Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ferryman Institute” as Want to Read:
The Ferryman Institute
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ferryman Institute

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  770 ratings  ·  179 reviews
In this stunning, fantastical debut novel from a bold new voice in the bestselling traditions of Christopher Moore and Jasper Fforde, a ferryman for the dead finds his existence unraveling after making either the best decision or the biggest mistake of his immortal life.

Ferryman Charlie Dawson saves dead people—somebody has to convince them to move on to the afterlife, aft
ebook, 432 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Gallery Books (first published September 26th 2016)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ferryman Institute, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Asteropê Audible edition is listed on Amazon US now:
Listening Length: 14 hours and 18 minutes
Version: Unabridged
Audible edition is listed on Amazon US now:
Listening Length: 14 hours and 18 minutes
Version: Unabridged Release Date: September 27, 2016(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Charlie Dawson has been a ferryman working for The Ferryman Institute for many years. He gets assignments from his manager and gets them set up from his navigator and off he goes with his special key. This key takes him to the person he needs to talk into going through their door once they are dead. It's a very heartbreaking job that Charlie has to do and he's the best the Institute has at completing.



Charlie is tired, very tired. He has tried to transfer out for years now but they keep turning
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, fantasy, ya
I don't read many humorous books, but when I saw The Ferryman Institute on NetGalley, I was intrigued. This book is about a group of immortals who guide the recently dead to the afterlife; I requested it because it reminded me of Hermes and the Underworld in Greek mythology.

Charlie Dawson is a celebrity among Ferryman. He's been guiding souls for over two centuries, and his record is flawless. But he's sick of his job. Ferrymen are recruited as humans when they're dying, and if they accept the j
Technology may have changed, but the job is still the same -- luckily, Charon happened to figure out a way to make his job of ferrying souls into the afterlife way easier. He created The Ferryman Institute...

Enter Charlie Dawson. Star Ferryman. 250 years of being an immortal Ferryman, and never once failing an assignment. The assignments aren't always easy, but they always end with the main objective -- open a door to the Afterlife, convince the soul to enter of its own free will. Succeed, get a
Kristen Burns
4 Stars

Full Review:
*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I love reading about different versions of the afterlife and all things related, so reading about a ferryman was right up my alley. Oddly enough though, this book turned out to be not so much about afterlife and far more about life and what it means to live.

That being said, the whole concept of the Ferryman Institute, the actual institute in the book, was so unique and creative! There were th

Arc Provided by Gallery Books

Call me sexist if you want, but there's a reason why I try to stay away from books written by guys: I can't stand their f***g voices. Or what is known as "male gaze".
There's a few exceptions like author Soman Chainani and I was going to say author Peter S. Beagle... but meanwhile the author wrote Summerlong and s**t hit the fan with that one. Don't know what is it with guys and old age, for crying out loud.

So, male gaze, right?
I can't stand it. I have allergy to it.
Janet Robel
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy from NetGalley.

An impressive debut featuring an unlikely hero who helps the dead cross over into the afterlife. Charlie Dawson doesn't have an average nine to five job. Being a ferryman means he's on call whenever needed, but Charlie is due for a change in his life. This exceeded my expectations with a strong plot and nicely written characters that stand out. Those of you looking for a little something different in your reading material may want to grab a copy of this.
Stephanie Griffin
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leah Bayer
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was really excited for this book, but I think I led myself to believe it was something it just isn't. I was expecting a slow, thoughtful, dark fantasy about Ferrymen who help dead souls pass over. And while the last part is true, it's more an action-comedy fantasy. And that's not a genre I usually go for at all, so I mostly blame myself for how much I disliked The Ferryman Institute (though there is one problematic element I just can't get over).

If you want a weird/quirky action movie in a bo
Jul 20, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, ebook, arc
The premise of this book - the Ferrymen and their duties, the rogue Ferryman, his mysterious friend - is fabulous. Unfortunately, nothing else is. The characters are completely cardboard and impossible to tell apart (except for Cartwright, whose mannerisms seem affected and ridiculous), the pacing drags, the stakes are stupidly low given the potential of the premise, the "action" is trite shoot-em-up in which nothing much actually happens, the humor is sitcom-level, and the romance which takes o ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's much easier to accept the regrets of your life when you believe the outcome was already written.

I was determined to like love this book. I've wanted to read it for years but it kind of slipped through the cracks. I've never seen it in a bookstore and for some reason, it was taken off my amazon wishlist. So basically, I forgot about it for a long time. Then, when I happened to be shopping at bookoutlet treating myself to more books than I could possibly have room for, I saw it! YAS.

Long st
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ (4.5/5)

What I love about this book, not only is the writing excuse my language fan-fuckin-tastic but the main character Charlie is so relatable.

At some point in our lives we've experienced being #SoDone. You know when you've reached the point where you literally could not give a flying fudge; may it be school, work or friendships. It's like you've lost the ability to care and before every decision your brain flashes a bright neon #FuckIt sign and you do whatever the hell you

Sheyla ✎
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

"Be a Ferryman or save the girl. Your choice."

Charlie has been given the gift of immortality. His job is to be a Ferryman. He does his job well. In over two and a half centuries he has not had an incomplete job. So what does his job entail? Charlie is responsible for assisting people in their next journey after they die. He doesn't know what happens to them after he opens the door to their future. He just needs to convince them to crossover. Sadly, Charlie is tired of witnessing so much death
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Charlie Dawson is a ferryman. He meets humans at their appointed time of death and persuades them into opening the door to the hereafter. It's an important job. If one does not enter into whatever is after death they become lost spirits on earth destined to wither away into non-existence. Charlie has been doing it for 250 years and has gained a legendary status as the ferryman who never failed an assignation. The result though, is that he is burned out by all the deaths that happened without his ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it did not like it

Admittedly, this book had some big shoes to fill - the promotional material heavily compares it to Christopher Moore, which is a pretty bold statement. But it's not just that it's 'not as good as Moore.' It's just plain not good.

It's billed as dark comedy, but there's not actually anything funny about it. The closest thing to humor is a vein of self-aware cynicism, but it's not put forth humorously. It's billed as a story about dying, death, and the passage from life, but that doesn't a
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The Ferryman Institute" is mostly an adventure--but it's also a love story, and surprisingly funny one, considering how much death is present in the narrative. Even stranger is that it makes suicide--and the people who commit suicide--achingly understandable. The humor doesn't feel cheap; it feels like the weird little comments you make to yourself in the middle of a crisis, mostly so you don't fall apart until it is over.

You know how the movie "Groundhog Day" is almost funny when it cycles thr
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Charlie is a Ferryman, responsible for escorting the newly dead into their new afterlives. He's been at it for over 250 years--an order of magnitude longer than nearly anyone else--and he's Done. He wants out. He submits his retirement paperwork after every job, and it comes back denied every time. And then a special case comes, one that offers him a choice: remain a ferryman, or give up absolutely everything. What follows is a wild adventure: a car chase, a hostage, a shootout, betrayals, and t ...more
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Thank you Netgalley for the free advanced reading copy.

This book did remind me of Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job" because of the job similarity, but that is where the comparison ends. It turns out to be a mixture between romance and mafia book, whimsical and action packed.

Patricia Cole
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
quirky and sad - great characters and a good way to approach death
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A fairly solid book with fun characters and a good idea. Not quite as screwball as Jasper Fford and Christopher Moore
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
disclaimer – i received a copy of this book via gallery books in exchange for an honest review.

charlie dawson is a legend. in his time with the ferryman institute he’s garnered a stellar reputation for success and everyone looks up to him. he has three problems, though. first, charlie is slowly losing his mind and his will to live. second, he’s received a presidential assignment giving him a choice: be a ferryman or save the girl. the girl in question is alice spiegel, who is seconds away from c
Sachin Dev
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-great-reads
Updated review up on my blog here: http://fantasy-smorgasbord.blogspot.i...

Bottom-line is this,

"The bureaucracy and the meta-physics of the world of the Ferryman institute is well fleshed out and Colin's writing is first-class, engaging and spot-on with his witticisms and pointers about truths of life or death as it comes. If you are bored with the whole genre of urban fantasy in general, then this book about the "undead" infuses new life into such. It's a delightful caper, wickedly funny tale a
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Ferryman Institute aka when Death outsources his job.

According to legend, a long time ago Death met Charon, a man who seeks immortality and refuse to die no matter how hard Death tried. After much time and effort spent from both side, they finally struck a deal and Charon achieved his dream of immortality, in return he will help Death's work by ferrying dying people from our world to the Death's door. Thus the Ferryman Institute was founded.

Charlie has been a Ferryman for 250 years and achieved
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book last night before bed: "The Ferryman Institute" by Colin Gigl. While reading some other non-fiction work, I decided I needed to dive into some delicious fiction.

First let me say, I love the premise of this novel. The main job for the workers of the Ferryman Institute is to assist the newly departed cross over into the afterlife. The main character, Charlie, has been a Ferryman for over 250 years and he is one of the best at getting lost souls to travel over to the oth
Jeanne Bufkin
** I received this book from NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review.**

This book was, for lack of a better word, AMAZING!! I was immediately enthralled by not only the characters, but also in the way the story was told. It was nothing like what I thought it would be based on the description, but somehow, it was better. Charley's story wraps itself around the readers from the first paragraph and never lets them go.

About half way though, I thought I had the book figured out,
Angela Street
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Charlie Dawson is a Ferryman who is tasked with ushering individuals whom die into the after-life. He has the best record of any other Ferryman but is slowly losing his mind dealing with the pressure of his work. His life takes an un-expected twist when he is given an option to save a girl named Alice from suicide. I loved both main characters as they had humor, spunk and were even snarky at times. There is a protagonist involved that you "love to hate" and a twist at the end that leaves you won ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Part myth, part action, part romance....this book was so fun! Charlie as the Ferryman who can't seem to get away from the "company" he works for was amazing. I enjoy the thought of a character ushering dead souls to the other side anyway, but the way it blends with reality in this book made it entertaining to read. As a romance lover, I loved the relationship between Charlie and Alice. It was sweet, but subtle. The r
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! For me, it was the internal struggles of the characters that made the story so good. What better way to study what makes us human than with someone who used to be? Charlie Dawson has become one of my absolute favorite characters I've ever read. I hope there will be more to his story!
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just what I wanted to read this week...light-hearted, with an appreciation for the absurd.

I see in the reviews that some people were disappointed in it because it isn't a dark book (given the subject matter)- if you're looking for darkness, this book definitely isn't it. I'd seen it positively reviewed on a couple of the book sites, and I'm glad that I went with those recommendations.
KC Comal
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
“Time marches on while mothers weep, each one wondering why the world hasn't stopped to mourn.” 2 likes
More quotes…