The other morning, my daughter called, crying, and said, I just did something terrible I froze As a parent, these words could mean anything I waited I hit a car I was trying to move over because the street was narrow I hit someone s mirror I panicked I just took off I m late for work already They ll fire me if I m late I know I damaged the mirror I feel awful This was all delivered in pieces, as she was weeping by now.
During this, I go into parental stream of consciousness Thank God No one s hurt She s not hurt She left the scene What does that mean What do I do What do I do Trouble Fines Tickets Jail Oh my God Money Trouble, Money, money, money Trouble, trouble, trouble Then, the devil s words Did anyone see you But that s not what I said I heard myself say, Can you go back and leave a note on the windshield More wailing, Noooo I m late now They ll fire me I know it All right Okay You have to report this I ll find out what you need to do It s okay Go to work It ll be okay Of course, I had no idea if it would be all right I m in Wisconsin she s in Minneapolis, and I started to make phone calls The first officer was a huge help He said he didn t know what the rules were, but she d LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT I said she panicked, she feels terrible, she s sobbing He said, It doesn t matter whether she s crying, laughing, smiling She LEFT THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT That s a crime My heart was pounding, and I wanted to say, Look you Neanderthal fuck She killed a mirror Could you be human for a moment An hour or so later, I finally reached the right people, and the sergeant assured me she was not in trouble, took my name, number and hers, and said she should report it as soon as possible Situation handled, I suppose But I kept thinking of my first thought, and what I almost said, Did anyone see you Epic fail.
I m drawn to apocalyptic fiction, and one of the reasons why is that characters are often tested, and The Passage is no exception Faced with temptation or in the clutch of terror, characters succeed or fail While the book has compelling moments, too often Cronin starts to develop a character but never really completes the task With such a large array of characters, this needs to be done You want to empathize with the characters, and they need to be distinct enough so that you can keep them all straight.
One problem and this may sound minor but it drove me crazy, was Cronin s inability to handle dialogue With the exception of the soldiers, who spoke in an exaggerated military fashion, many of the characters sounded the same Also, they seemed to have one expletive flyers, which referred to something horrible in their midst Accordingly, most of the characters, when excited, would begin a sentence by saying, Flyers, what will we do or Flyers, did you see anything It was absurd.
Picture, for example, something horrible in our lives Sarah Palin, for example, and then picture her being able to survive, as she is, for decades image error 3.
5 This was a wild ride I ve been going through my list of post apocalyptic books to read and this one had been recommend to me so much that I had to read it Within the last year I read The Stand by Stephen King disease and Swan Song by Robert McCammon nuclear war so it s impossible for me not to compare them.
In The Passage, the apocalypse happens though vampires not the shiny type You get to see the before, during and after through the eyes of a few characters and writing wise it did remind me a bit of SK I understand why there s an abridged version this book is very long and I honestly felt a bit exhausted after reading it I do recommend it if you re someone that likes character driven books since, while there is quite a bit of action, you get to follow them while they go through a lot.
While it wasn t my all time favorite post apocalyptic book, I am open to reading the rest of the series Shoutout to the author for making the villain call women females and making the male characters think it sounds like he s talking about livestock.
Can t wait to hear your thoughts as this was our first buddy read in the Fox Book Club Epic very, very Epic I feel like I just read about 5 books Not because it was long, but just because there is so much story here that changes direction so many times I cannot believe there are still two books to go I mean, I can believe it because there is story to tell, but how much epic can this get 4.
5 out of 5 starsThis one lost a little for me in the middle due to a blah transition that caused me to lose interest for a period of time Looking back after knowing what happened, it makes sense, but it was slow for a bit So, if you are reading this review before you read the book, know that you should not give up if you get bored in the middle this too shall pass In addition to being epic, this was great story telling And, despite the size, there really wasn t filler Each page, each paragraph, each sentence had its place and kept the story moving even during the blah part From deep, meaningful conversations to gore filled action sequences, the story was always moving on to the next place and had me hungry to find out what was next.
If you like post apocalyptic and monster stories, but need a new twist and are not afraid to invest a lot of time, you should read this I guarantee that you will enjoy it The hype machine was working With some terrific reviews, this was immediately one of THE books TO read for summer 2010, a vampire tale not written by Stephanie Meyer, and not even promoted very much as vampiric Maybe our capacity for reading vampire novels has clotted somewhat The world in question begins in 2022 Gas is 13 a gallon Iranian jihadists have killed hundreds at the Mall of America Jenna Bush is Texas guv this is a horror story, after all New Orleans, battered by another monster storm, is now an uninhabitable industrial park An expedition to a remote corner of South America, sponsored by the US Army, is searching for a promising and dangerous virus What could possibly go wrong The Passage is nothing if not very, very derivative Although there are a few nifty new notions within its 766 pages, I will not spoil them by telling there will be little here that is not almost immediately familiar Government projects gone wrong, post apocalyptic struggles for survival, battles between good and evil, strong people, weak people, and lots and lots of vampires.
That said, I felt that there were almost two complete, independent books within the whole The first tells of the beginning of the unpleasantness, lasts for 246 pages and is gripping I hated to put the book down Even with the been there read that aspect of the book, there was something about the writing of that 246 pages that kept me turning the pages, thirsty for As for the remaining 520, not so much We move forward almost a century and enter the too familiar landscape of post apocalyptic survival Although there were elements here that were interesting, some characters that held promise, I found it a very, very long yawn I also felt that the author cheated a few times too many in leading us to believe that certain events had taken place when they had not He even jokes about it in the writing, having one character say out loud what any reader might wonder about how a particular event transpired If The Passage had kept up the frantic and so engaging pace of its long opening, it would indeed have been one of THE books TO read this summer Instead of reading The Passage, though, I would look for an alternate route.
I gave it two stars instead of one because the beginning was so good Otherwise, I resented the time it took to read this waaaaaay too long book.
when i read horror, i m usually looking for 1 cheap thrills or 2 surreal and metaphysical weirdness or, best of all, 3an epic full of dread and melancholythere is plenty of the first sort and so much of it is trash but fun can be had with trashy things and i m no snob the second type can be a little hard to find, but there s a lot to be had as well, if you look in the right places, especially the past but the third kind, that s the hardest, i ve only found a few Declare, It, The Terror and The Passage in a lot of horror, i m not exactly eager to slowly lose myself in the world depicted the experience is often like a rollercoaster or a fun nightmare but that last category, those mournful sagas they are my special favorites i may not want to live in a novel s world, but if it is a world that is so carefully crafted and then grown, one filled with tragedy and sadness and coming together and coming undone i find it very easy to get lost in those worlds it is a great feeling.
so on to The Passage it is an excellent novel, complete with multi leveled characters, spiritual mysteries, exciting action set pieces, and the trappings of several genres vampire, post apocalypse, and in the first third, an on the run from the government style thriller the writing is solid, well crafted, and certainly in no rush particularly outstanding is the depth of characterization present in even minor or elusive characters such as the scientist Lear or the child molestor Grey the first third of the novel is pretty much perfect, tightly paced yet generous with motivation and context, and featuring three of the most warmly written and sympathetic characters i ve come across in a while Agent Wolgast Sister Lacey Anthony Carter fallen agent, unearthly nun, misunderstood criminal the empathy created by the author for these three and the depth of their background stories i just really was not expecting that and it was wonderful to experience.
unlike many other readers, i felt the remaining two thirds were very strong, moving easily between a wide range of physical and emotional landscapes, from complex world building to pointed irony to moments of eerie beauty to straight up horror particularly in the Haven sequence although it could be said that characterization was a bit less rich in the last two thirds, the range of emotions depicted was often on a wider and dynamic scale the reader is able to watch characters actually grow and change i appreciated Cronin s vampires they certainly run against the current grain although the threat of their bizarre, bestial presence looms over the entire novel, they remain enjoyably enigmatic and largely in the background i assume the amount of attention paid to the vampire Babcock and his traumatic past also very well done will be paralleled in the sequels by depictions of the remaining vampires The Passage has been compared to The Stand personally i think The Passage is superior my only real issue is the very ending, which could come across as cheaply ironic and unnecessarily brutal if it wasn t clear that this is only book 1 of 3 i assume that this disturbing cliffhanger of an ending will eventually be resolved with the same sensitivity and grace brought to the rest of the novel s various episodic sequences.
Oh, The Passage You promised me such wonderful things with your sparkly cover, your titillating title a passage to WHERE , and your massive hype Also your sizable heft, as you are a large, obese book, full of words and things I figured if I didn t like you, I could use you to stone evil doers in some town square somewhere How could I turn you down Your promises, though, were only partially fulfilled While I enjoyed stoning people in the village square with you, your cover was simply too pretty to be true, and your title too vague to really mean anything I still don t know what The Passage was, but it was full of vampire things and massive doses of character backstory that also didn t really mean anything except make you a very, very heavy book Brick like, really I believe next I ll tie a ransom note to you and throw you through a window, just for the giggles.
You had such lovely backstory, such vivid characters in your opening quarter, I couldn t put you down Well, I could, because you are a fatass and my arms grew lethargic and weak after about an hour, but figuratively speaking I was hooked, and I loved you for it Vivid characters, shocking scenery, emotion You had it all, baby.
But then things changed Oh, did they change You forgot your old ways and introduced me to a whole slew of new characters Characters that I didn t care about, in a situation that seemed so distant and unreal compared to your sharply defined predecessors that I thought perhaps I was reading a different book Gone were the late nights of voracious reading Gone were my massive biceps developed from holding you at a readable height I slogged through you, sometimes telling friends that you were getting better, even daring to say really good again in whispered tones but you would then disappoint, like a dog who is allergic to grass, and I would yell angrily at perfect strangers that you were a meandering, lame book with stupid characters and unbelievable situations I finished you, though, because I had devoted a better part of the year reading you, and I had to see it through Like climbing Everest, I just wanted to breath again, but I knew I had to finish you anyway.
And see you through I did, to an ending that only set you up for a sequel, likely full of meaningless backstory and characters painstakingly developed over 100 s of pages only to be forgotten or rendered unimportant I did not spend 3 weeks reading you to get a cliffhanger, damnit you, The Passage you.
Goodbye, The Passage You were a good workout, and my man arms thank you But you were bit of a slog and kind of boring Sorry.
Good afternoon This is Wolf Blitzer from CNN s The Situation Room, the program that tries to make viewers think that you re seeing the busy hub of television journalism instead of admitting that despite our high tech looking set and satellite feeds, you d probably learn about what s actually going on in the world by looking out your window.
We turn our focus now to growing rumors that the U.
S Army is conducting secret medical experiments on American soil The bizarre claims seem like something out of a Stephen King novel yet despite repeated denials by the Defense Department the stories continue to grow, and documents posted on WikiLeaks seem to support some of this.
Is this just an urban myth gaining popularity thanks to the internet, or is there something to these rumors Joining me now via satellite from his office is Major John Smith, a spokesman from the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases Major, thanks for joining us.
Major John Smith Thanks for having me.
Wolf Blitzer So I m sure you re aware of these persistent stories circulating, Major.
MJS laughs Yes, they re keeping my office quite busy.
WB And the Army s position is that they re absolutely unfounded MJS Of course Frankly, Wolf, I m surprised we even have to bother discussing this It s obviously the work of internet hoaxsters.
WB But what about the documentation that s leaked out MJS They are clearly forgeries Have you read this stuff Secret bases on U.
S soil Convicted felons recruited and used for guinea pigs for drug trials to extend human life Vampire like creatures that have some kind of telepathic connection and cause bad dreams I think someone just posted an old X Files script I find it sad that Americans are wasting time on this nonsense.
WB It does seem outlandish, but let s talk a few specifics The documents mention a Project Noah that the USAMRIID is running And there are line items in the USAMRIID budget for a Project Noah for a significant amount of money.
MJS I can confirm that there is a Project Noah, and while it s top secret, I have been authorized to disclose that it involves research into cutting edge medical technologies that could be used to save lives on the battlefield That s all I can say about it But it s obvious that these conspiracy theorists just took a real project name and used it for their own purposes.
WB So there never was a research team funded by USAMRIID that was slaughtered in the jungles of Central America while seeking a virus sample that could greatly boost human healing abilities MJS Of course not Unfortunately, we did have a team in that area that was researching a botany project, and they did sustain casualties after accidentally coming across some local drug runners, but that s all it was.
WB And the USAMRID does not have government agents recruiting death row prisoners to be the subjects of experimental drug trials MJS Again, that s ridiculous.
WB So where have these prisoners gone, Major MJS Considering they were death row inmates, I think it s safe to say they got executed.
WB I assume you ll also deny the existence of this secret lab, hidden somewhere underground in the Rocky Mountains MJS Absolutely WB What about reports from Telluride, Colorado, of citizens having the same nightmares and behaving strangely MJS Complete nonsense I m based in Telluride myself, and I sleep just fine.
WB One last question, Major A new wave of rumors regarding a small girl in Memphis being abducted by government agents have begun circulating today Any comment MJS The idea that the US Army had anything to do with abducting children is absurd, Wolf Think about these stories Does it really seem possible that the U.
S government has a secret base in Colorado where we re experimenting with a virus on convicts and small children that turns them into some kind of Dracula type creature with the ability to invade dreams and brainwash people Seriously, what s next I m sure the people who believe that will tell you that it s inevitable that some kind of accident will unleash the virus on an unsuspecting public, and that the country will be consumed by a plague of these creatures until civilization is completely destroyed And then what Maybe a small handful of survivors will manage to establish a safe zone and a new type of society Oh, and a couple of generations down the line, like a hundred years from now, a few of these survivors will embark on an odyssey to find the truth in a post apocalyptic landscape Does that really seem likely, Wolf WB chuckles When you put it that way, Major, it does seem pretty far fetched Crashing noises and screams are heard WB Major, what s happened Are you alright MJS Ugh I m perfectly Arr fine, Wolf Ow Just.
uh just dropped a glass Arrgh.
WM Major, I don t mean to argue with you, but it seems like some kind of horrible vampire like creature has just burst into your office and is biting you.
MJS That s UHH totally ridiculous Oh, shit Ow This is arrr my assistant EH He just has.
owwww low blood sugar Arrrghh WB Well, you re obviously busy, Major We ll let you go now Thanks for your time.
MJS My plesur OWWWW HOLY JESUS SOMEBODY SHOOT THIS GODDAMN.
WB It appears we lost the link So did we just see a US Army officer get his face gnawed off by a vampire like creature that he had just finished denying the existence of Or is this just another internet hoax We may never know Up next, global warming critics continue to say that the whole thing is a liberal lie.