The Passage

Justin Cronin

The Passage

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. 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. 3.6 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
The Passage

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Horror & Ghost Stories, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Format Hardback
Pages 784
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication June 2010
ISBN 978-0752897844
Publisher Orion
 

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. 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.

Read an extract from the book on the New York Times website

Reviews

The Times

Lisa Tuttle

It’s an absorbing, nightmarish dream of a book, a terrifying, apocalyptic thriller, populated by sympathetic, believable characters. Once you start reading, you won’t want it to end. I was reminded of Stephen King at the top of his form, although Justin Cronin — an American professor of English — is a more economical writer than King. The body count is high, but so is the emotional impact.

03/07/2010

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

John Dugdale

For most of this enthralling novel, it is 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 in handling more literary material. His reinvention of vampires niftily ditches Transylvanian clichés and his future world is richly imagined. Above all, Amy is a superb creation, believably human yet beguilingly enigmatic... Cronin’s storytelling lapses only in his closing chapters

04/07/2010

Read Full Review


The Washington Post

Ron Charles

Of course, you're skeptical. So was I. But by the third chapter, trash was piling up in our house because I was too scared to take out the garbage at night. It's a macabre pleasure to see what a really talented novelist can do with these old Transylvanian tropes. In the same way that "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" gave us a mature alternative to "Harry Potter," "The Passage" is for adults who've been bitten but can't swallow the teenybopper misogyny of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series.

09/06/2010

Read Full Review


The New York Times

Mike Peed

While it relies at times on convention, “The Passage” is astutely plotted and imaginative enough to satisfy the most bloodthirsty reader… Sustaining such a long book is a tough endeavor, and every so often his prose slackens into inert phrases (“his mind would be tumbling like a dryer”). For the most part, though, he artfully unspools his plot’s complexities, and seemingly superfluous details come to connect in remarkable ways.

17/06/2010

Read Full Review


The Daily Express

Barry Forshaw

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.

25/06/2010

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Eric Brown

Cronin's massive novel transcends its clichés 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.

05/06/2010

Read Full Review


The Independent

Roz Kaveney

...you know the drill, you've seen it before, but Cronin does do it really rather pacily and well. This is a very self-conscious blockbuster written by a literary gentleman who has applied his considerable intelligence to understanding the underlying structures of Stephen King novels and does you a very neat line in pastiche... glorious tosh

09/07/2010

Read Full Review


The Independent on Sunday

Simmy Richman

The Passage is a wonderful idea for a book that – like too many American TV series – knows how good it is and therefore outstays its welcome. There are enough human themes (hope, love, survival, friendship, the power of dreams) to raise it well above the average horror, but its internal battle between the literary and the schlock will, I suspect, leave most readers ultimately disappointed.

27/06/2010

Read Full Review


The New York Times

Janet Maslin

...a long, arid but sometimes genuinely jolting horror story

06/06/2010

Read Full Review


The Los Angeles Times

Ed Park

The first 250 pages are nearly flawless ... But soon enough, "The Passage" slips into a less-exacting version of the voice used earlier, and the narration often feels portentous and slack ... One major drawback, strangely, is Amy herself.

15/06/2010

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore