave them, in particular Francis Crozier, whose intimate relationships added nothing, while his childhood memories, illnesses on the journey, and major confrontation with the cause of most of the expedition's worries combined to make a man as memorable as any Simmons has ever written.

That said, it's a voyage narrative to beat many in that genre; the details of shipboard life are unobtrusively exact; the socioeconomic class issues, rank squabbles, ration troubles, and despair-inducing weather make fertile fields for character development; a startling scene in the middle gives every man a moment to show his best and worst, and by gum they do; character deaths become increasingly, genuinely distressing, and superstitions feel reasonable at some moments, a sure sign that the author is in complete control of the lines holding up the reader's most weighty disbelief. Though the author never explicitly draws the connection between one scary prediction and a later awful moment, the reader ends up being wickedly glad that the prediction came true in that particular manner. A surprise in the penultimate chapter, were it not tangled with one of the aforementioned weaknesses, would have measured up to the twist at the end of Simmons' "A Winter Haunting", and that is no morsel of praise.

Recommendable? To fans of Stephen King or George R. R. Martin, this book will feel like a wild ride into a worthy new mythos with a truly scary vein of suspense and horror. To Patrick O'Brien fans, the nautical details will feel valid, but some crew selection problems and the broader failures of purpose and discipline (vital to the story Simmons has to tell) will sour on the tongue. To Simmons fans, it will likely feel a little too cinematic. Where Simmons excels most is in generating suspense and story through the perspectives and introspections of multiple characters. This is what makes him so appealing to readers who want more than romance, epic battle, gross-out scenes, and a bit with a dog. There are characters here who will appeal to those who have a taste for Simmons' work, but minus the scene-setting, pacing, back stories, and mini intrigues, these characters would have had more time to get seriously tangled in each other's problems and tense to the point that even a small surprise scene would have kept the reader wide-eyed, nail-biting, and racked with worry, and then Simmons could have drawn some more of those brilliant scenes in which courage and folly are indistinguishable, despair and luck closer together than two sides of a coin.

Four stars, minus one because dropping some pretty eggs would have made room for a killer omelette, with the disclaimer that I'm pickier than I would have been if I hadn't loved so many of this author's books so well already. ( )
1 vote Nialle | Aug 3, 2019 |
I wish I could say I love this book. The amount of work and research that’s gone into this tome deserves well-received recognition. Unfortunately, I can only claim to like it. This has much to do with the book’s branding. If looking for a supernatural horror in the wilderness, this isn’t it. The reviews on the book refer to details such as a ‘massive combination of history and supernatural horror’ and a ‘tour de force’. Both are right but it underwrites the supernatural element while it overdoes the history part.

The most irritating plot point for me was the obvious device of having someone walk into a clear trap. I can’t say more without a spoiler but this frustrating point comes late in the book. I found some of the most interesting things in the book to be what the Esquimaux woman, Lady Silence, does. The woman who understands how to survive on the ice makes the efforts of the ships’ crews appear naïve and inept.

The book IS a masterpiece and yet suffers from overwriting more often than not. I really didn’t need to know so many names, or reminding of them, or a full list of men who died on the way no matter how much they took up the Captain’s thoughts. Fair editing could likely trim a good couple of hundred pages. If looking to read an epic tale of man’s survival in an Arctic wilderness, then this book is excellent. If seeking a shiver of supernatural terror, this may not be the book, for the reveal, though wonderfully strange, lacked some vital element to make it scary or compelling. The most horrifying aspect for me was the scurvy. I’d be interested in watching the series, though. ( )
2 vote SharonMariaBidwell | Jun 25, 2019 |
This was my first attempt at Dan Simmons after several suggestions from friends. This novel did not disappoint. Simmons takes the real-life mystery surrounding the disappearance of the HMS Terror in 1848 under the Franklin Expedition and crafts a truly unique story that all horror fans can appreciate. The book is very long and long-winded, which gives it a sense of realism since it was set during the Victorian Era, but also adds to the prolonged suffering that the characters experience as well. Simmons incorporates elements of Inuit lifestyle, legend, and lore that aids in the story's plot and development. The fate of the poor members of both HMS Terror and HMS Erebus are quite excruciating to digest as they suffer being trapped in ice, extreme cold, scurvy and other illnesses, cannibalism, and finally the fatal encounters with the Tuunbaq. A great read for all horror fans. ( )
  rsplenda477 | Jun 4, 2019 |
My first time reading anything by Simmons, I have to say, it was a little slow and jumping back and forth between years drove me a little crazy, but all in all this was a fascinating read. I am now curious as to what happened to the real crew since this crew really did exist! As another review said, this was several stories in one and honestly I still have questions as to some of the events in the book, but I am glad I read it and fiction is not usually my thing. ( )
  melsmarsh | Apr 12, 2019 |
Based on events of the Franklin Expedition of HMS Terror through the Northwest Passage in 1845….but with some spooky speculative elements. I flew thru this near 800 page book in a little over a week. The writer’s skills of handling the historical details and leading an exciting narrative in the ice were enthralling. Strangely, I also really enjoyed the way the embossed texturized Hatchet Back Bay trade paperback felt in my hands. I need to read more from Simmons, who is clearly a master novelist. ( )
  starlight17 | Mar 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 147 (next | show all)
An immobilized ship can be a potent metaphor for certain states of existential unease, as it is in Conrad’s novella “The Shadow-Line” (114 pages in the Everyman’s Library edition) or Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (625 lines). And the polar regions, frigid as death itself, have always provided an exceptionally hospitable environment for horror: Mary Shelley (“Frankenstein”), Edgar Allan Poe (“The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket”), H. P. Lovecraft (“At the Mountains of Madness”) and John W. Campbell (“Who Goes There?”) have all dreamed dire happenings at one pole or the other, at much more modest length. (“The Terror” is dedicated, with “many thanks for the indelible Arctic memories,” to 12 members of the cast and crew of the classic 1951 movie based on Campbell’s story: “The Thing From Another World.”) But of the many possible approaches to making artistic sense of the Franklin fiasco, just about the least promising, I’d say, would be to turn it into an epic-length ripping yarn.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe New York Times, Terrence Rafferty
 
Skilfully, horribly, Simmons details the months of darkness – the temperatures of -50F and lower; the shrieking groans of the ice; the wind; the hunger – from the multiple perspectives of the men on board the ship, and with such detail that I defy readers not to grab another jumper. He adds in another, more deliberate evil: a stalking, polar bear-like monster which tracks over the icy wastelands around the ships, picking the men off one by one. "To go out on the frozen sea in the dark now with that … thing … waiting in the jumble of pressure ridges and tall sastrugi was certain death," he writes. "Messages were passed between the ships now only during those dwindling minutes of half-light around noon. In a few days, there would be no real day at all, only arctic night. Roundtheclock night. One hundred days of night." What a horrifying thought.
added by SnootyBaronet | editThe Guardian, Alison Flood
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dan Simmonsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brèque, Jean-DanielTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Herrera, AnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
This elusive quality it is, which causes the thought of whiteness, when divorced from more kindly associations, and coupled with any object terrible in itself, to heighten that terror to the furthest bounds. Witness the white bear of the poles, and the white shark of the tropics; what but their smooth, flaky whiteness makes them the transcendent horrors they are? That ghastly whiteness it is which imparts such an abhorrent mildness, even more loathesome than terrific, to the dumb gloating of their aspect. So that not the fierce-fanged tiger in his heraldic coat can so stagger courage as the white-shrouded bear or shark.

-Herman Melville "Moby Dick" (1851)
Dedication
This book is dedicated, with love and many thanks for the indelible Arctic memories, to Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, Dewey Martin, William Self, George Fenneman, Dmitri Tiomkin, Charles Lederer, Christian Nyby, Howard Hawkes, and James Arness.
First words
Lat. 70 degrees -05' N., Long. 98 degrees -23' W.
October, 1847
Chapter 1. Crozier: Captain Crozier comes up on deck to find his ship under attack by celestial ghosts.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels in Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival - or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror of the ice stalks them southward, Crozier as his men begin to fear that there is no escape.
Haiku summary
It might have been wise
to check in with the locals
before heading north.
(Myriadbooks)
When stocking your food/ Make sure the provisioners/ Aren't using lead. (goldenmoon)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316017442, Hardcover)

The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape. The Terror swells with the heart-stopping suspense and heroic adventure that have won Dan Simmons praise as "a writer who not only makes big promises but keeps them" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). With a haunting and constantly surprising story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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, who has taken over the expedition after the death of its original leader, Sir John Franklin, 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.

» see all 13 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.98)
0.5 2
1 15
1.5 2
2 36
2.5 9
3 149
3.5 47
4 379
4.5 70
5 263

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 137,438,446 books! | Top bar: Always visible