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The Passage: A Novel by Justin Cronin

The Passage: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Justin Cronin

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,064413888 (3.91)1 / 389
Title:The Passage: A Novel
Authors:Justin Cronin
Info:Ballantine Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 800 pages
Collections:Huntingdon County Library, Read but unowned

Work details

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Recently added bysreeparna, private library, Pablo.Madeira, cupocofe, KRoan, pfflyernc, lpmejia, kim.vanbladel
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English (405)  Dutch (6)  German (3)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (416)
Showing 1-5 of 405 (next | show all)
First of all,I wanted to give this book a 4.5 but since there is no chance for that I gave it 5 stars.
I admit it that I was drawn into this book because it has vampires in it.I am in totally love with vampire stories and the book got mostly good reviews.So I decided to read it.But after reading the first few chapters I realized it was not the kind of vampire stories I read before.It was a science fiction after all.I couldn't expect the normal vampire romance kind of thing.
Here the vampires were not some mythical creatures but some man-made monsters who were affected by a virus during a military experiment.That military experiment went horribly wrong and all hell broke loose.The first part of the story,the pre-apocalyptic part,was well paced and exciting.There was mystery at every corner and I found myself almost holding my breath to know what would happen next.A lot of characters and events were introduced in the span of few pages but with the advancing of the story every parts and events were weaved perfectly to form the main storyline.
The second part was post apocalyptic where the world was in ruins because of the virals(the affected ones with the virus and the ones they bit).The main focus was on the first colony which was guarded by lights and walls from the outside virals attack.In this part the pace of the story was a bit slow.Author introduced a lot of characters here and the surroundings and the events of the colony.It was slow but not boring.Those details of the characters were necessary to understand them better in the later part of the novel.So I am not complaining much.
The main events began when Amy,the girl given the final stage of the virus,came to the colony after 100 years of the main catastrophe.Through Amy they became aware of the others existing outside the walls and began their quest to find them.The pace of the story never became slow again.
I loved every bit of it.The concept,the charcters,the surroundings all were perfect.I liked how the characters matured throughout the whole story.For example Peter,he was at first doubtful,then eager and then determined.The character of Amy was a bit weird but I liked it nevertheless.She was like a walking mystery,a vessel between the two world.There were small things about the characters which were so nice and touchy,like the General Vorhees.He drew pictures of his family to remeber them.That was so touchy.
And about the Dracula movie,I felt sad when Peter couldn't find out the ending of the movie and thought Meena was gonna be killed.But at the end of the story he found out and I was relieved.I don't know why it bothered me in the first place.It was totally my personal feelings but I was glad at his finding out.
So overall a wonderful read.A little slow pacing at the middle doesn't really matter.The rest of the story will certainly make it up for that. ( )
  sreeparna | Jul 27, 2014 |
Sometimes tedious, sometimes exciting. The characters are well developed, and the invented, post-apocalyptic world has integrity in its detail. Well researched. Should appeal to the paranoid, but not so much the Twilight fans. These ain't your "Edward-ain" vampires. ( )
  KRoan | Jul 25, 2014 |
I am a total sucker for postapocalyptic stories, and this one brings the dysfunction in spades. I can't wait to see how it ends!

Caveat: I wish I had known going in that this is the first book in a planned trilogy---the pacing and ending would have made more sense. The book does do very well at creating a sense of impending doom, and the immediate aftermath is portrayed well. It's just a bit uneven, and then it just stops, rather than ends. Now I'll have to read the trilogy to judge this one fairly. Oh, darn. ( )
  pfflyernc | Jul 25, 2014 |
Best post -apocalyptic epic since Steven King's "The Stand." Fast paced,moving, well written, it has that rare "non-put downable" quality to it. BTW, avoid the audio book, ruined by the world's worst ham, Scott Brick. ( )
  HenryKrinkle | Jul 23, 2014 |
[The Passage], the first in a series of books by Justin Cronin, is one of those epic and sprawling stories that is a comfort to settle into; one that seems like it may never finish, may go on and on and never cause you to be tired of it. It is a book where the author seems to have settled in with you, taken time to flesh everything out, follow every rabbit trail, describe every sense and every emotion in every setting. The spell allows a reader to completely forget the outside world and step into another, making friends of the characters, tasting and smelling and feeling what they do. But few authors are capable of casting that spell; and even fewer editors or book publishing houses are apt to allow an author to conjure such a spell, shooting instead for the comfort that comes of predictability and reading bytes – or bites, either word fits here.

[The Passage] starts with a virus discovered in the deep reaches of a tropical jungle by a scientist. The set-up sounds like any number of other thriller books or movies that have been churned out since 1980. But Cronin distinguishes himself and his story by taking the time to tell a whole story, instead of just writing one of those books that seems like the jacket copy or screenplay was written first and then sent to some hack to fill in. The scientist, James Lear, is distraught from the recent death of his wife from cancer and he hopes to cure the disease and any other that could take a loved one away before their time. He enlists the help of the military, always a sign of trouble to come. But again, Cronin distinguishes his story in the details, focusing on another lost soul, FBI Special Agent Wolgast, who is asked to convince 12 death row inmates to be the first test subjects of the virus. Wolgast’s pain and hopelessness ooze off the page. After Wolgast has succeeded, he is then asked to bring Amy, a six year old girl abandoned by her mother at a convent, to the secret Colorado complex where the virus is being tested. Soon after Wolgast arrives with Amy, the experiment goes awry, as was its destiny, and all 13 test subjects are released into the world. The world collapses into chaos, destruction, and death – the test subjects feeding on and infecting the rest of the country.

This by itself was a full book, a complete story, if a little dark and unhappy. But for Cronin, the first 300 pages was just the prologue. For the next 600 pages tell the story of the world that emerged from the chaos and destruction – a small compound of about 100 souls, protected each night from the ‘virals’ by walls and nets and lights, exiting outside of time and outside of any hope that life has continued elsewhere. Peter Jaxson, one of the young men of the compound, encounters Amy on a patrol outside the walls. Amy, now a 100 year old adolescent, follows Peter back to the village, and the ‘virals’ follow her. Peter and his friends let Amy into their world but death follows her, and the small civilization is again thrown into chaos. Peter and his friends discover some of what Amy is and decide to leave their safe haven for the site of Amy’s quickening, Colorado. On their journey, they discover that other pockets of human life have survived, though not all are hospitable.

None of this description of the Cronin’s story does it any justice, as the real beauty is in the unhurried and indulgent manner in which Cronin tells the story. Few authors take their time this way – recently, I’ve read Wallace Stegner’s [Angle of Repose] and there is any number of Stephen King books, including [The Stand], which Cronin’s book is often compared. If there is a comparison between King’s [The Stand] and Cronin’s [The Passage], it has to exist on a level besides the obvious – a virus causes the country to collapse and a new dystopian way of life emerges. It has to exist in comparing these author’s inclination to take their time, to draw the story out and tell all of it, every detail. No one will begrudge Cronin’s descriptions of place and time and feeling once they’ve given the story a hearing. And no one will begrudge him the time and effort in examining every detail of each character’s life, because they all are us – they are all the people we recognize in our lives every day.

Bottom Line: Epic story-telling – unhurried and indulgent in a way that comforts the reader, transports them to another place to commune.

4 1/2 bones!!!!! ( )
  blackdogbooks | Jul 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 405 (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
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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