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The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Justin Cronin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,063479685 (3.9)1 / 479
Title:The Passage
Authors:Justin Cronin
Info:Ballantine Books (2010), Hardcover, 784 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, american, dystopia, future, vampires, trilogy, apocalypse, post-apocalyptic, virus, read 2010

Work details

The Passage by Justin Cronin (2010)

  1. 764
    The Stand by Stephen King (Jacey25, drweb, smiteme)
  2. 243
    The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (kraaivrouw, smiteme, questionablepotato)
    kraaivrouw: Similar intentions and a lot more fun.
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    Swan Song by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  4. 143
    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks (divinenanny)
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    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Anonymous user)
  6. 122
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (divinenanny)
    divinenanny: Post apocalyptic dystopia
  7. 82
    Under The Dome by Stephen King (jlparent)
    jlparent: The Passage reminded me greatly of "Under the Dome", with its intense look at how people cope in a 'new' world. Obviously it's also is hugely reminiscent of "The Stand" as already recommended.
  8. 61
    The Green Mile by Stephen King (Thomas.Taylor)
  9. 30
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books are inventive dystopian novels of a future after a pandemic collapses civilization.
  10. 20
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  11. 53
    The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman (Jacey25)
  12. 64
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (readaholic12)
    readaholic12: post-apocalyptic multi-generational science fiction, cyclic history, human caused crisis
  13. 31
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  14. 21
    Pure by Julianna Baggott (Suhani)
  15. 10
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: This classic dystopian novel explores the world after an unspecified apocalypse. Like The Passage, Earth Abides involves both the scavenging of the remains of civilization rather than production and a journey to see how others have coped. No vampires, though.… (more)
  16. 10
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (kw50197)
  17. 10
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    sturlington: Well, you have to read the sequel!
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  19. 54
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(see all 30 recommendations)


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English (469)  Dutch (7)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (484)
Showing 1-5 of 469 (next | show all)
Captures your interest from the first page and keeps it until the very end. Despite the vampire lore being a bit overexploited it is greatly executed by the author. Would happily read again.
  Margta | Sep 11, 2016 |
reminiscent of the book swan song (which i loved) Really enoyed the read. glad i can go straight to book 2 ( )
  mystic506 | Sep 3, 2016 |
Cronin tries to rewrite The Stand? But with vampires? It's got that same big sprawling feel, and I really was enjoying it quite well to begin with, but then it dropped all the characters I cared about, jumped some 90 odd years into the future, and introduced a bunch of really unlikeable, unsympathetic people who I just didn't give a crap if they lived and died. Decent enough, but I just didn't like most of the characters. And it's another one I didn't realise was part of a series, so the ending left me utterly non-plussed. In fact, I was recently reading a blog post from a traditionally published author bemoaning the fact that despite her fighting for it, the publisher removed any mention of her book being part of a series from the cover and blurbs - this is one area where indies and self-pubs do a lot better, and I rarely have this problem. Will probably pick up the sequel (now that I realise there is one, or two in fact) from the library if they ever turn up there. And I would be interested in more by Cronin, he does a decent impersonation of Stephen King's easy, readable, early style and sharp observations of people, for the first half or so of the book. ( )
  krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
This book represents, in my opinion, a triumph of execution over concept. It reads like literary fiction. The physical descriptions are beautiful, or stark, or horrifying, exactly as required. The psychological depth of the characters is amazing. Yet the core of the plot is straight out of a B movie: a viral-borne “vampire” plague. And a thousand-year-old telepathic girl is the key to saving the world. I can easily imagine tellings of this story that would come off as completely hokey. Cronin’s telling is far too intelligent and thoughtful for that, and I found it completely captivating.

The genre is a bit hard to pin down: Fantasy, perhaps, although there is a bit too much science injected into the explanation of the virus to make that classification entirely comfortable. On the other hand, the effects of virus are too fantastic to make plausible science, beyond the B movie grade. And of course there are the psychic phenomena: the telepathy and also what appears to be precognition - not to mention the ambiguous suggestions that God may be involved. At the same time, there’s not enough creepiness for horror.

There is a great deal of very gruesome violence, although Cronin doesn’t exploit it. He gives us no more than what is needed to convey the shock and horror of what has occurred – or the relentless repetition of these horrors. It is a terribly dangerous world that Cronin has created. The book is not for the faint of heart, not just because of the violence it contains, but because Cronin makes you care about the characters, their struggling humanity. He evokes your sympathy even for minor character with serious flaws, and then as often as not, he kills them before they have a chance to find their way to resolution or redemption, or to more than barely taste the happiness they deserve. This is no more than realistic, of course, given the extravagant hazards of Cronin’s post-apocalyptic world. I just personally find it hard to watch.

“The Passage” (the reason for the title is not made clear) is the first book of a trilogy. The second, “The Twelve” (a title that makes perfect sense upon reading book 1) is already out, and the third is promised to appear soon, as I write this. Cronin writes with such assurance, and shows such a depth of perception, that I can’t doubt that these other two books are as brilliant as the first. The first one left me so emotionally drained, however, that I don’t believe I have the stamina to read more, although a part of me regrets that. The promise is out there that the world will ultimately be saved and that is enough for me, for now, without having to see in detail how it is achieved. ( )
  Carol_W | Aug 17, 2016 |
My full review is here:


In brief, some first-rate prose and world-building, some compelling characters, a nice return to vampires as actual monsters, but ultimately felt like a 766 page shaggy dog story. I'm not eagerly awaiting the inevitable (potential dozen!) sequels or the equally inevitable film adaptation. ( )
  KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 469 (next | show all)
I turned The Passage's pages feverishly to find out what happened next.
added by simon_carr | editThe Observer, Alice Fisher (Jul 18, 2010)
Cronin leaps back and forth in time, sprinkling his narrative with diaries, ­e-mail messages, maps, newspaper articles and legal documents. Sustaining such a long book is a tough endeavor, and every so often his prose slackens into inert phrases (“his mind would be tumbling like a dryer”). For the most part, though, he artfully unspools his plot’s complexities, and seemingly superfluous details come to connect in remarkable ways.

added by mks27 | editThe New York Times, Mike Peed (Jun 25, 2010)
When all's said and done, The Passage is a wonderful idea for a book that – like too many American TV series – knows how good it is and therefore outstays its welcome. There are enough human themes (hope, love, survival, friendship, the power of dreams) to raise it well above the average horror, but its internal battle between the literary and the schlock will, I
T MAY already have the Stephen King stamp of approval and the Ridley Scott movie-script treatment but American author Justin Cronin's 800-page blockbuster The Passage comes from humble beginnings.

"Every book starts somewhere and this came from a dare of a nine-year-old child," he says of his daughter Iris, who wanted a story where a young girl saves the world.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Justin Croninprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lanceniece, LigitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroderus, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When I have seen by Time's fell hand defac'd
the rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometimes lofty towers I see down-raz'd,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.

-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 64
For my children, No bad dreams.
First words
Before she became the Girl from Nowhere- the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years- she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.
He stepped into the stars.
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Book description
It's called Project NOAH: a secret government experiment designed to weaponize the human body. But this experiment goes horribly awry when twelve test subjects escape, spreading a virus that turns human beings into something else-something hungrier, deadlier, and seemingly undestructible. The thirteenth test subject, a six-year-old girl named Amy, is rescued by an FBI agent. Together they flee to the mountains of Oregon, cut off from civilization as the disastrous repercussions of Project NOAH are unleashed upon the world. The Passage creates an all-too-believable world dominated by fear and the need to survive, and introduces the strange and silent girl who may hold in her hands the fate of the human race.
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A security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment that only six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte can stop.

(summary from another edition)

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