• The Passage

  • The Passage Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (238 ratings)

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The Passage

By: Justin Cronin
Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller 

This thrilling novel kicks off what Stephen King calls “a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.” 

Named one of the 10 best novels of the year by time and one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Esquire, U.S. News & World Report, NPR/On Point, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage, and Library Journal

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”  

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy - abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape - but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world. 

Look for the entire Passage trilogy: 

  • The Passage
  • The Twelve
  • The City of Mirrors

Praise for The Passage

“[A] blockbuster.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Mythic storytelling.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Magnificent... Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them.... The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt.” (Time)

“The type of big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night.” (The Dallas Morning News)

“Addictive.” (Men’s Journal)

“Cronin’s unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind.” (Parade)

©2010 Justin Cronin (P)2010 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Mythic storytelling.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Magnificent... Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them.... The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt.” (Time)

“Great storytelling...vital, tender, and compelling.” (O: The Oprah Magazine)

What listeners say about The Passage

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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    34
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Performance
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    35
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    82
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    24
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Epic boredom

I was very much engaged through the opening chapters. The narrator is exceptionally good. However, when the story zoomed ahead 100 or so years, it became dull. And it remained dull. The first part of the book features the virus as a central character. This was interesting stuff, exciting, captivating, fast-moving, visually rich, and intriguingly provocative. The rest of the novel lacks the immediacy and suspense of the first part - there are thrilling sections - but they are few and far between. What's left is an opportunity for character development, and this is where Cronin goes under for good. His characters are unabashedly crafted for film adaptation. They are thin, unifaceted, caricatures of stock action characters: the manly woman, who is both alluring and vigorous; the techy-nerd whose virility is more than it initially appears to be; the good-guy gone surprisingly bad, etc. These characters are moving paper dolls with stiff joints. Lastly, I was bothered by the lack of contextual cohesion. Life in the colony is portrayed as pre-technology primitive - at times the dialogue is two shakes shy of grunting. Then, from out of nowhere, Cronin will portray the leading characters as utterly modern. Just didn't work for me. As primitives they were uninteresting; as moderns they were ineffectual. This novel is an obvious effort to create an Epic spectacle, and I'll tell you, it desperately needs special effects.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Oops, didn't mean to get the abridged version...

Did realize I had an abridged version until I sat down to write this review. As it is, I don't feel I have a right to write much a review about the book. But that having been said, I didn't like what I read enough to pursue the unabridged version or any sequels.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wish I had bought the UNabriged version

This book was great, but I am betting the longer version is much better. Solid character development, with enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. Not the typical Vampire garb either, which is nice.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Abridged = Confused

i did not know this was abridged when i bought it.
the story was still really good but at times i was thinking what a bad storyteller the author was. Then I picked up the kindle version from the library and realized half the stort was missing. The unabridged version is much much better.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not your typical vampire or zombie book

Not your typical vampire or zombie book, but very good nevertheless. A few reviewers complained about the transition 100 years later in the middle of the book. Did not phase me, actually I think the 2nd half is better than the first (actually more like 2/3 is in future). This is a pretty deep book and written very well. If you have read zombie/vamp/apocalypse book I would rate as this: deep writing similar to the Road (not as deep), good story but not quite as 'fun' as Day-by-Day Armageddon, so all-in-all a good solid read. Actually, a bit better than good. The Strain is another great vamp novel. 13 Bullets I did not like due to the focus on femininity and the reader was bad. So here you have it...give The Passage a read if you are a fan of DBD Armageddon, The Strain, The Road, or even 13 Bullets. Same would apply to World War Z and the other zombie books. The Passage certainly holds it own. A mix of the aforementioned books and a little of The Stand (not too much). So go buy/rent and enjoy! You will not be disappointed. I give it 4 1/2 starts, but rounded up so that others will not miss this great story.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Be prepared to commit to the whole trilogy.

Well, I chose the abridged version for Edward Herremm. I'm regretting that because I found it very good and wish I would have went long form! Can't wait to read the second one.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING LIKE THE SHOW

How refreshing.
I usually start a show on TV, only to find out there's a book. As a glutton for punishment, I'll read, or listen, to said book, and discontinue watching the show due to frustration and disappointment.
This time, I am pleasantly surprised!
N.O.A.H. is not the main focus of the story here. The characters don't play out like the show's, and the story/time line is WILDLY different.
I can have my cake and eat it too!
On top of that, it's a vampire novel without all the grotesque or 'sparkling' sex scenes. No orgies, teenage love triangles, or girl torn between turning for the love of her life or growing old without him. Just good old fashioned, bloodsucking, nightmares.
I've already downloaded book 2, and am excited to get started on it.
In short, to all my Bibliophiles, this book has a good pace, well developed characters, and a well thought out story.
You won't be disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging

I loved this book recommended by a friend. Well developed characters who draw you in and keeps the reader wanting to keep listening.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exciting, captivating, and just really good

I've read this book before. It's been a long time and decided to listen to the audio. Finished in several days. It was just as captivating listening to it as it was reading it. It will make you look at the world a little different...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • aj
  • 09-17-12

Passage to what?

Would you try another book from Justin Cronin and/or Edward Herrmann?

I would not try another Justin Cronin and/or Edward Herrmann book

Would you ever listen to anything by Justin Cronin again?

I would listen to another book but I would be very leery to make the purchase

What about Edward Herrmann’s performance did you like?

The performance was very good

Was The Passage worth the listening time?

Its not on my top 20 list

Any additional comments?

This book started out great, but the further along it went the more convoluted the plot became. It never reached its potential. It ultimately turned out to be a disappointment.

1 person found this helpful