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The Terror

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  18,027 ratings  ·  2,078 reviews
The men on board Her Britannic Majesty's Ships Terror and Erebus had every expectation of triumph. They were part of Sir John Franklin's 1845 expedition - as scientifically advanced an enterprise as had ever set forth - and theirs were the first steam-driven vessels to go in search of the fabled North-West Passage.

But the ships have now been trapped in the Arctic ice for n
Paperback, 936 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Bantam (first published January 8th 2006)
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Benjamin Atkinson I believe, IMHO, that Mr. Simmons was referring to the lack of humility that Western Society has displayed (see Titanic) and many other examples. The…moreI believe, IMHO, that Mr. Simmons was referring to the lack of humility that Western Society has displayed (see Titanic) and many other examples. The terror in this novel is many things it is the physical, visceral hell those men lived through, it is the terror of the unknown. But ultimately, I believe, the overarching terror is that the men leading this incredible expedition brought everything with them except a true knowledge of how the indigenous peoples survived cold climates with minimal technology. Same problem seen in America's approach to Vietnam; we did not understand the situation on the ground before we attacked. Iraq, Afghanistan, ad infinitum. Thank you for your question. Do you have any great book recommendations for me. I love hard sci-fiction and anything to do with survival and the psychology of isolation(less)

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mark monday
To: Mr. Dan Simmons
From: Associated Publishing Industries Unlimited, Ltd.
Subject: Your Recent Submission The Terror

Thank you for your recent submission. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not see a fit between your product and our company's goals.

Although our senior staff appreciated your technical ability, we noted several serious issues with your submission that need to be resolved prior to your product finding placement. These include, but are not limited to:

1. Extensive and Excessive Length

oh my god, let me never get scurvy.

i am glad i am such a grad-school overachiever. for both the horror/sci-fi and mystery portions of my readers' advisory class, i have read one extra title from the selection list, and both times, i have liked the extra title best. (i did not choose to read an extra romance title, so we will never know how that would have turned out, alas)

this book is a rare combination of to the lighthouse, and the thing, with hardy-esque occurrences of misunderstanding and som
September 7, 2010: I don't want to talk about it right now. It's too soon and the pain is still too fresh. I shall review on another day.

September 17, 2010: It's been well over a week since my encounter with The Terror and the thought of writing a review still exhausts me, but here it goes.

I have read many glowing reviews of The Terror. That is, in fact, why I bought it. I mean, check out this kick ass plot:

Two British ships, the Terror and the Erebus, are frozen in the polar sea for years, wa
Dan Simmons' The Terror may be one of the few novels I've read that makes me grateful to live in Texas. This imaginative re-telling of the doomed Franklin expedition of 1845 to find the Northwest Passage is overwhelming in its details of life and death in the Arctic north. The cold is constant, the dark is depressing, and the wind, snow, ice, fog, and (when it appears) water are life-threatening. These are things Texans don't have to worry about. I must remember this book when I want to complain ...more
♍ichael Ƒierce
Sep 24, 2013 ♍ichael Ƒierce rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction and oldschool books by Poe, Kipling, Algernon Blackwood & Ambrose Bierce


The Terror is a fictional tale based on the real life experience of the notoriously doomed John Franklin Expedition.

These brave men journeyed hundreds of miles by sea voyage in the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, part of the British Naval fleet sent to the Arctic to force the Northwest Passage in 1845–1848, and then travelled the rest on foot into the desolate, below-freezing temperatures of the Arctic wasteland.

All died or were never seen or heard from ever again.


Dan Simmons imaginative story expla
Is the Terror a mythical beast in the Arctic? The Tuunbaq?
Is the Terror Her Majesty’s Ship of the same name?
Is the Terror nights that never end?
Is the Terror a Ripper style murderer and his penchant for mutilation?
Is the Terror knowledge?
Is the Terror sodomy?
Is the Terror a silent Esqimaux?
Is the Terror scurvy?
Is the Terror unrelenting ice floes?
Is the Terror belief?
Is the Terror remembrance?
Is the Terror dreams?
Is the Terror the past?
Is the Terror cannibalism?
Is the Terror doubt?
Is the Terror h
Sep 28, 2007 Alex rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with brain damage
'The Terror' is the name of a ship. We join the ship in 1847 as it plows through chilly waters looking to chart new territory in the extreme North. It is rare that I go in for period pieces and I really can't abide the whole Master & Commander/we're-at-sea-in-days-gone-by literary movement that seems to have captured the hearts of so many old men. What I do go in for is man vs. nature set in extreme cold (child of the South- lover of mountains and winter -go figure). I thought once these fol ...more
The Terror is the ultimate tale of the human struggle for survival. Dan Simmon’s huge tome is based on Sir John Franklin’s failed 1845 exploration of the Northwest Passage. In real life the crew of the two ships, the Terror and Erebus, all perished. However, Simmons portrays a fictionalized account of this expedition by expanding this historical narrative into a horror story by dropping in a man eating ice monster to make everybody’s day just a little bit shittier.

My initial reaction was that t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a very haunting and well written book. I finished this book in just a few days. Dan Simmons digs into the unanswered questions and writes what he thinks might have happened and does it brilliantly.

Don’t let the length of this book (almost 800 pages) intimidate you, otherwise you won’t know what you are missing!

The fate of Sir John Franklin's last expedition remains one of the great mysteries of Arctic exploration. What we know, more or less, is this: In the balmy days of May 1845, 129
If I read a better book than "The Terror" in 2008, I will be a very happy man. This harrowing, bleak, yet occasionally hopeful story of survival (or not) in the arctic is clearly the best of the four Dan Simmons novels I've read so far and, really, one of the 20 best books I've ever read.

"The Terror," a fictitious account of the ill-fated and mysterious Franklin Expedition that tried to find the Northwest Passage, shouldn't work as well as it does. A realistic, detailed account of the struggle t
Wil Wheaton
Without getting into any spoilers: this is a fictionalized account of the doomed Franklin expedition to find the Northwest Passage in 1845. It is about hubris, greed, strength during unspeakable adversity, and possibly redemption.

Oh, there's also a terrifying monster that they call The Thing on The Ice which is slowly killing everyone aboard the two ships.

It's Dan Simmons, so he takes his time getting into the meat of the story (my dad said that he was telling three stories when he could have to
Crap. I should have paid more attention to the effing LENGTH of this audiobook. I would have realized it was abridged. Did I pay attention? No. Of course not.

What I did instead was buy it, and listen to almost the entire thing, and then, at the end, when there are a lot of Eskimo words, I opened my copy to get a visual... and lo and behold, I see words, PAGES, that I didn't fucking hear.

"The Terror" really came close to that 5-star rating. However the last 75 pages or so were so out of character with the rest of the book, they really seemed like they didn't belong. "The Terror" is 90% historical fiction and 10% horror. The historical part is much more terrifying than the horror part. Simmons obviously did a lot of research on 19th century Arctic exploration in general and Franklin's Lost Expedition in particular. He fleshes out what little is known about the fate of the Erebus ...more
Apr 26, 2008 J.D. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Simmons fans only
I'm a big Dan Simmons fan, but at several points during this book, I found myself thinking, "will someone get this man an editor?"

There's a great horror tale in here. Unfortunately it's buried under layers of fat. Ironic, since lengthy descriptions of starvation and scurvy take up so much space in the book.

This novel takes a historical event I am already very interested in—the doomed Franklin Expedition to find the Northwest Passage—and turns it into a horror story. A lot of what Simmons does is interesting: the character arcs of two of the main players, Captain Francis Crozier and Dr. Goodsir, are very well done, and there are some excellent set pieces—in particular a staging of Edgar Allen Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" amid the snow drifts and the polar ice. However, this was one of those boo ...more
WOW! This historic tale of a doomed arctic expedition set in 1845 aboard the HMS TERROR is based on true events and one horrific adventure complete with unbelievably brutal sub-zero temperatures, and a terrifying monster from hell. Loaded with great characters including the mysterious 'Lady Silence' and a unique and surprising ending to say the least. While sometimes descriptively gruesome, an engaging story and thrilling read!
I read this book during the worst breakup of my life. It was one of those break-ups that completely re-alter your perceptions, so that all sense of balance and scope is gone. It was a break-up like the one Kerouac wrote about at the beginning of On the Road, and it left me with the "feeling that everything was dead."

As I pushed through the unforgiving minutes of those days, I tried to find something to take my mind off the wearying and forlorn sense that I'd never care about anything again. The
The Terror was a ship - a state-of-the-art ice-breaker - and it had a sister-ship, Erebus. If you know mountains you may note that two volcanoes in Antarctica share these names. They were, in fact, named after the ships. These ships later saw service on an expedition to find the North-West Passage - and never returned.


See the complete review here:
Apr 14, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: SciFi & Fantasy Book Club Feb 2012 Selection
This novel is a stunningly detailed portrait of human suffering. It is like slowly crawling down a deep, freezing tunnel till you reach hell frozen over.
Simmons take on this historic mystery is slow in parts and sometimes the nautical details and ice jargon were tedious. But I think the length of the book accentuates the atmosphere, it starts to mirror the dread of being trapped for two and a half years in the unforgiving arctic. There is only white pain ahead and you have no choice but to keep
Dan Simmons has written some very long and excellent novels but this may be the first in which every sentence is needed to tell this fictional account of Sir John Franklin's ill fated voyage to find the Northwest Passage. While the author included a supernatural element to the tale it does not extracted from the chilling account (no pun intended) of survival, or more precisely the lack of, in the cold Arctic of the 1840s. In fact the supernatural elements successfully resolve the story in ways t ...more
In 1845, a group of about 130 men set sail from England on two steam ships with the intent of successfully finding a path through the icebound Arctic and navigating the rumored Northwest Passage. This was never to be, and every single soul on the expedition perished for various reasons. The Terror is Dan Simmons' brilliant, grueling fictional telling of everything that happened and went wrong on the journey--and things go very, very wrong in this novel. From the first page the reader is bound in ...more
On May 19th, 1845, British bombships Erebus and Terror set sail from the Thames River stocked will three years worth of food, 126 men, and the mission of seeking out the elusive Northwest Passage. Being that they are traveling on the first steam-powered vessels ever to explore the icy Arctic waters, the men think they have every reason to be confident, but by 1848 all passengers were presumed dead and neither ship was ever seen again. Unsuccessful expeditions charged with finding the missing shi ...more
This is wonderfully vivid historical fiction about the doomed Franklin expedition which departed England in 1845, intending to discover the elusive Northwest Passage. Take note of the adjective "doomed", and don't say I didn't warn you.

The book's appropriate title comes from the name of one of the expedition's two ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, which were fitted out for Arctic exploration: specially reinforced to withstand the ice and equipped with newfangled steam engines. They set sail with
I could not put the book down. It's about Sir John Franklin's lost expedition to find the Northwest passage in 1855. The Erebus and The Terror were the two ships sent. They got trapped in the ice in the winter of 1856-1857, and apparently never got out again. A cold summer prevented the thaw that would have freed the ships.

Franklin having died, Francis Crozier, the captain of The Terror took the surviving men on a grueling 105 mile overland journey. None of the men were heard from again.

These ar
Myke Cole
I was unable to finish this book, and put it down after around 180 pages.

Simmons is a strong writer, and he certainly doesn't need my help, judging from the critical acclaim this book has received and its great sales. Sometimes, there is simply a divergence between a particular writer's style and reader expectations, and that may be what happened here.

The characters were certainly fully realized and compelling, the setting is gripping and the underlying research is first rate. Unfortunately, th
Liviu Szoke
O uluitoare combinație de cronică istorică și aventură cu tentă horror ce se petrece la Polul Nord, printre ghețuri eterne, nave bântuite și oameni hăituiți de un monstru nemilos. Să jonglezi cu peste 100 de personaje nu-i la îndemâna oricui, însă Dan Simmons ne demonstrează încă o dată, dacă mai era nevoie, ce talent formidabil de povestitor are. Recenzia mai pe larg, în curând, pe

Не съм писал в страницата от една седмица. Надявам се обаче, че с тази публикация ще успея да умия вината си, и ще ви уверя, че през цялото това време не съм си клател краката, а съм залягал над едно сериозно четиво. Истината е, че бях замръзнал в ледовете на Арктика, в приятната компания на няколко английски джентълмени, които, за разлика от тези на П.Г. Удхаус, преживяха действителни неволи. Предупреждавам ви, че всичката насъбрана енергия от непис
Apr 16, 2009 Woowott rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
This is my first foray into Arctic exploration. I've harbored (no pun intended) a fascination for naval literature for years, since I read Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle years and years ago. I just find ship life very interesting. And I had encountered this particular book many times in the bookstores, so I just decided to go for it one day. I had a few false starts, but then--after reading some Indian literature, unrelated--I got completely into it.

Now, this book isn't flawless,
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Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, ...more
More about Dan Simmons...
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2) The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4) Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3) Ilium (Ilium, #1)

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“Luckily, even as a young man not yet become himself, John Bridgens had two things besides indecision that kept him from self-destruction - books and a sense of irony.” 16 likes
“We are all eaters of souls.” 13 likes
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