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The Passage

A book by Justin Cronin.

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Magnificent - the best book I have read in YEARS

  • Aug 5, 2010
Justin Cronin's newest novel is a masterpiece.

The novel begins a few years into the future, where the military is experimenting with a virus which has the potential to prolong life, using death row candidates who have literally nothing to lose.  When they decide they need a child to experiment on, the story takes quite a different route, and the outcome is not at all what is desired.  Project 100 years into the future and humanity is decimated, living in fear of the "virals", creatures created by the virus that has swept the world.  A small band of remaining humans ponder what will happen to them when they can no longer maintain their compound and way of life.

This almost sounds the standard post apocolypse novel, of which I confess I am very fond, however it is much more than that.  At times genuinely frightening, it is a profoundly moving and humane story, and I was completely swept along by the struggle of the characters and the changed world in which they survive.

I read an average of 100 books a year, and I can honestly say that this is the best book I have read for a very long time
Magnificent - the best book I have read in YEARS

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October 14, 2010
Thanks for your review. I have been thinking about reading this book but it is so long that I have debated. Now that I see you have rated it the best out of 100 or so books you've read this year, I think I will read it over the December holidays while I am not teaching and will have more time.
August 09, 2010
I just found this book much too long to really read and enjoy. Perhaps it's my age (63) but I just can't get into a book that I can use as a doorstop.
August 05, 2010
That is quite the endorsement, given your reading stamina! I do love stories like this as well. I'm looking forward to reading this on my next vacation. Thanks for sharing!
More The Passage reviews
review by . July 05, 2010
   This book is supposed to part of an upcoming Trilogy from a professor from Rice University in Houston, TX, Justin Cronin.  The beginning starts with many separate and seemingly unconnected stories...A mother and her child, a FBI agent capturing criminals, and an educational voyage to South America.  However, they do all become connected in quite an interesting manner.       SPOILER      The world as we know it gets destroyed by …
review by . August 05, 2010
The basic premise of The Passage is scary enough to be true: The U.S. Army has been conducting clandestine experiments on humans (death row convicts) that go horribly awry, creating a species of former humans now crazed for blood and capable of tearing all living beings limb from limb. When these creatures, called variously smokes, jumps, and virals, escape, it doesn't take long for the U.S. to be overrun. Those who aren't killed outright make the transition into being a viral themselves; the only …
review by . July 28, 2010
I really enjoy end of the world novels and movies. It's the fight to survive, the burned out cities, the ruin. Death, destruction and devastation. Perhaps that makes me a little macabre, but whatever.    I don't think you can talk about this book without mentioning The Stand by Stephen King. I won't say it's as good as The Stand (which is by far the best post-apocalyptic novel ever written), but it has that same feel. It moves slowly in places while it sets up the back story, …
review by . June 08, 2010
Ivy League scientists discover evidence of a vampyric virus and get a military grant to help find and study it. Right away, we smell trouble, and before long, but not before they had sufficient warning, a secret military unit is experimenting on death row inmates, who end up escaping with intentions to spread the virus and destroy the world as we know it. Enter Amy, the final test subject, a six-year-old abandoned innocent, who, unlike the others (called "The Twelve," though I count thirteen), doesn't …
review by . June 11, 2010
The Passage is the first book in a trilogy from Justin Cronin and details an amazing journey, not just of the characters in the book, but the journey of humanity in general. The Passage is post-apocalyptic and will have you reading frantically for the first two hundred pages as the World is changed forever.      The first part of the book deals primarily with science gone wrong and the typical government going too far situation. But, while you may have heard The Passage is a …
review by . August 03, 2010
A new virus is being experimented on. On one hand, there is a fast recovery and healing period and could have military benefits. However, the life span for those inflicted, is brief.      At the military facility where his is being experimented on with volunteers from death row, after a short time, vampire like symptoms appear.      One day, there is an explosion and the monsters get out and kill the guards and other officials. Only a precocious young girl …
review by . July 05, 2010
Maybe its a sign of age, but I just can't get into reading books that qualify as door stops, and at almost 800 pages, this one certainly does! I stopped reading Stephen King because his books just grew too lengthy, and I believe that if an author has a good story it doesn't take almost forever to tell it. Save the trees!    I understand that this is the first book in a proposed trilogy and I pity the reader who has to slog through the verbiage to find out what's happening. Even …
review by . July 04, 2010
Although definitely reminiscent of The Stand, this book nonetheless sucks the readers in and refuses to relinquish its grip. From the abandonment of a special little girl into the hands of an equally special nun at the local convent, to a colony of "survivers" in a loosely constructed society whose very existence is dependent upon the lights staying on. And at the center of it all...the virals; formally human, now bloodsucking savages, feasting upon the surviving humans and animals...and fearful …
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
Wow- wickedly OVERRATED
review by . June 08, 2010
Cronin, Justin. "The Passage", Ballantine Books.    Brilliant Vampire Fiction    Amos Lassen      We are all aware that vampires are all the rage right now and Justin Cronin gets on the vampire train with a brilliant new novel. A virus nearly destroys the world and the key to bringing it back rests with a six year old girl. In "The Passage" we are taken back to the beginning of the virus through the destruction that it causes. …
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Starred Review. Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin's engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America overrun by the gruesome reality behind the wish-fulfillment fantasies. When a secret project to create a super-soldier backfires, a virus leads to a plague of vampiric revenants that wipes out most of the population. One of the few bands of survivors is the Colony, a FEMA-established island of safety bunkered behind massive banks of lights that repel the virals, or dracs—but a small group realizes that the aging technological defenses will soon fail. When members of the Colony find a young girl, Amy, living outside their enclave, they realize that Amy shares the virals' agelessness, but not the virals' mindless hunger, and they embark on a search to find answers to her condition. PEN/Hemingway Award–winner Cronin (The Summer Guest) uses a number of tropes that may be overly familiar to genre fans, but he manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style. The first of a proposed trilogy, it's already under development by director Ripley Scott and the subject of much publicity buzz (Retail Nation, Mar. 15).(June)
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ISBN-10: 0345504968
ISBN-13: 978-0345504968
Author: Justin Cronin
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date Published: June 8, 2010
ISBN: 9780345504968
Format: Hardcover
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