• The Terror

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Tom Sellwood
  • Length: 28 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (4,211 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The men onboard HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape. A haunting, gripping story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.

©2007 Dan Simmons (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The best and most unusual historical novel I have read in years." (Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe)
" The Terror is both dazzling history and a sparkling chiller." (Caroline Leavitt, People)
" The Terror is nothing less than a revelation. Dan Simmons is a giant among novelists, and I am in awe of his achievement." (Lincoln Child)

What listeners say about The Terror

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    2,577
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very good then, NOT


I love a good historical fiction, and three quarters of this book was fantastic.

A tale of hardship followed up by bad luck and tragedy. Not to give anything away, but they find themselves stuck fast in the ice while trying to find a passage to sail north of Canada. they begin to be hunted by what appears to be an extremely large Polar Bear.
The crews of the 2 ships struggle to survive and many parish. The story is told in, through the eyes experiences from many different crew members .
BUT THEN at about chapter 62 the story tales a bad left turn and never recovers.
This is my first Dan Simmons book and I was impressed in his many detailed characters,and the telling of the story through their experiences.
I will definitely try another Dan Simmons novel soon

138 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

F**KING AWESOME!!!

Thank you Dan Simmons for writing such a fantastic epic horror, historical, supernatural, adventure novel that is “The Terror”.

For the days that I spent listening to this book, I ate more ravenously, I felt colder then normal and I thought a lot about “what would I do if placed in a similar situation”.

“The Terror” is the story of two English naval ships that set out on an exploration in 1845 and become trapped in solid ice... that’s the shortest synopsis. The real story is about the people’s lives on the ships. The people you get to know intimately and grow to love and hate or the other way around. There multiple villains to this story, from the unseen “Ursa Maritimas” (or is it) lurking around the ships, to the mutinous sailors, to the most important villain of all... the ice.

I highly recommend this emotional roller coaster dark, epic book.

The narration by Tom Sellwood was amazing and I loved listening to his ability to change his tones and accents ever so slightly to conjure the image of the new characters.

59 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

This book DRAGS on forever!

This book dragged on for for so long I often got drowsy listening to it. It was about 19 hours longer than it had to be. If you like books that give you the descriptions of every single little detail, this is your book.

Of all the deaths of the crew, two of them were a surprise, I had thought they would live.

The narrator did a great job but I doubt I will buy another book from this author, I like my audio books when I am driving and this one is NOT something to listen to while driving!

56 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Drawn outtttttttttttt

I was not a fan of this book but listened til the end. It was a long drawn out story and very depressing. At times I felt that the author got carried away with the supernatural aspect which I found just out of place with the rest of the book. I found the monster following them to be unbelievable and the back story annoying. It was also an extremely depressing book, no high points. The parts that did hold my attention in the book was the information on scurvy and how starvation really effected the men on the boat. What I also found informative was the ship and what went into sailing the sea in the 1800's. I did enjoy the main character. I did enjoy the reader. I'm not really sure how this book received 4.5 stars

48 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too Much Of A Mediocre Thing

Basically I have two main criticisms.

The first is the narrator who was just a terrible choice for this book. His voice has now depth to it, no gravitas, and listening to characters who are meant to be hard-bitten sea-faring types is akin to hearing teenagers role-playing practising their all 'grown up and stuff' voices.

As a comparison, I'm now listening to the Patrick Melrose novels narrated by Alex Jennings who's capable of giving clear and distinct voices, across accents and gender, and can thus give his characters both variation and life. Sellwood just wasn't up to this task.

The second criticism is of the book itself. If Stephen King can be accused of 'verbal diarrhoea' in the length of density of his books, then Dan Simmons must do his writing from the toilet seat.

Good grief but the man can waffle, especially towards the end of the book and in particular the last chapter or two which should be full of melancholy and atmosphere but instead seemed to be little more than the other showing off his 'Inuit to English' dictionary.

Another occasion where I find myself distinctly in the minority. How this has 4.5 stars baffles me.

So, yeah, two main criticisms of an audiobook; the audio... and the book.

47 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but then...

Great narration and the story started out good but it's long and then it began to drag. Truly there were some terrifying and haunting moments. I WAS invested in the very well developed characters so I rode it out. Then somewhere around the 17th hour there was some shouting in different accents that sounded more cartoonish than dramatic and I realized I didn't know what was going on because I'd just completely tuned out. This plus the boredome just made me resentful and I stopped listening. It's not that I can't listen to long books but I dunno... I couldn't stay with this one.

47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Finally in Unabridged Form!

I've been waiting for years for this in unabridged format. Dan Simmons tells a gripping story of courage and perseverance amongst the crews of HMS Erebus and Terror. Fascinating historical detail mixed with all kinds of horror. One of my all-time favorites expertly narrated by Tom Sellwood.

43 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too drawn out.. I wanted to like it

I almost gave up on this book for the simple fact that they took a very interesting plot and overall cool, dark atmosphere and drug it completely too far out. This book could of been compressed by half and been so much better. I found myself daydreaming so much that I had to rewind because I missed something. The narrator, however, is very good!

42 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

One of the few books I've ever given up on

This is an interesting concept for a story - take a real life adventure discovery event and wrap it up in a horror story with a relentless monster. But relentless has become the operative word for me. This book is relentlessly dreary and hopeless. Two doomed crews stuck in the ice while S L O W L Y starving to death, S L O W L Y freezing to death; plagued by scurvy and some demon creature determined to slaughter every member of the crews over a L O N G L O N G period of time. The sense of foreboding and hopelessness really started to mess with my day to day attitude and by the time they abandoned ship while dying one by one of scurvy I just couldn't take it anymore.

Of course, I'd kind of like to know how it all turned out. In real life the entire mission was lost in the ice - interestingly only to be discovered fairly recently. And I would like to know who or what the monster was and his unusual relationship with Silence. At first I thought that perhaps she was one of the Harry Potter animagus, but after a few telling scenes it seems to have turned out not to be the case. A lot of people seem to love this story and I can't blame them. Simmons is a popular writer and I admire most of his work. The narration was superb, but I have to listen to something a bit more uplifting after being immersed within this doleful morass. I think I have the biography of Ghengis Khan up next. I can hardly wait. It has to be better than this one.

40 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't Bother

worse than the TV series. Boring and slow. hard to hold my interest. Did not finish!!!!!

39 people found this helpful