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The Passage

The Passage

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Justin Cronin

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Product description

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row. He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is. THE PASSAGE. Deep in the jungles of eastern Colombia, Professor Jonas Lear has finally found what he's been searching for - and wishes to God he hadn't. In Memphis, Tennessee, a six-year-old girl called Amy is left at the convent of the Sisters of Mercy and wonders why her mother has abandoned her. In a maximum security jail in Nevada, a convicted murderer called Giles Babcock has the same strange nightmare, over and over again, while he waits for a lethal injection. In a remote community in the California mountains, a young man called Peter waits for his beloved brother to return home, so he can kill him. Bound together in ways they cannot comprehend, for each of them a door is about to open into a future they could not have imagined. And a journey is about to begin. An epic journey that will take them through a world transformed by man's darkest dreams, to the very heart of what it means to be human. And beyond. THE PASSAGE.

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Author information

Born and raised in New England, Justin Cronin is a multi-award winning writer. He is professor of English at Rice University, and lives with his family in Houston, Texas.

Customer reviews

By veronica 20 Sep 2010 5

Fantastic book, the first one for years to enter my dreams at night. Would be good to have a follow up - but doubt it will happen.

Review quote

"Cronin's massive novel transcends its cliches and delivers a feverishly readable post-apocalyptic-cum-vampire chiller. It's not only a brilliantly told story, with thrilling plot twists and graphic action sequences, but a moving psychological portrait of survivors facing up to the poignant fact of a lost past and a horrifically uncertain future." THE GUARDIAN "For most of this enthralling novel, it's not difficult to discern why the publisher is so excited. Cronin writes with verve and versatility, and is just as good in action scenes as he is in handling more literary material. His reinvention of vampires niftily ditches Transylvanian cliches and his future world is richly imagined. Above all, Amy is a superb creation, believably human yet beguilingly enigmatic." -- John Dugdale THE SUNDAY TIMES "If you only take one book away with you this summer, make it The Passage. It's an absorbing, nightmarish dream of a book, a terrifying apocalyptic thriller, populated by believable, sympathetic characters. Once you start reading it, you won't want it to end." -- Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES "This epic tale is truly exhilarating stuff but what makes The Passage work so well is not its massive canvas, but the concentration on its human characters, notably six-year-old redhead Amy Harper Bellafonte." -- Barry Forshaw THE DAILY EXPRESS "Epic, apocalyptic, heart-wrenching, catastrophic, mesmerisizing..." -- Henry Sutton THE DAILY MIRROR "Interweaving the stories of a six-year-old girl abandoned by her mother, a death row murderer and a Harvard professor on a dangerous trip into the South American jungle, this immense brick of a retelling of the vampire myth more than satisfied." -- Alison Flood THE BOOKSELLER "It more than lives up to the considerable hype. The Texas-based author delivers an exhilarating epic that easily rises above the flood of run-of-the-mill vampire tales. To Cronin's credit, the pace never falters, despite the near 800-page length. The breathtaking plot eventually circles back around, and the conclusion will leave you gasping. A modern classic in the making." SFX 'Every so often a novel-reader's novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination. Read 15 pages, and you will find yourself captivated; read 30 and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It had the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears.' -- Stephen King "Dense stuff with intriguing characters, Cronin's story of a supernatural government experiment that gets out of hand is surprisingly gripping. Full of plot twists, action and vampires. It's a dark epic that matches the best of Stephen King." HEAT "The Passage is a superbly-written, well-paced and convincingly-characterised novel where the situation and characters remain in the imagination long after it is finished. This could be the start of something major indeed." WERTZONE blog "A truly epic masterpiece that will have you hanging on for dear life for both its conclusion and the next volume." -- Maxim Jakubowski LOVEREADING.COM "You can't label it a thriller, horror, science fiction, supernatural or literary fiction because actually it's all of those and more. Cronin has a vision and imagination that has no bounds. It's a fantastic read that will grip you, entertain you, horrify you all in one go." SAVIDGE READS "The Passage is a magnificent gift of a novel about the journey, not the answers (bear in mind, this is the first book of a trilogy). Beautifully written on an epic scale, it is a book that transcends genre." THE BOOK SMUGGLERS "There are enough human themes to raise it well above the average horror." THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY "An epic thriller, the story hinges around Amy, a six-year-old girl used as a test case by the government for a covert mission involving a deadly virus. And yes, she manages to escape... We loved it." STYLIST "An entertaining page-turning adventure thriller with some nice characterisation." METRO "Cronin is a skilled writer. Most of the characters are well drawn and he tackles the philosophical issue of gaining eternal life at the cost of your soul in between the throat-ripping battle scenes. I turned The Passage's pages feverishly to find out what happened next." -- Alice Fisher THE OBSERVER "An ambitious epic about a virus that nearly destroys the world - and a six-year-old-girl who holds the key to bringing it back from the brink. WESTERN MAIL 'Do not be put off by its size. This apocalyptic thriller is epic in scale, terrifying and totally absorbing. Stephen King loves it and the film rights have already gone to Ridley Scott. The hype around this book is extraordinary, but it absolutely lives up to every word. You will not be disappointed.' -- W H Smith Fiction Buyer Sue Scholes "Cronin's sprawling epic, the first of a trilogy, is insanely elaborate, with a huge amount of thought given to the world. It's immersive, nuanced and splendid (in a terrifying way) - it draws you in and refuses to let you go. He writes in a way that's quite simply a pleasure to read, as words flow into descriptive sentences, punctuated by dialogue and stirred by metaphor." -- James Rundle SCI FI NOW "Think Stephen King with a dash of the X Files. It's a tale that can be enjoyed on so many different levels, from pure entertainment to more philosophical questions about the human spirit. A mesmerising, epic tale - the perfect summer read." HENLEY STANDARD "The story is perfectly balanced between being character driven and action driven. Both characters and plotlines get equal treatment. Finally, and perhaps most remarkably, the story lives in a happy middle-ground between the two poles of literary and popular fiction. Literary and popular fiction shouldn't be mutually exclusive but for some reason they usually are. An engrossing read and well worth the risk of RSI that carrying around such a weighty tome night and day until its finished entails." LOVEVAMPIRES.COM "A genuinely jolting horror story." SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY 'The Passage is more 28 Days Later than Twilight. Cronin's intelligent prose and terminal imagination keeps you buried between the pages.' WHARF "A thriller with bite" BELFAST TELEGRAPH "A stunning epic about love and loyalty, friendship and sacrifice amidst the horror of man's darkest hour. Cronin's breathtaking tale is set to be THE best read this summer." LANCASHIRE EVENING POST "IF you're not ready to give up on blood-suckers just yet, Justin Cronin's 'The Passage', with its horrifying, non-matinee-idol monster vampires, is the book for you." MARIE CLAIRE "A gripping story and a richly drawn cast. This is an epic that often bears comparison with Stephen King." THE DAILY MAIL Owing much to Stephen King's 'The Stand'... charming and gripping in equal measure." CATHOLIC HERALD "Read 30 pages and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. " SUNDAY EXPRESS