And the familiar depression has consumed me yet again because I’ve finished another great novel and filling the empty void that accompanies completion...moreAnd the familiar depression has consumed me yet again because I’ve finished another great novel and filling the empty void that accompanies completion seems impossible.
Passage is the first Connie Willis novel I’ve read that wasn’t in her Oxford University time travel world. I was scared it wouldn’t have the charm, the terror and whimsy those novels held, but, gladly, I was so wrong.
Trademark Willis is stamped throughout the pages; the entire novel was a frenzied marathon of people trying to get a hold of each other. It was non stop hysteria intensified by the unnavigable maze that was Mercy General Hospital and managed to be terrifying and hysterical at the same time.
Willis is wonderful at characterization, especially the secondary ones. Maisie, Mandrake, and Briarley were exceptionally written and insisted on jumping out of the pages.
It was a heavy and exhausting book – in a good way, of course – but I would caution the light hearted to stay away. Death, in some form, appears on pretty much every page, whether it’s through research and experimentation or in the literal sense.
I was thoroughly impressed with everything: the writing, the historical detail, the scientific explanations without being too sciencey.
I’ve had several people tell me that this is a great book. What surprised me though was how good it actually was.
First off, it’s narrated by Death. T...moreI’ve had several people tell me that this is a great book. What surprised me though was how good it actually was.
First off, it’s narrated by Death. That was different. Death wasn’t all “I need to get me some dead souls!” he was more understanding and compassionate than how most people portray him. Also, Death didn’t always narrate in chronological order, he revealed which of the characters died before their actual death scene. Due to this, you have to read this book not to find out what happens at the end, but how everything unfolds. Very few books can pull that off.
When I am really into a book, I can zoom through it in hours. However, even though I enjoyed it, I found it a slow read. Not slow as in boring, but slow as in you have to read every sentence carefully to fully soak in and appreciate this book.
I thought it would be horribly depressing, but it wasn’t as much as a downer as I thought it would be. I think it is mainly due to Liesel being the main character. She was between ten and fourteen I believe and had that sort of optimism that only a child could have in the midst of a war.
It was a great depiction of World War Two, different than most. A fair share of the stories that I found usually focus on the Jewish aspect of WW2 or the Hitler lovers. This one was in between, the reluctant Hitler supporters hiding a Jew in their basement… Sort of like Swing Kids for anyone who has seen that movie (sans the Jew in the basement).
It’s definitely going on my favourites list, and I recommend it to anyone who has not read it! (less)