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Old 08-03-2011, 19:07   #1
LeftHandedGuitarist
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The Passage (Justin Cronin)

I'm nearly 200 pages into this massive tome and am really quite enjoying it. Although it seems the story has barely kicked in yet, it feels like a lot has happened. Quite on purpose I chose not to know too much about the book before reading it, so I have no idea what the ultimate story is going to be, I just picked it up on a recommendation - and the fantastic cover art which really drew me in. I also long ago randomly found an interesting article about the author in which he talked about the strange way the book was written while out for runs with his young daughter - does anybody know where I might find that again?

I particularly like the way during the many descriptive passages about characters and situations, the author takes a side trip and fills them up with little stories about what has happened in the characters past. It keeps the narrative very interesting.

Anybody else here read it?
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Old 08-03-2011, 19:18   #2
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Yep, intresting book well worth a read.
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Old 08-03-2011, 21:19   #3
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it's a good book with a somewhat frustrating ending. I posted on the facebook fan page that I wanted to kill Cronin until I found out it was a trilogy - he actually responded thanks for not killing me
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:00   #4
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I got this for Christmas and its on my "to read" pile. Had read the first two books of "The Strain Trilogy" so had wanted to give this a bit of space before I dived into it.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
I also long ago randomly found an interesting article about the author in which he talked about the strange way the book was written while out for runs with his young daughter - does anybody know where I might find that again?
Very good read. I thought the first section was outstanding.
It lost a little pace in the middle (but it was never boring) and I thought that the ending was quite good.

I also read the bit about the conversation with his daughter - it's in the "Product Description" section for the amazon entry:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Passage-Just...9672663&sr=8-1
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Old 23-06-2011, 16:24   #6
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Started reading this at the weekend, really enjoying it. Now up to the slow middle third, the problem for me is you've invested so much time with the characters to jump 100 years to focus on new people when all you want to do is read about the old ones.
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Old 23-06-2011, 21:18   #7
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I'm about 40% along (no idea how many pages that is; reading on a Kindle). I'm intrigued as to where it is going but I do wish it would move a little faster.

Unlike others, I find the long-winded descriptions quite boring. Also, I do not need to know absolutely every detail of the characters lives, especially when they are only around for the beginning of the story.

My biggest gripe though has to be the ridiculous overuse of semi-colons. It's almost as if Mr Cronin thinks that to be a serious work, he has to have long sentences and flowery description - my favourite of which is: "shimmered through the curtain of her tears"

Am going to give it another 10% or so before I decide whether or not to pack it in.

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Old 24-06-2011, 00:08   #8
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I took a break from this book once I reached the point where
Spoiler: probably around halfway through
the survivors encounter Amy.
. I'll get back to it soon, probably after I'm done with A Dance with Dragons next month.
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Old 24-06-2011, 11:48   #9
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It's great. Agree it gets a bit slow in the middle, but it really picks up again in the final third...
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Old 26-06-2011, 21:33   #10
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After re-reading my post above, I realised I needed to give up on this.

I did read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia though, and am glad I gave up when I did
Spoiler:
Peter's brother Theo had just been taken in the shopping centre.

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Old 06-07-2011, 05:46   #11
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Finished this last night. Once your past the plodding middle it really picks up again, so for anyone who has abandoned it, go back – its worth it!
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Old 09-07-2011, 13:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandedGuitarist View Post
I also long ago randomly found an interesting article about the author in which he talked about the strange way the book was written while out for runs with his young daughter - does anybody know where I might find that again?
I know you posted this in March but could this be the article:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/b...-Twilight.html
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:00   #13
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That appears to be a version of it, thanks!
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Old 16-08-2011, 09:20   #14
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Finally finished this last night, and I thought it was a real slog. Loved the beginning of the book but struggled when the book's timeline jumped forward. And I was very disappointed with the ending.
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Old 18-08-2011, 21:39   #15
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Despite the well-noted mid-section slump, overall I loved this. The world Cronin creates is rich and I cannot wait to see where he takes it next.

About the slump, I can't see why he didn't release this as two books. It's about 300 pages until the time jump, so with a bit extra there, that could easily have been its own book with the remaining 500 or so making up another book. Just seems odd that he chose to put such a jarring moment into the novel.

Still I ended up really caring about the characters from the second part, it just took a while to re-adjust.

And from the final chapter:

Spoiler:
Are we to assume Wolgast is a viral or just a ghost that Amy sees and perhaps the one that saved Theo and Maus?
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Old 19-08-2011, 06:29   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goonerforever View Post
And from the final chapter:

Spoiler:
Are we to assume Wolgast is a viral or just a ghost that Amy sees and perhaps the one that saved Theo and Maus?
I'd assume the former, but it was a long time since I read it so I may not be remembereing some of the pertinent facts.

Either way, it was that element that I'm looking forward to most for the next part, to see what direction the author takes the story in.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:21   #17
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The publishers have give the paperback a 'contemporary fiction' cover to convince people it's a work of literature and not a genre epic. It's a genre epic. I wasn't keen. Liked the premise, the first third is entertaining enough but it's over-written, as others have noted. The narrative profile is just so flat. But it's greatest failing is that it's really poorly characterised; Cronin can't draw a large-scale cast. I could find draw any real distinction between, say, Michael, Theo, Peter. Thinly drawn and bland. Who the hell was Caleb or Hollis ? Lazy writing. When they arrived at
Spoiler:
The Haven, I immediately though of both Efrafa and Sunnyside day Care! So damn obvious. Ooh ... what's REALLY going on here?


And that whole "Now read on..." thing at the end. 'The Stand' ? Cheeky pigs. I read 'The Stand' over 20 years ago and I could still name most of the characters and tell you who they are. It's not in the same league.
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Old 07-09-2011, 22:27   #18
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Currently reading this and have fell victim to the middle/change of timeline slog, I will finish it but it's hard work at the minute!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:26   #19
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It does improve, pretty much after they visit the shopping mall. Stick in there!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:46   #20
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Yup I'm now in the 'Girl from Nowhere' part and it's picking up
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