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The Terror (2007)

by Dan Simmons

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9421842,392 (3.97)360
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.… (more)
  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
    Barrow's Boys by Fergus Fleming (Kristelh)
    Kristelh: Includes chapters on Arctic exploration specific to Erebus, The Terror, and "the man who ate his boots"
  10. 00
    Last Call by Tim Powers (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For an alternate interpretation of historic events.
  11. 12
    The Queen of Bedlam by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  12. 12
    Mister Slaughter by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  13. 13
    Speaks the Nightbird by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  14. 02
    Drop City by T. C. Boyle (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For characters failing to adapt to their environment.
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» See also 360 mentions

English (176)  French (3)  German (3)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 176 (next | show all)
AMAZING!
Чтобы понимать, насколько она эмейзинг - это 800-страничная книга в твердой обложке, которую я таскала за собой везде. Читать в метро, в автобусе, в обеденный перерыв на работе, читать, читать, читать!
Она потрясающая с самых первых страниц и до упора.

Надо признаться, что "их злобная зверюшка" произвела на меня меньше впечатления, чем хотелось бы (но я просто в целом не люблю подобные сюжеты про неведомых чудовищ), но вот сама история экспедиции, выживания, бесконечно нарастающей усталости, отчаяния, надежды и преодоления - затягивает с первых страниц и не отпускает.
И какие живые, настоящие персонажи!.. И юмор, простигосподи, даже юмор был посреди всего этого ужаса. От этого, пожалуй, персонажи еще реальнее - это не просто пафосная история трагедии, а живые люди в ужасных обстоятельствах, они остаются людьми и не чужды иронии.

Отдельно хочется отметить переводчицу Марию Куренную, я запомню это имя и буду обращать внимание на другие переводы ее авторства - язык волшебный, абсолютно нет ощущения картонности, как у большинства переводных книг.
Хотя, признаться, сейчас я нервно моргнула, осознав, что Дево - это de Veaux в оригинальном тексте.

В общем, теперь я буду всячески советовать эту книгу всем кому не лень, а также с нетерпением ждать экранизации, которая уже вот-вот!.. ( )
  alissee | Dec 8, 2021 |
3.25 stars

In 1845, two ships sail from England looking for the Northwest Passage. The Terror and the Erebus later become stuck in ice for three years, as the men manning the ships died not only from starvation, cold, and scurvy, but there is something stalking them. Something… they don’t know what it is but it’s white, and much bigger than the white bears they have seen. It seems to appear out of nowhere to kill, maim, or maul.

This is a mix of survival, historical fiction, and (some) horror. The horror (the “thing” out there), I found was minimal. The focus was on the survival aspect. The book is very long, and I had a hard time getting interested until the last 1/3 of the book – that last 1/3 is what brought my rating up ¼ star. And it would have been nice for the book to be much shorter. The book is told from multiple points of view at different points in time, occasionally jumping back and forth in time. By that last bit of the book where I was more interested, it was chronological.

There were a lot of men on the two ships and, although, I was able to keep what each of them did straight (at least those whose viewpoint we followed), I wasn’t able to keep straight who “belonged’ on which ship. The end was a bit vague in a couple of cases, I thought. Descriptions of the ships and workings of the ships were less interesting to me. A bit horrifying, but more interesting was the description of what happens as someone develops scurvy. Anyone looking for horror, though, this didn’t fit the bill for me at all, unfortunately. It was not scary, in my opinion.

There was a brief author’s note at the end that really just provided citations for his research. It hinted at the fact that this – the “Franklin Expedition” really happened, but I still wasn’t sure, although “Franklin Expedition” did sound familiar to me. Other reviews tell me it did, and I’ve just read a bit on wikipedia about it. That is, the two ships set out to look for the Northwest Passage and disappeared. I guess this partly explains the vagueness of the ending. ( )
  LibraryCin | Oct 10, 2021 |
Meh. Well written, and Simmons' Hyperion is one of my all time favorites, but after 150 pages, nothing much happens. Next. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
I love terrifying survival stories and stories about doomed adventures - The Terror is all this and more. Almost five stars, but that ending is horribly confusing and really takes you out of the atmosphere of the book. ( )
  Elna_McIntosh | Sep 29, 2021 |
The Terror is really so much more than horror. The book is about the Arctic exploration in the 1800s in search of the Northwest Passage and while this is fiction, ships Erebus and The Terror were actually sent out by Britain (Barrow) to explore the Northwest Passage and were lost and not found and no one ever discovered what happened to the crews. I think the author does an excellent job of showing how it is usually the "little things" that we are unaware of that eventually results in the disaster that one cannot recover from. The author also combines some Inuit mythology into the story and there lies the fantasy that is also a part of this story. I was engaged, enjoyed the book which I had put off because of the cannibalism that is mentioned in the reviews. The downside is that it is soooo long. ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 176 (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
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

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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)

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Hachette Book Group

5 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316017442, 1600240763, 0316017450, 0316008079, 1600244858

 

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