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The Passage

A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)
Written by: Justin Cronin
Length: 36 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

This thrilling novel kicks off what Stephen King calls “a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction.”

Now a FOX TV series! THE PASSAGE airs Mondays at 9/8c.

Named one of the 10 best novels of the year by time and one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Esquire, U.S. News & World Report, NPR/On Point, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, BookPage, and Library Journal.

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”  

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy - abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape - but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world. 

Look for the entire Passage trilogy: 
 

  • The Passage
  • The Twelve
  • The City of Mirrors

Praise for The Passage

“[A] blockbuster.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Mythic storytelling.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Magnificent... Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them.... The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King’s apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy’s The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt.” (Time)

“The type of big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night.” (The Dallas Morning News)

“Addictive.” (Men’s Journal)

“Cronin’s unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind.” (Parade

©2010 Justin Cronin (P)2010 Random House

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

This is one of my favourite books of all time, and getting to listen to the audio version was wonderful. I just love the descriptive writing by Justin Cronin. Highly recommend.

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Excellent all around...

Compelling story with wonderfully drawn characters and powerful narration that really places you in the minds of those characters.

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ZZZZZ *snort... wait, what happened to Amy?

I really wanted to read this book. I looked forward to my credit to get this book. Part 1 was great... action packed! I liked the characters and the storyline. I even waited to watch the TV show to see how it compared to the book. I didn't have to go very far to realise it's NOTHING like the TV show. After getting to part 3, I understood why the show is arranged the way it is. It is mind-numbing, tedious, and confusing. It was like listening to the Bible... this one begat that one. That one begat that other one over by the well. The well was filled with cool water with a slight taste of burnt almond. Is the water safe to drink? Mouse Patel scurried past the barn filled with screaming littles... but I digress. And the narrator... after suffering through his monotoned weird manner of speaking, I looked forward to the others listed in the credits. Part 2! A new woman! It lasted about ten minutes and we're back to Boring McMonotone. What happened? We had magic girl, hooker mom, tortured FBI agent, creepy vampires... suddenly we had a list of log reports, unrequited (yet boring) love, cooking jack rabbits, and drawn out one hundred years later. I made it to Chapter 25... I can't even imagine getting to Chapter 87!!! Terrible... just terrible.

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Very engaging!

The story unfolds slowly and builds with action at various stages to keep the reader engaged. I like longer books, and this one keep me entertained - so much so that I decided to get the 2nd and 3rd book in the series. The narrator was excellent as well.
#Audible1

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Great read with great value!

I read the book because I saw they were coming up with a show on FOX. I'm usually a fan on the post apocalyptic zombie genre so I figured I'd give this a shot. I was confused initially with the time jump but things fell in place quickly. it's definitely a detailed listen and you get great value for your credit! I'm excited to finish the rest of the series! #Audible1

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  • Tia
  • 2018-09-13

Amazing!

I fell in love with this series by selecting this audiobook on a whim. The narration and story were my second favourite audiobook of all time (and that's second to Harry Potter so that's saying A LOT). Scott Brick is one of the best audiobook performers i have ever listened to; i think he could turn any book into a work of art. #Audible1

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Amazing story!

Liked the different voices!
Great across the time spans! Voice acting amazing. Details of the world very vivid.

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Couldn't listen to it fast enough!

Not only this book but the entire series was excellent. I really enjoyed the story line and the charters and they way they developed.

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loved it!

Every time I listen to it it gets even better! now, on to "The twelve"

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Randall
  • 2018-06-29

A new type of vampire


The Passage is a well written novel about vampires, with a new and creative twist. I thought the first several hours laid out a good foundation to the rest of the story. Justin Cronin did a wonderful job in the introduction of all the main characters. They were well thought out and interesting. Overall the book was pretty good. I look forward to book number two.

110 of 119 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Pete
  • 2010-06-25

Absolutely Horrible

The story could have been interesting but spiraled hopelessly into tons of subplots starting and stopping. Even though it sounds like there will be a sequel a book still needs a beginning middle and end. This story has the beginning and middle the keeps going and doesn't go anywhere except into a story that has no climax or resolution. Don't waste your time, money, or credits as I did.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Reid
  • Camas, WA, United States
  • 2019-01-18

When does anything interesting finally happen?

After 22 hours, I simply can't wait any longer. I chose this book because I enjoy the genre, and the preponderance of positive reviews coupled with rumors of a motion picture to come gave me cause to be optimistic. But I have now invested 22 hours of my time, and I'm not engaged.

There is much jumping from character to character, time to time, and place to place, making it all the more confusing to follow. But for all of that, it seems much ado about nothing. There has been nothing to grab my attention, except my continued hope that something may develop that hasn't developed yet. I'm giving up.

When I chose the book, I did so in spite of the narrator. I have listened to other books performed by Scott Brick, and I can recall thinking that I would never choose another book forcing me to listen to him again. This one has only served to reinforce that view. This man has an extremely limited set of skills with which to bring a story to life. His tiresome sing-song approach is just that - tiresome. Every phrase has the same delivery, regardless of what might be happening in the story. I am more convinced than ever that I should respect my resolve to avoid him in the future.

Simply a sad state of affairs. Just sad!

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • S. Friday
  • Ramstein Air Base, Germany
  • 2010-07-29

I really tried

Okay. Being a big Stephen King fan, I thought this book must be good, given his blurb about it. Maybe the book is good. I couldn't get through it. After 14 hours of listening, I kept wondering, "What's the point?" I enjoyed the first part of the book, but then it just kept plodding on and on and on. I know many readers/listeners enjoyed the book. I just couldn't bear to finish it.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam M. Smith
  • Madison, Wisconsin United States
  • 2018-11-25

A strong start that descends into zombie apocalypse cliche

This book starts very strong, with an engrossing story filled with mysteries and interesting characters. About a quarter of the way through there is a time jump, and all of that is thrown out and replaced with tired zombie apocalypse cliches. While the infected in this book are not zombies, more similar to the vampire/zombie combination of I Am Legend, all of the old zombie tropes and cliches are present.

I continued to listen with the hope that some of the writing from the first quarter would show through, but that wasn’t the case. All the way to the end was a slog. The same things happened over and over again and then there was some magic mumbo-jumbo and then it ended.

This is a very poorly written book overall and I can’t imagine how two sequels were written, unless they are just the same things happening over and over again.

Scott Brick’s narration was very flat. All of the characters sounded very similar. After 30 hours of listening, I still couldn’t make out any character voices. The other narrators were excellent and filled with life, but they accounted for only a handful of minutes and couldn’t save the narration overall.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • dominique reed
  • durham, nc, US
  • 2017-02-21

waste of time

This book goes on and on with with no relatable theme. I was on chapter 30 and still didn't have a clue what was happening or where the the story was going . The author seemed to take you down a rabbit hole and drop you off with no clear direction or reason why you were ever where you were. At some point I just gave up.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • anon
  • 2016-12-16

Too slow at start

Actually fell asleep listening to this one. The build up of the characters took almost half of the book.
Use fast forward and 2.5 speed for most of it.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-07-25

hard to follow

struggled to listen. Used to like Scott Brick. Now he just seems winey.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaimi Nelson
  • 2018-09-26

This book was so so bad!!!! Don’t waste your money

Don’t waste your time or money, this book dragged on and on and on and on and on and on about nothing.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • CJ
  • Houston
  • 2017-04-09

Awful… Just plain awful!

I am a major sci-fi fan… This book is just ridiculous. It was recommended by friend, and I usually trust her recommendations, however this book to me is just a laughing stock! I knew a lot of people liked it and I respect that, however I did not feel there was any cohesion between the characters; it was just a replay of apocalyptic stories that have been told before; absolutely nothing original in my opinion. I couldn't even finish it… So what does that tell you?

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Lily
  • 2019-03-11

A masterpiece

I started my audible membership with this book and it made me want to hear more.
The narrator is just great and the story thrilling. It’s a real roller coaster !

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  • ChiCan
  • 2016-12-13

A road trip like no other

Captivating while not completely original, a book that is difficult to put down. Not for those unwilling to stay the course.