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The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage

Horror   Thriller / Suspense   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

It’s the end of the world, but not as we know it. The rise of a zombie plague, and life in the aftermath, but a real cut above the usual hack-slash thrillers of the genre. In fact I think it should have been three volumes. It is enormous, but worth it. A moving and involving story charting the fall of civilisation, then chronicling life in the new world a few generations later. Really powerful stuff.

One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011.

STOP PRESS – The eagerly awaited sequel to The Passage is out at the end of October 2012. It’s called The Twelve and you can read an exclusive extract right now here on Lovereading. In addition to our expert opinion above and below for The Passage, we’ve also managed to secure a few copies so that Lovereading members can review it for us. Just scroll down this page to see what they think.

May 2011 Mega Book of the Month.

Maxim Jakubowski's view...

A truly epic masterpiece that will have you hanging on for dear life for both its conclusion and the next volume. It's a chilling end of the world as we know it saga, this first volume of a trilogy has all the impact of Stephen King’s THE STAND in breadth of vision and length. Following a failed military experiment, America falls to a zombie/vampire epidemic and only a curious little girl and a group of doughty survivors hold the key to survival.

'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

Why I Wrote The Passage by Justin Cronin...

You write the book that asks to be written, and THE PASSAGE asked me to write it on a series
of long jogs in the fall of 2005, taken in the company of my daughter, Iris, age eight, who rode
beside me on her bicycle. Click here to

If you like Justin Cronin you might also like to read books by Carrie Ryan, Neil Gaiman and Rhys Thomas.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

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The Passage by Justin Cronin

An epic, awe-inspiring novel of good and evil - the most talked about book of the year, and now a global bestseller.

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.


In September 2012 Lovereading asked members and browsers whether they had already read THE PASSAGE and if so would they like to write a review for us. Reviews are just beginning to filter through to us and we'll be dropping them in as they arrive. In addition, a small number of members and browsers who hadn't yet read it but wanted to have now been selected and sent copies to review:

'I was not relishing the thought of reading 'The Passage' after so many of its reviews referred to all the genres of fiction I normally avoid. I'm a classics Hardy and Austen reader or an avid consumer of chic lit. How wrong can you be!...At well over 900 pages I recommend that 'The Passage' either goes in your holiday luggage to read on holiday - or you put your life on hold whilst you read it. Either way, regardless of your normal taste in fiction, it's a read you can't miss. Brilliant.'- Linda Hill - Click here to read the full review.

'I thought this book was truly amazing and I felt as if I was in another world when reading it. I never once lost interest in the story. There were so many characters throughout, each with their own story to tell. A brilliantly written book, ‘The Passage’ will keep you reading for hours. It is horror at its best! I give this book 5 out of 5.'- Sonya Kemp - Click here to read the full review.

'I have to concede that this book has everything: intrigue, adventure, a bit of romance, horror, science fiction, fantasy... you get the gist. If you are going to read just one book this year, then I would make it this one.' Nicola Foster - Click here to read the full review.

''I would say it is plot and character rather than action led which may put people off and has been criticised but it consumes you with wanting to know how it ends whilst not wanting to rush the experience.' Rachel Bridgeman - Click here to read the full review.

'Cronin has somehow managed to create a novel that is not only a formidable work of science-fiction yet also one that is painfully and poignantly human too, a truly outstanding novel that must be read.' Megan Olwen Williams - Click here to read the full review.

'I became totally engrossed in this book. But beware; it is not the type of book that you can dismiss easily. It leaves you thirsty for more and once you start reading it you will find it difficult to put down. There are many characters to try to remember but that’s ok. It’s the type of book that requires commitment. Highly recommended.' - J B Johnston - Click here to read the full review.

'It is a huge book, but it didn’t take me long to get through because I just wanted to keep reading. The first part of the book hooked me with its suspense, leading me in...' - Linda Rollins - Click here to read the full review.

'If you enjoy watching epic post-apocalyptic movies, such as The Road and I am Legend, then you will love reading The Passage by Justin Cronin. It is a post-apocalyptic adventure, brimming with rich detailed description and interesting characters. I enjoyed reading this epic adventure and was soon engrossed.' - Amanda Donovan - Click here to read the full review.

'This is not my usual genre of reading but I found this to be a really epic, amazing horror story read. At the beginning it starts out innocently with the story of an abandoned litte girl called Amy and soon becomes something else as the story develops she is pursued, imprisoned but can she save the world! It contains death row prisoners, jungles, vampires,the Noah project and at the end leaves you feeling could this really have happened - I wonder! - Kath Thornton

'It is a sprawling saga well worth the effort of overcoming the lull in the middle. I’d recommend it even though I’m not normally a fan of this sort of thing and I’m greatly looking forward to the next instalment.' - Hannah Brittlebank - Click here to read the full review.

'Carefully drawn characters provoke surprising empathy for some unpleasant truths of human nature whilst sending a shiver down the spine. This is not a book for someone looking for a light read but the depth of writing and extraordinary imagination make this epic well worth a recommendation.' - Cyllene Griffiths - Click here to view the full review.

'The daily fight for survival then the guerrilla fight back, while a familiar premise, kept me turning the pages...This non futuristic novel fan is officially looking forward to the next volume.' - Barbara Gaskell - Click here to read the full review.

'This book is an absolute epic. It is set in a possible near future and centres around a six year old girl Amy...This is not a book where every character has a happy ending, yet every character is believable and has a vital part to play in Amy's journey...I was totally transfixed reading this book and had indeed ordered the second book to be delivered to my kindle as soon as it was released.' - Rachel Atkin - Click here to read the full review.

'The Passage should appeal to two groups of readers. Not just those who love Sci-Fi, but also those folk who simply want a “good story”.' - Gil Wilmott - Click here to read the full review.

'I had never heard of this author before but I was blown away by the story. This had all the making of.a.cross between Stephen king and The Walking Dead it was amazing and I cannot wait to read The Twelve.' Glynis Elliott

'This doorstop of a book will utterly compel those with a taste for an apocalyptic read. This one is rich in detail, characterisation and form. It disturbs you right from the outset and you read with a feeling of impending doom. Yet there is a thread of hope for humanity within this well written tome that you cling to fervently throughout. It is a triumph of imagination that lovers of the genre will soak up like sponge. For a newcomer such as I, it felt just a little too strung out for comfort and I began to struggle to complete it.' - Alison Jones

This is a well put together story and is quite gripping and keeps you reading it. It is a long book - nearly 1,000 pages, but don't let this put you off - it is worth it! - Sally - Click here to read the full review.

"A gripping read for all fans of stories like 'I am legend' and 'The Road' - this is post apocalyptic writing at its best!" - Julie Bertschin - Click here to read the full review.

“At 900 pages I expected it to be boring and drawn out. How wrong was I!? The Passage is an amazing novel that pulls you in and refuses to let go.” – Becky KirbyClick here to read the full review..

Cronin is certainly a skilled writer, in that he convinces the reader that this dystopian world could in fact be our futures. This is a truly gripping read. Becca Golby Click here to read the full review..


Praise for The Passage

‘A feverishly readable post-apocalyptic-cum-vampire chiller. . . a brilliantly told story . . . thrilling plot twists and graphic action sequences’ Guardian

‘If you only take one book away with you this summer, make it The Passage . . . an absorbing, nightmarish dream of a book, a terrifying apocalyptic thriller’ The Times

‘Epic, apocalyptic, heart-wrenching, catastrophic, mesmerising’ Daily Mirror

‘A genuinely jolting horror story’ Scotland on Sunday

‘It more than lives up to the considerable hype. . . breathtaking plot . . . the conclusion will leave you gasping. A modern classic in the making’ SFX

‘A dark epic that matches the best of Stephen King’ Heat

‘There are enough human themes to raise it well above the average horror’ Independent on Sunday

‘Cronin writes with verve and versatility . . . and his future world is richly imagined’ Sunday Times

‘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 . . . stirred by metaphor’ Sci Fi Now

‘Older lads of the Stephen-King adoring type . . . can devour the doorstep du jour: Justin Cronin’s novel The Passage, with its apocalyptic plague of the viral undead’ Independent

‘I turned The Passage's pages feverishly to find out what happened next’ Observer

‘A gripping story and a richly drawn cast’ Daily Mail

‘This epic tale is truly exhilarating stuff’ Daily Express

‘Every so often a novel-reader’s novel comes along: an enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination . . . 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

About the Author

Justin Cronin

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.

Author photo © Julie Soefer

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Book Info

Publication date

24th June 2010


Justin Cronin

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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co


784 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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