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Book Review: The Passage

the passage croninI have a confession to make. Well, actually, no I don’t, that was going to be for another post. But now that I’m here I might as well type something, and since I just finished Justin Cronin’s wonderful Dystopian romp The Passage, I might as well talk about it.

If you’ve been following World’s Strongest Librarian for about five minutes, you know I’m a sucker for end of the world books. Nightmare future. I don’t know why. It’s not what I want for the world and I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky guy. But tell that to my sordid reading habits.

Summary of The Passage

I read that Justin Cronin started writing this book before the vampire craze swept the literary world. But even if he’d been there at the beginning of Cullen-mania, he wouldn’t have fit in. His vampires aren’t cute. They don’t mope. Instead, they glow, and snarl, and tear apart just about anyone they can find. They are called virals, the result of, you guessed it, a military experiment gone wrong. Dead wrong! (ha)

The book starts by introducing many characters. Over the first 250 pages we get to see how the world ends. Then the book rockets into the future about a century. This annoyed some readers I’ve talked to. Others loved it. One crazed soul told me that she found the beginning of the book horribly boring. Someone we will heal the rift, but I found the beginning of the book to be as good as anything else in it.

In the future we pick up with a group of survivors in The Colony. For reasons I won’t spoil, they need to go outside the walls to find stuff that will help them survive. It’s a bad world out there, and the trek of a few hardy souls across a horrible, changed landscape (the Las Vegas scene is fantastic) kept me glued to the page and made my neck ache with the challenge of balancing such a big fat book in bed at night.

If you like dystopian literature, read The Passage. Ditto if you like giant books, Justin Cronin’s writing, or if you’ve become romantically involved with one sexy vampire too many and you need a break.


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  • Boris January 14, 2011, 11:41 pm

    Have you read “I Am Legend” Josh?

  • Marnied January 15, 2011, 12:31 pm

    Sounds like something I’d like to read. I’m a sucker for “end of the world” movies…I have no idea why. Frankly I’d rather not be around to witness the end of the world!

  • Heather January 15, 2011, 5:14 pm

    Josh and Boris, am adding both these to the “to download next paycheck” list. Excuse me? Sexy Vampires? Cult Cullen? Ick. . . Hanegarne, I think I just threw up a little in my own mouth. . . I think I also misspelled your last name, for which I apologize. You had me sucked in (ha-ha-ha) at end-of-the-world. . . . killer rip-you-apart vampires. . . now that’s a vampire’s vampire, right there! Nothing is more awesome than a blood-sucking ghoul who–gasp–REALLY IS A BLOOD-SUCKING GHOUL! HAH! Take that, Stephanie Meyer!

  • Sarah January 17, 2011, 8:58 am

    I have to admit, usually when I come here to read your reviews they are on books I’ve never heard of or never considered reading (not necessarily a bad thing really). This one, however, has been on my to-read list for months now. I think you just gave me the kick in the butt to go pick it up! 😀