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The Passage (The Passage #1)

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4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  122,259 Ratings  ·  14,359 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, USA, 766 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published 2010)
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  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
    The Passage (The Passage, #1)
    by
    Release date: May 17, 2011
    Enter to win a trade paperback copy of THE PASSAGE, the first book in Justin Cronin's New York Times bestselling trilogy! And look for the final book ...more

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    Availability: 75 copies available, 4836 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Apr 18 - May 14, 2016

    Countries available: US

    Format: Print Book

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    Popular Answered Questions

    R I am not a fantasy reader. I love books that are deeply descriptive and very emotional and capture not only realism but true human conflict and…moreI am not a fantasy reader. I love books that are deeply descriptive and very emotional and capture not only realism but true human conflict and complexity.
    Those things never come side to side with a fantasy/ sci-fi.

    So when someone heavily recommended this to me I was reluctant to give it a try. I was blown away to say the least.

    But yes, your comparison to literary fiction is true. I do think, however, that most literary fiction focus purely on the quality of writing and the character development. The Passage being a fantasy doesn't have that problem. In fact, if anything, its jam packed with events.

    I think the sense of realism comes from the depth of character in this book. I don't know how far you've read, I don't know if you've met Peter and Alicia yet but those people are so complex.

    Also the issues introduced in the book are not only fantastical. At the beginning with Amy and her mother, the poverty and the prostitution, the nuns and all that came with that. Its very modern, I think. Very relatable. Also when you meet Wolgast and hear his background story, again its all very human, very deeply portrayed.

    So yeah, I completely agree with the realism that was captured and I think that was, mostly, because of the phenomenal level of characterization.
    Fantasy as a genre is usually very plot driven, very focused on the what-happens-next kind of pacing.
    And Cronin managed to get above all of that by simply making people so incredibly alive. (less)
    R I'd say this book is about monsters. They're called Virals or Walkers and many other names that are constantly introduced. They are almost never…moreI'd say this book is about monsters. They're called Virals or Walkers and many other names that are constantly introduced. They are almost never called Vampires and they act and eat very differently from classic vampires.

    A lot of people ask me: Is this book about Zombies?
    And my answer to them and to you is the same. Its a mix of both creatures and intensified greatly. They're just monsters of sorts.

    And I wanna comment about you asking if this book is "about" them.
    My answer is no.
    The story is an apocalypse, sure. But the story is about a six year old girl who has the power to save everyone.
    Its a story about a father who's sense of justice could have been the very reason everything went to shit.
    Its a story about a criminal on death row who gets a chance to live but on a price.
    Its a story of an ex-pedophile who works in a lab where he witnesses everything as it begins.
    Its a story of survivors who haven't seen past the confinement of their Colony.
    Its a journey of people trying to find a home.

    Its much more than just a vampire (or even monster) story. (less)
    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
    37th out of 2,467 books — 20,212 voters
    The Stand by Stephen KingThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellWorld War Z by Max Brooks
    Best Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
    10th out of 828 books — 2,702 voters


    More lists with this book...

    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
    filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
    Ken
    May 22, 2010 Ken rated it really liked it
    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
    Jul 08, 2010 Ellen rated it it was ok
    Shelves: novel, sci-fi-fantasy


    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
    Mar 25, 2012 Garet Wirth rated it liked it
    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
    Jun 12, 2011 mark monday rated it it was amazing
    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
    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    I've had this book and the second of it's series for awhile. They set on my bookshelf and just look pretty. I would have read them one day...and then the third one came up on Netgalley. I have a Netgalley problem and I requested it, thinking that it would push me to read these. Yeah right.
    Then my buddy Edward Lorn started reading this. He started posting updates. He teased me enough that I couldn't keep ignoring these books. Damn it.
    Palm Springs commercial photography

    So this does have one of my favorite 'end-of-the-world' thing
    ...more
    Will Byrnes
    Jun 18, 2014 Will Byrnes rated it it was ok
    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
    Eddie
    Nov 17, 2010 Eddie rated it it was ok
    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
    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
    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
    Nicholas Sparks
    Jun 21, 2012 Nicholas Sparks rated it it was amazing
    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.
    Mark
    Apr 06, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it
    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
    Alex
    Jul 07, 2010 Alex rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2010
    This book got me to the important realization that zombies are just vampires gone retarded.
    Annette2009
    Jul 28, 2010 Annette2009 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: my-favorites
    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
    Evgeny
    May 02, 2016 Evgeny rated it really liked it
    Shelves: scifi
    First things first. I need to mention I won this book in GoodReads Giveaways.

    A high-secret military experiment (some scientists decided to play God) went Terribly Wrong and as a result a terrible virus is unleashed in the wild. I had trouble suspending my disbelief when I realized the virus already existed in a remote place; it would be more believable if it was artificially created. It kills the lucky majority of infected people; unlucky few who do not die become - for all practical purposes -
    ...more
    galleycat
    Jul 20, 2010 galleycat rated it it was ok
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    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
    Edward Lorn
    Apr 23, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: Premature ejaculators and people who hate Twilight-era vampires.
    Recommended to Edward by: Every goddamn body
    Shelves: hardcover
    Reading this book was like an awkward and awesome sexual experience broadcast publicly to all my followers.

    We started with a little foreplay, some touching, and it got good. So good that I prematurely ejaculated all over my own face. What can I say, I got that firepower, yo! I then had to run to the bathroom and wash up. Because who wants their own semen on their face? Unless you're into that, then you do you and fuck the haters. All the while, my lover is lying in bed, bored, playing with them
    ...more
    j
    Jan 07, 2011 j rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: Twilight fans, just for fun
    Recommended to j 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
    Matt
    I'm not what you'd call an early adapter, or a trend setter, or a tastemaker. I willingly participated in Slap Bracelets and Zubaz and New Kids on the Block, but alas, I waited too long, so that by the time I joined the party, these fads were already in its death throes. This has left me with roomfulls of worthless merchandise that serve only to remind me of my lagging cultural velocity.

    There have been other phenomenons I have ignored so completely I have no idea what I'm missing. Chief among th
    ...more
    Greg
    Apr 12, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it
    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
    Katie(babs)
    Jun 07, 2010 Katie(babs) rated it did not like it
    Shelves: gag-worthy-book
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Katie
    Jan 10, 2011 Katie rated it liked it
    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
    Robert
    Jul 06, 2010 Robert rated it really liked it
    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
    Terry Brooks
    Sep 06, 2010 Terry Brooks rated it it was amazing
    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
    Srividya

    It was a hot summer afternoon when I finished this book. The sun was at its peak, bringing both brightness and heat to the world around me. A light breeze (if you could call it that), courtesy of the fan whirring over my head tried to provide some relief to the otherwise unrepentant and excruciating heat. And yet as I finished the final words of this book, the first part of a trilogy that at once promises a lot and better still delivers it, all I could hear was the gentle whirring of that fan an
    ...more
    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
    Updated Sept. 22, 2015: we have an official release date for The City of Mirrors!! Our BRs for this series are back on track!

    BR with the BBB gang starting April 18, 2016.

    Blah blah blah thread (this is a private group, let me know if you need an invite!)
    ...more
    EZRead eBookstore
    Jan 26, 2011 EZRead eBookstore rated it did not like it
    Shelves: jenifer-reviews
    I’m not going to restrain the beast. This book was 800-some-odd pages too long and by some miracle, made a post-apocalyptic vampire novel more uninteresting than fishing in a fishless pond with Pop Goes the Weasel endlessly on repeat. Justin Cronin could have shaved this down to 200 pages and I might have forgiven him for the threat of a sequel at the end. But he didn’t, I don’t forgive him, and I’m already rubbing my eyes with sandy cat litter to ease my suffering after The Passage.

    I dug this b
    ...more
    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    Jul 13, 2015 Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: dtb-book
    I will be brutally honest, I wasn't quite sure about this read. At only ten percent in, I was ready to call it quits. It was detail oriented, confusing, and I just wasn't sure if I had the patience for it nor if I wanted to waste the time on a book so rich in detail that I feared would be hard to follow and understand.

    I love it when I decide to give books just another chapter, just a few more pages, because if I hadn't, I would have missed out on a truly unique, truly complex, complicated, but o
    ...more
    Arah-Lynda
    Mar 10, 2015 Arah-Lynda rated it liked it
    Shelves: i-said
    My first and foremost thought about this story is that it is way too long. Given that this is the first book of a trilogy it may well be that some of the detail you have to plough through as a reader, may still have some point but whether anyone will remember any of this by the time the second installment is in their hands is doubtful at best.
    I expect that by now any one who reads is aware that The Passage is a post apocalypse, vampiric, zombiesque, horror story of epic proportions. That said,
    ...more
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    45315
    In 2010, Justin Cronin’s The Passage was a phenomenon. The unforgettable tale that critics and readers compared to the novels of Cormac McCarthy, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood became a runaway bestseller and enchanted readers around the globe. It spent 3 months on The New York Times bestseller list. It was featured on more than a dozen “Best of the Year” lists, including Time ...more
    More about Justin Cronin...

    Other Books in the Series

    The Passage (3 books)
    • The Twelve (The Passage, #2)
    • The City of Mirrors (The Passage, #3)

    Share This Book



    “We live, we die. Somewhere along the way, if we're lucky, we may find someone to help lighten the load.” 249 likes
    “What strange places our lives can carry us to, what dark passages.” 134 likes
    More quotes…