Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Passage by Cronin -- Make the Investment

What a wonderful experience it was to read The Passage by Justin Cronin.  This book requires the reader to make an investment – it’s 766 pages long, and I don’t agree with Stephen King, who is quoted on the back as saying “read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated.”  It took me 176 pages.  There is a lot of back story.  As I was reading all these details, I felt it wasn’t necessary, but as I progressed through the book and became more and more drawn into the story, I began to feel it was all very purposefully designed.

Scientists (and of course the government) have discovered a disease in a jungle, which can make people live long and be strong, and mostly invincible.  Of course, the government thinks of the “ultimate soldier.”  So experiments are begun, and of course things go very wrong, and I really don’t want to tell you too much, but the world as we know it, ends.  Life is very different defending yourselves from the “virals” – the name our main characters have given these creatures who have taken over and pretty much destroyed everything in the country.  The term “vampires” is used a few times, but we aren’t talking about the Cullens here; these are very different, very deadly creatures. This story spans over 100 years and involves many characters who are all well-developed and interesting.

I began this book without knowing anything about it.  It was one of those books that I put on my TBR list for some unknown reason, and when the book finally came (I had to wait several weeks for my library hold to materialize.) I decided to jump in without reading the flap.  I love doing that.  But not knowing what was going to happen might have been one of the reasons that it took me so long to “make the investment.”  I’m very glad I did.  Even if I had read the flap, this was a book that took so many twists and turns, that I NEVER knew what would happen next.  Even up to the last page, you just don’t know how it’s going to end.

Let me encourage you to “make the investment!”  The closest “read alikes” I can think of are The Stand by Stephen King and Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven and Pournelle.


  1. I've been wanting to read this book since I first read a review of it a few months ago, and your review just makes me want to read it more! It's always out at my library so either I'll have to wait, or chock up the money to buy the book. But I think it would be worth it :)

  2. Really like your new blog look (at least new to me!) ...water so calming. Nice review. Yes, I'll be making the investment. I've only heard great things about this book.

  3. I really want to read this. I didn't enjoy the Stand though, thought that one could easily have been edited down a bit!

  4. I've seen this book before (while browsing the bookstore) and now I'm regretting not picking it up! It sounds fascinating and it's definitely going on my 'to be read' list now. Great review. :D

  5. I really enjoyed this book, although I thought/think it could be several hundred pages shorter, still get the point across but keep the reader interested. I know many people had a hard time keeping a good reading pace with it. In the end, I find it was worth reading.


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