The Passage (The Passage, #1)
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The Passage (The Passage #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  89,173 ratings  ·  12,283 reviews
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save...more
Hardcover, 784 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
36th out of 1,777 books — 15,224 voters
The Stand by Stephen KingThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsWorld War Z by Max Brooks1984 by George Orwell
Best Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
13th out of 681 books — 1,978 voters


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Community Reviews

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Newengland
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...more
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...more
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...more
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 more 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,...more
Kaia
Chapter One: Long sob story about poor, small town girl who gets herself knocked up at 19 by an abusive man. Woman eventually loses house, has to prostitute self out to keep a roof over her head and her daughter's. Eventually does something bad and has to strand daughter with a bunch of nuns. Verdict: Cliche, stereotypical, possibly a bit misogynistic. Also, wtf is up with the dialog?

Chapter Two: E-mails from doctor/scientist guy on secret mission for something involving vampires in South Americ...more
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 more 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...more
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 more—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...more
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...more
Maciek
The hype machine worked! With a delay. The Passage was a publishing sensation of 2010 - cleverly marketed as The Stand meeting The Road, its gorgeous cover (will you just look at these trees!) immediately caught attention of readers, and even its bulk was not discouraging - after all, who does not enjoy getting caught up in a good novel? Publishing details topped the cake: Cronin received a $5 million advance payment: $3.5 for the publishing rights to The Passage and two planned sequel (in North...more
Mark
Apr 06, 2010 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mark by: GoodReads GiveAway
Thank you, GoodReads for this Advance Reader's Edition. So hard to rate. Act I is simply superb - brilliantly written, suspenseful, beautiful, a full 5. Act II is cluttered, (too) many actors moving on and off stage, rarely doing anything of consequence while they are there. Act III is a combination screenplay, set-up for a sequel, exciting in a dystopian, end-of-days sort of way, (with a ray or two of hope).
Laura
I haven’t read any of Justin Cronin’s books. I picked this one up solely based on an interview the New York Times did with the author. Of course, the interviewer was asking Cronin if he read Twilight (he hadn’t.) Is Twilight REALLY the be-all, end-all of vampire books? This book runs circles around that teenage sop-fest. A better comparison would be Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Actually, an even better comparison would be to the movie The Village (without the awkward twist) or George Stewart’s Earth...more
Annette2009
A combination of King's The Stand, McCarthy's The Road, and the movie I Am Legend.

Very engrossing; the first third reads like sci-fi thriller, thoroughly setting up the scenarios of the plague that alters the world. I enjoyed the small details of the future world; no spoilers, but look for the name of the Texas governor and certain details about evacuation plans and state secessions.

Unlike others, I enjoyed the second third the best. I found the society and government established to precariously...more
galleycat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex
Jul 07, 2010 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
This book got me to the important realization that zombies are just vampires gone retarded.
Joel
Jan 07, 2011 Joel rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Twilight fans, just for fun
Recommended to Joel by: Hype, BOTNS
If you don't count audiobooks, this is one of the the longest books I have ever read. At first I thought that The Fountainhead was longer, but it only seemed that way because Ayn Rand is kind of a terrible writer and there aren't any parts where Dominique Francon is beset upon by a swarm of vampires (unfortunately).

Justin Cronin is not a terrible writer, in fact he's most often a very good writer, and this book has lots and lots of scenes with vampires. Lots and lots because it is so very long...more
Greg
The Passage is being pushed as THE summer read of this year. It's a big fat book, and is being praised like the second coming by Stephen King (which to be honest doesn't mean much, the man should have a leash put on him when it comes to hyperbolic praise on books, he loves just too many books and I don't think all of them deserve the pedestals he erects for them). It is also about vampires, which automatically makes it that much more sale worthy than if it were about some good ol' other type of...more
Bonnie
This was such an amazing novel. Sure it was insanely long and sometimes could be so intense that you just had to give yourself a break even though you felt you just couldn't stop no matter what... but was well worth it.

This is a novel about a transformed world full of vampires, but it is nothing like anything out there today and is the most original story I have read in a long time. The details of all the storylines and the depth shown in each and everyone of the characters... this was a treat,...more
Robert
In this masterfully written tale, Justin Cronin takes us on a dark and harrowing journey to witness the death of one age and the birth of another. Epic in scope and yet profoundly personal, Cronin's work is full of depth, evil, heroism, and a surprisingly beautiful, if all-too-human, darkness.

I was immediately drawn in and captivated by the amazingly well-written prose. After a few days of finding myself called back to the book, as if by telepathic inducement, I completed this amazingly satisfy...more
Katie
OK, long book, long review. That's the deal.

If you write a book that is over 750 pages long, then you sure as heck better deliver a whoppingly satisfying ending. What you should not do is write a book of that length that ends with nothing more than a set up for the sequel. To do that is arrogant and presumptuous. And it makes me hate you. More on that later.

The premise is not unfamiliar: secret military experiment goes awry, super virus spreads everywhere, most people die, the rest have to pick...more
Katie(babs)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Terry Brooks
Even thought I am not a fan of vampire books in general, I am going to give a strong recommendation to THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. It is a big book with lots of characters and a bunch of plotlines, and it is absolutely riveting. I know you've heard this before, but I could not put it down. This book reminds me of The Stand by Stephen King. It is a sprawling, end-of-the-world type of tale in which a small group of Humans have been genetically altered by a clandestine branch of the US Governmen...more
Jeremy
The first 1/3 of Justin Cronin’s “The Passage” is an exciting read…a road-trip thriller laced with government conspiracies and engaging interpersonal relationships. However, when the big event that sets in motion the events of the rest of the book occurs, many potentially exciting plot lines are simply mentioned in passing (and if you read this book, you’ll learn that’s a severe understatement.) The other 2/3 of the book plods along, often delving into soap opera territory though not really maki...more
Kathy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
This book is Cormack McCarthy's THE ROAD meets Michael Crichton, laid out in almost, at times, lyrical prose evocative of John Irving and other great, decidedly-literary writers. It is a story about government-engineered vampires, yes, but it is so much more -- a story about humanity and what it means to be human, a story about how tentative and precipitous humanity's position in the world is. It is an ambitious, giant undertaking -- telling the story of the world and it's downfall, even in the...more
Sandi
The Passage by Justin Cronin is one of those books that generated a lot of positive buzz before it was even released. It was an instant best seller when it came out a couple of weeks ago. This is pretty unusual for a relatively unknown author. Now, I generally wait for the buzz to die down on a new release before I read it. If I see it at the library, I'll pick it up. Otherwise, I'll wait for the paperback. However, the pre-release reviews were so good and the book is post-apocalyptic fiction, s...more
Stefan
The Passage was truly one of the best new novels that I have read in quite some time. Epic in scale but written with enough care that you truly feel for the main characters, this book really has a lot going for it. In some ways it is a bit reminiscent of The Stand, but for the most part The Passage is fairly original. A grand adventure, thriller, horror, love story that should easily stand the test of time and be something read over and over again.

As a vampire novel, I really enjoyed the way tha...more
Chantal Boudreau
In the beginning of this story, we are presented with a cast of characters who all end up tied into a military experiment with a virus that has healing and strength properties, if you survive it, but also leaves its target with vampiric-like traits: a thirst for blood, a sensitivity to daylight, mind-control, something akin to flight and a “sweet spot” in the chest where the individually can be staked. The characters are a diverse lot. We have Amy, a child who has a strange effect on animals, ab...more
Shelli
I really enjoyed reading this book in October. Perfect for a little fear-fest. I didn't think of it as horror at all though. More of a science fiction and fantasy mix. It had all of the things I like in a good story. The fact that it had vampires and all the other stuff made it a 5 star read for me.
If you don't think you can handle the length, then I would recommend the abridged audio. I started out listening to it that way. I also had the hardcover and had it on my kindle, so I was following a...more
Becky
I am really torn on what to rate this book. On one hand, I really, really liked it, and was engrossed in the story, and could identify with the characters and loved the "feel" of the story, but on the other hand, I feel like there was just something more that was missing, some line that would pull it together and make it great.

I was sucked in from the start, and having now finished it, I can definitely see why there are comparisons made between "The Passage" and Stephen King's novel "The Stand"...more
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Justin Cronin is an American novelist. Awards he's won for his fiction include the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Stephen Crane Prize, and the Whiting Writer's Award.

Born and raised in New England, Cronin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He currently lives with his wife and children in Houston, Texas where he is Professor of English at Rice University.

From Wikipedia
More about Justin Cronin...
The Twelve (The Passage, #2) The Summer Guest Mary and O'Neil: A Novel in Stories A Passagem - Volume I The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3)

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“We live, we die. Somewhere along the way, if we're lucky, we may find someone to help lighten the load.” 185 likes
“What strange places our lives can carry us to, what dark passages.” 97 likes
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