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The Ferryman Institute

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  942 ratings  ·  208 reviews
Ferryman Charlie Dawson saves dead people—and somebody has to convince them to move on to the afterlife. Having never failed a single assignment, he's acquired a reputation for success that’s as legendary as it is unwanted. It turns out that serving as a Ferryman is causing Charlie to slowly lose his mind. Deemed too valuable by the Ferryman Institute to be let go and too ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published September 27th 2016 by Gallery Books (first published September 26th 2016)
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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)
Colin Maybe one day, but unfortunately not for the near future. I've written a self-contained story in the same universe that explains more about the world,…moreMaybe one day, but unfortunately not for the near future. I've written a self-contained story in the same universe that explains more about the world, but unfortunately it hasn't found a home with anyone yet. (less)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
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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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya, arcs
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
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
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.
Stephanie Griffin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leah Bayer
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
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.
Sheyla ✎
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"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
Jul 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★½ (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

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
Jackson Matthews
Surrealism is the theme of the week. How do people decide to go to the afterlife? What if they have the made-famous-by Caspar "unfinished business?" Pieces of mythology, fable, and poetry meld together in an exciting story with a villan as great as Inspector Javert. ...more
"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
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
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.

Cher Staite
Jun 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get past page 49. This book is 'bad boy' misogynistic crap. Who wrote the promo hype? His publicist? His mom?

"REBECCA" said everything I was thinking— far more beautifully put than I could—so I'm just cutting and pasting the best of her review: (just in case everyone misses it).

"A lot of toxic masculinity and narcissism. Our main character is the bestest best best, so good that the entire state of death on this planet depends on him, because he's just so damn awesome. He wants to qui
Mar 24, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
i don't generally read pop-fic written by men, and it's not so much a conscious choice as the fact that i'm just not often particularly drawn to any that i come across. although this was not written by a man, but clearly by a tiny baby boy, my judgment on the subject remains sound. ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fairly solid book with fun characters and a good idea. Not quite as screwball as Jasper Fford and Christopher Moore
Patricia Cole
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
quirky and sad - great characters and a good way to approach death
Lauren Stoolfire
Feb 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
The concept of The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl sounded pretty good, but the end product didn't work out for me. Aside from Charlie, the characters blended together to the point where I had to double check who I was reading. I wasn't a fan of how Alice was handled over the course of the novel. Overall, this just didn't quite agree with me as much as I would have hoped. ...more
I felt that I enjoyed reading the book while I was reading it, but as I sit down to write this review, I find that the things that stick with me are the things I disliked about the book. These faults are the sort that bother me in hindsight, so while only a couple of the really egregious ones stuck out as I was reading, the rest of them didn't bother me all that much. For that reason, I was able to get through the book relatively quickly.

Regarding themes around depression, I have to wonder if Co
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
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