Natalie's Reviews > The Passage

The Passage by Justin Cronin
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's review
Jul 08, 11

bookshelves: speculative-fiction, quarantine
Read from June 30 to July 08, 2011 — I own a copy

Maybe I should have paid attention to what other goodreads users had to say about this book (see above), because It SHOULD have been "my kind of book" but it missed the mark.

In the end, it was not structured well enough to win me over completely. I WILL probably read the sequel though.

I have to admit that my choice to read it now was a bit naive. A couple friends had liked it but I confused it with Freedom when I jerked it out of an audio-book spinner rack at a Cracker Barrel during my past month of interminable back to back roadtrips!

An 800+ page audio book. You've gotta be kidding me. I don't even know how many cds were in that case? I stopped counting when it went into the double digits. Freedom would have taken less time, that's for sure!

Supposedly the audio book is 36 hour(s) and 52 min long. I'll never know if that's accurate because I started reading ahead on the nook at night then I'd monkey around with the CDs until I found my place in the audio book, schizophrenically making my way through the story helter skelter.

I found myself daydreaming at times wondering what it would have been like if The Passage had been ghost-wrtten by David Brin (his Earth was the first book I read that used typography in a way that actually improved the story) or Orson Scott Card (who can make exceptional characters in small closed communities come alive like no one else) or Dave Duncan (who an write a female fighting protagonist who is multi-dimensional and has relationships with both genders readers can actually care about).

But Cronin's book is a collaboration all its own. Cronin admits he "actually wrote "The Passage" on a dare from [his] then- eight-year-old daughter, Iris, who challenged [him] to write a book about "a girl who saves the world." The two dreamed up the plot together while he jogged and she biked over a period of a few months. He told her "You asked for this . . . but you have to help me." Cronin jokes that "the truth is, I had no intention of actually writing the thing. It was just a game to pass the time in the Houston heat, and maybe introduce my daughter to the family business."

I wish Cronin's editors and proofreaders had done as much work as The Passage's marketing team. This could have been a better book . . . but these shortcomings don't seem to have hurt sales, so maybe Cronin's daughter has given the family business a push in the right direction after all?
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Reading Progress

23.0% "Not sure if these are confessions or not, but I loved The Hot Zone, and the Cobra Event, and The Vampire Plagues so this is perfect car listening for me!"
30.0% "so many interweaving threads of the story, a somewhat preposterous apocalypse /survival scenario, yet compelling listening nonetheless !"
30.0% "Confession time: I was enjoying the audio book so much in the car that I couldn't wait for my next car trip and I'm now reading the ebook for nook too in between car rides. My imagination is sometimes enough less talented than the voice actor Scott Brick that I miss him!" 1 comment
85.0% "Schizophrenically flip-flopped my way thru chapters on the nook at home and of the audio book in the car. It's like hearing the same story from two different relatives -what catches my attention in one version of the story may not seem very important in the other. Re-imagining the built landscape of California/Nevada/Colorado demands a certain attention but the rewards are worth it!"

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by JP (new)

JP Capili interesting.. I was expecting a higher rating based on most Goodreads's several reviews.

Natalie @JP no kidding. I'll make a collage of some of the funniest reviews but here're a couple tidbits:
The literary equivalent of a hand job, at first it was o.k. and then I was like "why bother?"
an epic full of dread and melancholy.

Yuki Shimmyo Haha! Didn't see the "hand job" review--hilarious! Ooh, I made it into your collage! :)

Natalie Derek just wrote: "Too slow for words" clearly he needed to read the audio verison at 1.5X speed?

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