The Passage (The Passage, #1) by Justin Cronin


The Passage (The Passage, #1)
Title : The Passage (The Passage, #1)
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0345504968
Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 766

It happened fast Thirty two minutes for one world to die, another to be born First, the unthinkable a security breach at a secret U.S government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment Then, the unspeakable a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he s done in the line of duty Six year old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey spanning miles and decades towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.With The Passage, award winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction to It happened fast Thirty two minutes for one world to die, another to be born book jacket


The Passage (The Passage, #1) Reviews


  • Ken

    THE PASSAGE is a lot like the month of March It comes in like a vampire thriller and goes out like a batty soap opera And it s big Spreading its bat wings, it measures in at 766 pages or at least the ARC version does TWILIGHT this ain t, and regular vampire fare it isn t either It s a hodgepodge of Bram Stoker, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and John Steinbeck one if by vampires, two if by military games, three if by bloodbath, and four if by brotherly melodrama.Overall I liked it Honest I THE PASSAGE is a lot like the month of March It comes in like a vampire thriller and goes out like a batty soap opera And it s big Spreading its bat wings, it measures in at 766 pages or at least the ARC version does TWILIGHT this ain t, and regular vampire fare it isn t either It s a hodgepodge of Bram Stoker, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, and John Steinbeck one if by vampires, two if by military games, three if by bloodbath, and four if by brotherly melodrama.Overall I liked it Honest I don t read 766 pages during the school year easily Big Mo that s Momentum to you young folk carried me through as the Laws of Physics applied Meaning Cronin got this off to such a sick start that the action carried me I couldn t put it down.The opening plot line was simple Dr Strangelove goes to South America to find the cure for death and instead turns it loose You can always count on your military brass for that sort of screw up, no You see, they wanted a serum from these batty vampires living deep in the jungles only why didn t they migrate and take in er, over the world, like they did later in the book so they could extract the GOOD part of vampirism you know, extended life, superhuman strength, and damn near indestructibility without the bad part bad skin, bad breath, restricted diet, No Exit signs in the Mortality Room, etc The idea was to give the serum to U.S soldiers and then look out world That s right, the USA would be able to kick some North Korean slash Al Qaedan slash Taliban butt You know the drill, though the best laid plans of bats and uniformed men At their underground Telluride, CO, fortress, the Army injects 12 death row inmates and one special little 6 year old girl hint key to the book and keeps them under lock and key and 12 foot steel walls and multiple doors and so on for observation Only the hanging upside down former prisoners, now virals that s the word for them in this tome , are playing with their guards minds because they want to come out and play Can you say telepathic disaster Uh huh All hell breaks loose and the score winds up being Hell 1 and U.S Army 0.Here s where the book takes wing These nasty hobbits come out of nowhere and rip you open like a can of beets Every couple of dozen victims are just scratched on the throat so they can become part of the Viral Army And soon America as we know it and love it turns into Cormac McCarthy PlayLand Yep It s THE ROAD all over again Dystopia with teeth And compelling stuff, too We go to various outposts where certain humans have figured out certain ways to survive Lights, chiefly Because the virals are creatures of the night and don t like the spotlight Where the wheels start to wobble is halfway through Suddenly Cronin plays fast and loose with his own rules Suddenly a viral attack develops than two possible results death and the equivalent of taxes being a vampire for life Suddenly the good guys i.e major characters are given preferential treatment And he delves deeply into the social life of our hearty crew of humans, too, including a fraternal rivalry between bros named Theo and Peter This is the Steinbeck part East of Eden, West of Transylvania Here Cronin gets a little too sentimental for my tastes, too, especially with the single good vampire Amy, who has none of the bad attributes elongated bicuspids, penchant for Bloody Marys but all the good ones extended life, telepathic abilities, the keys to the city and the book, etcIn the end, the virals become less scary, the bag loses some of its punch, and you re flipping pages just to find out how Cronin ties this mess together Then, when you get to the promised land, you see that he doesn t Then you see on the Internet that this is the just the first of three books Then you say, Oh, no and ask yourself how in hell a book just south of 800 pp would ever need a sequel when it s too long by far already Finally, you collect yourself and recall where you are the United States of A Royalties This, after all, is supposed to be the Summer Blockbuster of 2010 This, after all, is supposed to be money in Cronin s and Random House s bank This is a book already in the cinematic pipelines with Ridley Scott as director Fasten your seat belts, then Get home before dark and pay your electric bill, too This won t be the last you hear of THE PASSAGE.Five stars for the first half, three for the second I ll rate it down the middle and let you judge this glorious, bloody mess for yourself NOTA BENE If you like this review AND reading poetry I know, I know what are the odds , check out my debut book of poems, The Indifferent World

  • Ellen

    Later, Keith Olbermann s words, WORST PERSON IN THE WO O R R L L D would echo in my head.The other morning, my daughter called, crying, and said, I just did something terrible I froze As a parent, these words could mean anything I waited I hit a car I was trying to move over because the street was narrow I hit someone s mirror I panicked I just took off I m late for work already They ll fire me if I m late I know I damaged the mirror I feel awful This was all delivered in pie

    Later, Keith Olbermann s words, WORST PERSON IN THE WO O R R L L D would echo in my head.The other morning, my daughter called, crying, and said, I just did something terrible I froze As a parent, these words could mean anything I waited I hit a car I was trying to move over because the street was narrow I hit someone s mirror I panicked I just took off I m late for work already They ll fire me if I m late I know I damaged the mirror I feel awful This was all delivered in pieces, as she was weeping by now.During this, I go into parental stream of consciousness Thank God No one s hurt She s not hurt She left the scene What does that mean What do I do What do I do Trouble Fines Tickets Jail Oh my God Money Trouble, Money, money, money Trouble, trouble, trouble Then, the devil s words Did anyone see you But that s not what I said I heard myself say, Can you go back and leave a note on the windshield More wailing, Noooo I m late now They ll fire me I know it All right Okay You have to report this I ll find out what you need to do It s okay Go to work It ll be okay Of course, I had no idea if it would be all right I m in Wisconsin she s in Minneapolis, and I started to make phone calls The first officer was a huge help He said he didn t know what the rules were, but she d LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT I said she panicked, she feels terrible, she s sobbing He said, It doesn t matter whether she s crying, laughing, smiling She LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT That s a crime My heart was pounding, and I wanted to say, Look you Neanderthal fuck She killed a mirror Could you be human for a moment An hour or so later, I finally reached the right people, and the sergeant assured me she was not in trouble, took my name, number and hers, and said she should report it as soon as possible Situation handled, I suppose But I kept thinking of my first thought, and what I almost said, Did anyone see you Epic fail.I m drawn to apocalyptic fiction, and one of the reasons why is that characters are often tested, and The Passage is no exception Faced with temptation or in the clutch of terror, characters succeed or fail While the book has compelling moments, too often Cronin starts to develop a character but never really completes the task With such a large array of characters, this needs to be done You want to empathize with the characters, and they need to be distinct enough so that you can keep them all straight.One problem and this may sound minor but it drove me crazy, was Cronin s inability to handle dialogue With the exception of the soldiers, who spoke in an exaggerated military fashion, many of the characters sounded the same Also, they seemed to have one expletive flyers, which referred to something horrible in their midst Accordingly, most of the characters, when excited, would begin a sentence by saying, Flyers, what will we do or Flyers, did you see anything It was absurd.Picture, for example, something horrible in our lives Sarah Palin, for example, and then picture her being able to survive, as she is, for decades image error Would we all suddenly start using Palins as our only expletive, and then placing this word only at the beginning of a sentence Palins, hot enough for you or Palins, we should get moving No, for starters, though Palin has been on the international scene just shy of two years, we ve been pretty creative in coming up with variations on her name Caribou Barbie Failin Palin the Thrilla from Wasilla Palin bailin Bible Spice Deranged asshat sorry, that s just me Imagine the variations we d conjure up after decades Just why Cronin thought having most of his characters use this one expletive flyers baffled me, but I also started to wince every time someone used it I wanted to like this book I m a sucker for apocalyptic books where science screws up big time, starting with books as intellectually thoughtful as Mary Shelley s Frankenstein right down to Richard Preston s The Hot Zone And, the book gets off to a good start The first third of the book is quite good the plot moves forward, and characters are developed.Then, you reach Part III, which begins with a long military report that sucks out whatever momentum the book had attained And Cronin does this sort of thing far too often He ll get the plot moving and then deaden it by letting a military report or pages and pages of someone s diary in italics I hate fucking italics stand in for the plot he should have developed This is poor writing, poor pacing, and piss poor editing For a couple hundred pages, the book crawls It gets into gear in spurts, which are again deadened with dull reports or italicized diaries Cronin s book, which had promise, lacks the rich characterization needed for such a long book, fails to sustain momentum, and has moments particularly at the beginning of new sections of horribly overwritten passages, such as this sentence fairly early in the book, which introduces Chapter Fifteen When all time ended, and the world had lost its memory, and the man that he was had receded from view like a ship sailing away, rounding the blade of the earth with his old life locked in its hold when the gyring stars gazed down upon nothing This sentence, already painful, continues for another 37 words.Worst book in the world Not at all Cronin has talent, which he needs to develop, and most of all he needs to learn how to pace a novel, and not cheat by having climactic scenes told in the form of dry reports or diary entries

  • Garet Wirth

    Oh, The Passage You promised me such wonderful things with your sparkly cover, your titillating title a passage to WHERE , and your massive hype Also your sizable heft, as you are a large, obese book, full of words and things I figured if I didn t like you, I could use you to stone evil doers in some town square somewhere How could I turn you down Your promises, though, were only partially fulfilled While I enjoyed stoning people in the village square with you, your cover was simply too Oh, The Passage You promised me such wonderful things with your sparkly cover, your titillating title a passage to WHERE , and your massive hype Also your sizable heft, as you are a large, obese book, full of words and things I figured if I didn t like you, I could use you to stone evil doers in some town square somewhere How could I turn you down Your promises, though, were only partially fulfilled While I enjoyed stoning people in the village square with you, your cover was simply too pretty to be true, and your title too vague to really mean anything I still don t know what the passage was, but it was full of vampire things and massive doses of character backstory that also didn t really mean anything except make you a very, very heavy book Brick like, really I believe next I ll tie a ransom note to you and throw you through a window, just for the giggles.You had such lovely backstory, such vivid characters in your opening quarter, I couldn t put you down Well, I could, because you are a fatass and my arms grew lethargic and weak after about an hour, but figuratively speaking I was hooked, and I loved you for it Vivid characters, shocking scenery, emotion You had it all, baby.But then things changed Oh, did they change You forgot your old ways and introduced me to a whole slew of new characters Characters that I didn t care about, in a situation that seemed so distant and unreal compared to your sharply defined predecessors that I thought perhaps I was reading a different book Gone were the late nights of voracious reading Gone were my massive biceps developed from holding you at a readable height I slogged through you, sometimes telling friends that you were getting better, even daring to say really good again in whispered tones but you would then disappoint, like a dog who is allergic to grass, and I would yell angrily at perfect strangers that you were a meandering, lame book with stupid characters and unbelievable situations I finished you, though, because I had devoted a better part of the year reading you, and I had to see it through Like climbing Everest, I just wanted to breath again, but I knew I had to finish you anyway.And see you through I did, to an ending that only set you up for a sequel, likely full of meaningless backstory and characters painstakingly developed over 100 s of pages only to be forgotten or rendered unimportant I did not spend 3 weeks reading you to get a cliffhanger, damnit you, The Passage you.Goodbye, The Passage You were a good workout, and my man arms thank you But you were bit of a slog and kind of boring Sorry

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin

    Pretty cool

  • Will Byrnes

    The hype machine was working With some terrific reviews, this was immediately one of THE BOOKS TO READ for summer 2010, a vampire tale not written by Stephanie Meyer, and not even promoted very much as vampiric Maybe our capacity for reading vampire novels has clotted somewhat The world in question begins in 2022 Gas is 13 a gallon Iranian jihadists have killed hundreds at the Mall of America Jenna Bush is Texas guv this is a horror story, after all New Orleans, battered by another mons The hype machine was working With some terrific reviews, this was immediately one of THE BOOKS TO READ for summer 2010, a vampire tale not written by Stephanie Meyer, and not even promoted very much as vampiric Maybe our capacity for reading vampire novels has clotted somewhat The world in question begins in 2022 Gas is 13 a gallon Iranian jihadists have killed hundreds at the Mall of America Jenna Bush is Texas guv this is a horror story, after all New Orleans, battered by another monster storm, is now an uninhabitable industrial park An expedition to a remote corner of South America, sponsored by the US Army, is searching for a promising and dangerous virus What could possibly go wrong The Passage is nothing if not very, very derivative Although there are a few nifty new notions within its 766 pages, I will not spoil them by telling there will be little here that is not almost immediately familiar Government projects gone wrong, post apocalyptic struggles for survival, battles between good and evil, strong people, weak people, and lots and lots of vampires.That said, I felt that there were almost two complete, independent books within the whole The first tells of the beginning of the unpleasantness, lasts for 246 pages and is gripping I hated to put the book down Even with the been there read that aspect of the book, there was something about the writing of that 246 pages that kept me turning the pages, thirsty for As for the remaining 520, not so much We move forward almost a century and enter the too familiar landscape of post apocalyptic survival Although there were elements here that were interesting, some characters that held promise, I found it a very, very long yawn I also felt that the author cheated a few times too many in leading us to believe that certain events had taken place when they had not He even jokes about it in the writing, having one character say out loud what any reader might wonder about how a particular event transpired If The Passage had kept up the frantic and so engaging pace of its long opening, it would indeed have been one of THE BOOKS TO READ this summer Instead of reading The Passage, though, I would look for an alternate route.I gave it two stars instead of one because the beginning was so good Otherwise, I resented the time it took to read this waaaaaay too long book

  • mark monday

    when i read horror, i m usually looking for 1 cheap thrills or 2 surreal and metaphysical weirdness or, best of all, 3 an epic full of dread and melancholy there is plenty of the first sort and so much of it is trash but fun can be had with trashy things and i m no snob the second type can be a little hard to find, but there s a lot to be had as well, if you look in the right places, especially the past but the third kind, that s the hardest, i ve only found a few Declare, It, when i read horror, i m usually looking for 1 cheap thrills or 2 surreal and metaphysical weirdness or, best of all, 3 an epic full of dread and melancholy there is plenty of the first sort and so much of it is trash but fun can be had with trashy things and i m no snob the second type can be a little hard to find, but there s a lot to be had as well, if you look in the right places, especially the past but the third kind, that s the hardest, i ve only found a few Declare, It, The Terror and The Passage in a lot of horror, i m not exactly eager to slowly lose myself in the world depicted the experience is often like a rollercoaster or a fun nightmare but that last category, those mournful sagas they are my special favorites i may not want to live in a novel s world, but if it is a world that is so carefully crafted and then grown, one filled with tragedy and sadness and coming together and coming undone i find it very easy to get lost in those worlds it is a great feeling.so on to The Passage it is an excellent novel, complete with multi leveled characters, spiritual mysteries, exciting action set pieces, and the trappings of several genres vampire, post apocalypse, and in the first third, an on the run from the government style thriller the writing is solid, well crafted, and certainly in no rush particularly outstanding is the depth of characterization present in even minor or elusive characters such as the scientist Lear or the child molestor Grey the first third of the novel is pretty much perfect, tightly paced yet generous with motivation and context, and featuring three of the most warmly written and sympathetic characters i ve come across in a while Agent Wolgast Sister Lacey Anthony Carter fallen agent, unearthly nun, misunderstood criminal the empathy created by the author for these three and the depth of their background stories i just really was not expecting that and it was wonderful to experience.unlike many other readers, i felt the remaining two thirds were very strong, moving easily between a wide range of physical and emotional landscapes, from complex world building to pointed irony to moments of eerie beauty to straight up horror particularly in the Haven sequence although it could be said that characterization was a bit less rich in the last two thirds, the range of emotions depicted was often on a wider and dynamic scale the reader is able to watch characters actually grow and change i appreciated Cronin s vampires they certainly run against the current grain although the threat of their bizarre, bestial presence looms over the entire novel, they remain enjoyably enigmatic and largely in the background i assume the amount of attention paid to the vampire Babcock and his traumatic past also very well done will be paralleled in the sequels by depictions of the remaining vampires The Passage has been compared to The Stand personally i think The Passage is superior my only real issue is the very ending, which could come across as cheaply ironic and unnecessarily brutal if it wasn t clear that this is only book 1 of 3 i assume that this disturbing cliffhanger of an ending will eventually be resolved with the same sensitivity and grace brought to the rest of the novel s various episodic sequences

  • Matthew

    Epic very, very Epic I feel like I just read about 5 books Not because it was long, but just because there is so much story here that changes direction so many times I cannot believe there are still two books to go I mean, I can believe it because there is story to tell, but how much epic can this get 4.5 out of 5 starsThis one lost a little for me in the middle due to a blah transition that caused me to lose interest for a period of time Looking back after knowing what Epic very, very Epic I feel like I just read about 5 books Not because it was long, but just because there is so much story here that changes direction so many times I cannot believe there are still two books to go I mean, I can believe it because there is story to tell, but how much epic can this get 4.5 out of 5 starsThis one lost a little for me in the middle due to a blah transition that caused me to lose interest for a period of time Looking back after knowing what happened, it makes sense, but it was slow for a bit So, if you are reading this review before you read the book, know that you should not give up if you get bored in the middle this too shall pass In addition to being epic, this was great story telling And, despite the size, there really wasn t filler Each page, each paragraph, each sentence had its place and kept the story moving even during the blah part From deep, meaningful conversations to gore filled action sequences, the story was always moving on to the next place and had me hungry to find out what was next.If you like post apocalyptic and monster stories, but need a new twist and are not afraid to invest a lot of time, you should read this I guarantee that you will enjoy it

  • Eddie

    This book, by far, was the biggest book I ve read to date And I stay away from really big books, usually, because I don t want to get to the end feeling dissatisfied This big book left me feeling just that The first 250 pages of this book were brilliant left me wanting Initially But, the rest of the 766 pages Not so brilliant By page 650, I wanted this way too long story to be over I wanted to be taken off of life support and die I had to convince myself to finish the last 100 pages This book, by far, was the biggest book I ve read to date And I stay away from really big books, usually, because I don t want to get to the end feeling dissatisfied This big book left me feeling just that The first 250 pages of this book were brilliant left me wanting Initially But, the rest of the 766 pages Not so brilliant By page 650, I wanted this way too long story to be over I wanted to be taken off of life support and die I had to convince myself to finish the last 100 pages and It took all my effort to do so, and I m honestly glad I did But in the end, this book was like a firecracker I was so anxious to light up, and once lit and backed away to see the display take place, ended up being a dud

  • Kemper

    Good afternoon This is Wolf Blitzer from CNN s The Situation Room, the program that tries to make viewers think that you re seeing the busy hub of television journalism instead of admitting that despite our high tech looking set and satellite feeds, you d probably learn about what s actually going on in the world by looking out your window.We turn our focus now to growing rumors that the U.S Army is conducting secret medical experiments on American soil The bizarre claims seem like somet Good afternoon This is Wolf Blitzer from CNN s The Situation Room, the program that tries to make viewers think that you re seeing the busy hub of television journalism instead of admitting that despite our high tech looking set and satellite feeds, you d probably learn about what s actually going on in the world by looking out your window.We turn our focus now to growing rumors that the U.S Army is conducting secret medical experiments on American soil The bizarre claims seem like something out of a Stephen King novel yet despite repeated denials by the Defense Department the stories continue to grow, and documents posted on WikiLeaks seem to support some of this.Is this just an urban myth gaining popularity thanks to the internet, or is there something to these rumors Joining me now via satellite from his office is Major John Smith, a spokesman from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases Major, thanks for joining us.Major John Smith Thanks for having me.Wolf Blitzer So I m sure you re aware of these persistent stories circulating, Major.MJS laughs Yes, they re keeping my office quite busy.WB And the Army s position is that they re absolutely unfounded MJS Of course Frankly, Wolf, I m surprised we even have to bother discussing this It s obviously the work of internet hoaxsters.WB But what about the documentation that s leaked out MJS They are clearly forgeries Have you read this stuff Secret bases on U.S soil Convicted felons recruited and used for guinea pigs for drug trials to extend human life Vampire like creatures that have some kind of telepathic connection and cause bad dreams I think someone just posted an old X Files script I find it sad that Americans are wasting time on this nonsense.WB It does seem outlandish, but let s talk a few specifics The documents mention a Project Noah that the USAMRIID is running And there are line items in the USAMRIID budget for a Project Noah for a significant amount of money.MJS I can confirm that there is a Project Noah, and while it s top secret, I have been authorized to disclose that it involves research into cutting edge medical technologies that could be used to save lives on the battlefield That s all I can say about it But it s obvious that these conspiracy theorists just took a real project name and used it for their own purposes.WB So there never was a research team funded by USAMRIID that was slaughtered in the jungles of Central America while seeking a virus sample that could greatly boost human healing abilities MJS Of course not Unfortunately, we did have a team in that area that was researching a botany project, and they did sustain casualties after accidentally coming across some local drug runners, but that s all it was.WB And the USAMRID does not have government agents recruiting death row prisoners to be the subjects of experimental drug trials MJS Again, that s ridiculous.WB So where have these prisoners gone, Major MJS Considering they were death row inmates, I think it s safe to say they got executed.WB I assume you ll also deny the existence of this secret lab, hidden somewhere underground in the Rocky Mountains MJS Absolutely WB What about reports from Telluride, Colorado, of citizens having the same nightmares and behaving strangely MJS Complete nonsense I m based in Telluride myself, and I sleep just fine.WB One last question, Major A new wave of rumors regarding a small girl in Memphis being abducted by government agents have begun circulating today Any comment MJS The idea that the US Army had anything to do with abducting children is absurd, Wolf Think about these stories Does it really seem possible that the U.S government has a secret base in Colorado where we re experimenting with a virus on convicts and small children that turns them into some kind of Dracula type creature with the ability to invade dreams and brainwash people Seriously, what s next I m sure the people who believe that will tell you that it s inevitable that some kind of accident will unleash the virus on an unsuspecting public, and that the country will be consumed by a plague of these creatures until civilization is completely destroyed And then what Maybe a small handful of survivors will manage to establish a safe zone and a new type of society Oh, and a couple of generations down the line, like a hundred years from now, a few of these survivors will embark on an odyssey to find the truth in a post apocalyptic landscape Does that really seem likely, Wolf WB chuckles When you put it that way, Major, it does seem pretty far fetched Crashing noises and screams are heard WB Major, what s happened Are you alright MJS Ugh. I m perfectly Arr fine, Wolf Ow Just..uh just dropped a glass Arrgh..WM Major, I don t mean to argue with you, but it seems like some kind of horrible vampire like creature has just burst into your office and is biting you.MJS That s UHH totally ridiculous Oh, shit Ow This is arrr my assistant EH He just has.owwww. low blood sugar Arrrghh WB Well, you re obviously busy, Major We ll let you go now Thanks for your time.MJS My plesur OWWWW HOLY JESUS SOMEBODY SHOOT THIS GODDAMN..WB It appears we lost the link So did we just see a US Army officer get his face gnawed off by a vampire like creature that he had just finished denying the existence of Or is this just another internet hoax We may never know Up next, global warming critics continue to say that the whole thing is a liberal lie

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Cronin combines two classic and overused literary elements vampires and the end of the world and spins them into something entirely fresh and new To me, it s an amazing accomplishment.