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The Passage

by Justin Cronin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Passage Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,746561794 (3.9)1 / 570
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.
  1. 795
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (Jacey25, drweb, smiteme)
  2. 244
    The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (kraaivrouw, smiteme, questionablepotato)
    kraaivrouw: Similar intentions and a lot more fun.
  3. 192
    Swan Song by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  4. 143
    World War Z by Max Brooks (divinenanny)
  5. 132
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Anonymous user)
  6. 123
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (divinenanny)
    divinenanny: Post apocalyptic dystopia
  7. 92
    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. 50
    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Both books are inventive dystopian novels of a future after a pandemic collapses civilization.
  9. 61
    The Green Mile by Stephen King (Thomas.Taylor)
  10. 63
    The Walking Dead: Compendium One by Robert Kirkman (Jacey25)
  11. 30
    The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey (debbiereads, wifilibrarian)
  12. 30
    The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel by Alden Bell (BeckyJG)
  13. 30
    The Twelve by Justin Cronin (sturlington)
    sturlington: Well, you have to read the sequel!
  14. 20
    The Dead Lands: A Novel by Benjamin Percy (4leschats)
    4leschats: Both this books and the 2 in The Passage Trilogy (The Passage and The Twelve)address alterations in the natural universe brought on by post-apocalyptic changes.
  15. 20
    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. 31
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  17. 21
    Pure by Julianna Baggott (Suhani)
  18. 10
    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (kw50197)
  19. 21
    Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (Scottneumann)
  20. 10
    The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda (aliklein)

(see all 31 recommendations)


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» See also 570 mentions

English (545)  Dutch (7)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (561)
Showing 1-5 of 545 (next | show all)
This book put me *way* behind my Challenge, and it's going to put me even farther behind because now I have to read the 2nd one. And the 3rd when it comes out later this year. The Twelve is only 600 pages instead of 900, though, so it may go a bit faster.

I really liked this book - the twist on the vampire apocalypse was a refreshing one and the characters were all fairly solid. The plot is a bit twisty in parts - and not in the best way - but overall, this is definitely one of the best end-of-the-world novels I've read in awhile. Up there with Girl With All The Gifts and Station Eleven. Just super long. ( )
  SSBranham | Sep 17, 2020 |
Overall, a disappointment. I liked parts of it, was bored by other parts of it. And it was so long, for not that much of a story. I think the biggest problem for me is that I never really connected with any of the main characters. The characters I cared for the most weren't even in the book for long. ( )
  OgreZed | Sep 15, 2020 |
This is one of the best books I have read this year! ( )
  RobinKaye | Sep 2, 2020 |
Good read, hard to put down. Really liked this book until the very last page. ( )
  dkayw | Aug 26, 2020 |
On paper, there's a lot I could criticize about The Passage by Justin Cronin.

The plot isn't terribly original: a virus is unwittingly unleashed by the government which turns people into something very much like vampires. Mr. Cronin presents the standard well-intentioned scientist whose work is hijacked by the military (which, as expected, doesn't go well). There's a roster of bad guys, a cop with a conscience, and a Chosen One whose arrival can save mankind. There's even an oracle of sorts.

It's a man-made apocalypse story built on fairly generic story tropes. We witness the moment it all goes wrong and then spend the rest of the novel living in the post-apocalyptic world of the few survivors.

We've seen all this before. I Am Legend, zombie movies, The Walking Dead, et al. The ending offers a faint wisp of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even the hive-mind wrinkle the author incorporates into his vampires is a familiar idea.

But none of that is a problem. None of it is a weakness. None of it feels derivative. This is one of the best renditions of all these ideas I've read.

What makes The Passage shine are the characters and the quality of the writing. Mr. Cronin's character work is wonderful. He develops characters with tremendous depth. His writing is lyrical and evocative, at times verging on poetic. This is a style of writing which is rare in the realm of popular fiction.

So, too, Mr. Cronin's world building is some of the best in the business. The world he creates is entirely up to the task of housing these exceptionally well-developed characters and offering them sufficient challenges.

It doesn't matter if the plot mechanisms aren't all that original, when the characters who live in this world, and who experience the events which occur there, are so vivid and believable. The story here isn't the apocalypse and its aftermath—it's how these individuals cope with it.

Another potential point of criticism: Peer into the story and you find several unanswered questions—How does the virus actually work? How did it come to exist at all? Is it even scientifically plausible? Why is Amy so different and special in the first place? Etc.

In the hands of a lesser author, the lack of answers would bother me—an indication that the writer can't master their own material. But in the hands of Mr. Cronin, the lack of answers is key to why this novel works so well.

Because none of the characters know the answers, either. These things are mysteries to those who live in this world. By sharing their ignorance, by living with the same mystery, the reader is embedded in their experiences in a very powerful way.

The book would be substantially reduced if it provided more clarity.

If there's a weakness to this novel, it's that the pacing is inconsistent. There are moments when it bogs down, especially in the first section of the book. It takes too long for the story to hit its stride and I found the beginning a bit of a slog. I feel like Mr. Cronin devotes more time than he should need getting his actors in position before things really get started.

This criticism is a double-edged sword, though. What bogs down the pacing is the amount of time Mr. Cronin spends delving into his characters. As I stated, character development is the strongest piece of this novel, and as any good writer will tell you—story grows out of characters.

But pacing matters. And there are times when Mr. Cronin indulges in character development to the point that it interferes with the forward momentum of the plot. These aspects need to be balanced and he doesn't get it quite right.

Occasionally boggy pacing is a minor price to pay for the rich rewards of this novel. ( )
  johnthelibrarian | Aug 11, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 545 (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 (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Justin Croninprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craden, AbbyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lanceniece, LigitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ojo, AdenreleNarratorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary
Experiments run
On hardened criminals; what
could ever go wrong?

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