The Passage

  • by Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by Edward Herrmann
  • 14 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.


What the Critics Say

“Read this book and the ordinary world disappears.” (Stephen King)
“Magnificently unnerving . . . The Stand meets The Road.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Justin Cronin has written a wild, headlong, sweeping extravaganza of a novel. The Passage is the literary equivalent of a unicorn: a bona fide thriller that is sharply written, deeply humane, ablaze with big ideas, and absolutely impossible to put down.” (Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Leesa Morrow

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.
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- Amazon Customer "I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-08-2010
  • Publisher: Random House Audio