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The Passage (The Passage #1)

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  157,263 Ratings  ·  17,463 Reviews
“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for
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Hardcover, USA, 766 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Ballantine Books
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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
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

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Ken
Apr 25, 2010 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
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Ellen
Jul 03, 2010 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
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Garet Wirth
Apr 19, 2011 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
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Will Byrnes
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, horror, fantasy
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
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mark monday
Jul 08, 2010 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,
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Matthew
Epic . . . very, very Epic!

I feel like I just read about 5 books. Not because it was long, but just because there is so much story here that changes direction so many times. I cannot believe there are still two books to go . . . I mean, I can believe it because there is more story to tell, but how much more epic can this get!?

4.5 out of 5 stars

This one lost a little for me in the middle due to a blah transition that caused me to lose interest for a period of time. Looking back after knowing what
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Eddie
Jun 29, 2010 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
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Nicholas Sparks
Apr 11, 2012 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.
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
Alex
Jul 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This book got me to the important realization that zombies are just vampires gone retarded.
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
When it comes to Science Fiction or Fantasy that has a literary aspect to it, I usually have to step back & ask myself:

"Mary, did you enjoy this because it was good? Or did you enjoy it because it was written well?"

Such was the case with Justin Cronin's The Passage. Did I like this book? Well. Yes and no. At times. Sort of. I guess.

This book has its really excellent moments, but it has some not so excellent moments too & that makes assessing the work as a whole difficult to say the lea
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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
Babybook
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Iako sam upoznata s ovom knjigom već dulje vrijeme nisam je planirala čitati sve dok ne domognem svih nastavaka. Međutim kako svaki put kad dođem u knjižnicu ova knjiga tužno stoji sama na polici ko neko siroče, a ja nisam imala srca ostavit je tamo samu preko blagdana, nije bilo druge nego da je ponesem doma.

Sve počinje jednim tajnim projektom pod vodstvom vojske, jer normalno, vojska je uvijek zadužena za sva sranja. Nakon što projekt ode k vragu svijet će uskoro postati pusto mjesto, a ljudsk
...more
Mark
Mar 01, 2010 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).
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
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Andrew Smith
I feel that I need to explain my one star rating.

Firstly, it's really not that bad, it’s just that I always award one star to any book I feel compelled to abandon before the end, and I didn't get beyond half way on this one. Secondly, most of the first half is very good but then it descended into the realms of dull, futuristic nonsense of the type that completely switches me off.

Let me clarify. I like apocalyptic tales of the end of the world as we know it. I'm interested in the different ways i
...more
Annette2009
Jun 25, 2010 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 10, 2013 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
Helene Jeppesen
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished it! 1000 pages set in a dystopian setting in which people all around America start getting a horrendous virus that makes them eat other people. In other words, they become modern Draculas but in an intriguing and very disturbing way (not like Edward in Twilight!).
I was in the mood for a dystopian read and I definitely got one with this book. I’m pleased to have finished it (because it is after all 1000 pages long!), but I’m also pleased that there are two more books to come since thi
...more
Mark Lawrence
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
At the start of this book I was pretty sure it would be a 5* read. In the middle I was losing the will to read on and thought it would do well to wring 3* from me. By the end I give it a hearty 3* but just can't bring myself to offer 4.

So, this is a vampire book without the sparkling, the forever sexy trope, or the stalker-horror vibe.

Cronin's writing reminded me a lot of Stephen King, though with a more literary edge (which is not to say that King doesn't have a literary edge ... he does, and i
...more
galleycat
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 ⚔ Sh3lly - Grumpy Name-Changing Wanderer ⚔
Aaaaaand I'm DNFing the audio as well. This just isn't very good. I keep waiting for SOMETHING to happen, but nothing does. Every once in awhile the virals will attack, but seriously? I need more than that. There is no characterization. I can't even remember (or care) about anyone's names... There is a Michael, a Caleb, an Alisha, a Sarah? There is no purpose to anything.

I mean, I get it. It's post-apocalyptic survival. But, I don't care about any of the characters and it goes on and on and on
...more
Bonnie
Update 5/16: Not a movie but a show now! It looks good but I hope more focus is given to the science bits vs. the Amy and Wolgast storyline. http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/the-pa...

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 ther
...more
Katie(babs)
Apr 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gag-worthy-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Sagan
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I AM BABCOCK.
I have never, ever, ever read about the world going to s*** in a more realistic way. This series has the potential of getting into my TOP 5. If not TOP 3. I understand why many people didn’t like the second half of the book; it was because the first part was so damn good that everyone wished it would never end! I wished it too. I stayed till 4AM to finish that first part and it took a while to get used to the sudden time jump. But I came to the conclusion that as it is, the story is
...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
Stjepan Cobets
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Sci-Fi, Dystopia and Post-apocalypse genres, Horror
The book, The Passage (The Passage # 1) by Justin Cronin is a prime example of an excellently written story that the reader draws and draws to read. Although the story dark because the whole world is experiencing apocalypse enormity scale, the book tells the story about people who find themselves in these catastrophic times, who are struggling for daily survival even though the survival conditions are minimal. But in moments in the book I have too many descriptions that sometimes draw attention ...more
Carol.
Three and a half stars. It was an enjoyable read, enough to keep me reading all day--as in eat-dinner-while-reading kind of day. It is not particularly original (must the vampires glow) and by the end, I was struck by a resemblance to Resident Evil Apocalypse. But, hey, that could be because after a while, aren't all end of the world stories kind of the same?

One possible limitation, depending upon the reader, is that an atmosphere of horror and fear isn't given the chance to grow. I have to agr
...more
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6,770 followers
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)

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“We live, we die. Somewhere along the way, if we're lucky, we may find someone to help lighten the load.” 280 likes
“What strange places our lives can carry us to, what dark passages.” 156 likes
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