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The Passengers

Written by: John Marrs
Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.”

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man. 

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, "Which of these people should we save? ...And who should we kill first?"

Read by Clare Corbett, Roy McMillan, Tom Bateman, Shaheen Khan, Kristin Atherton, and Patience Tomlinson

©2019 John Marrs (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“A fast-paced thriller that offers a discourse on morality and ethics…Marrs excels at thrilling readers by creating a real sense of tension and delivering a believeable, harsh criticism of modern society through this dark and entertaining story. Driving…will never feel quite the same.” (LA Times)

"One can almost hear the Hollywood music in the background as the action unfolds; the plot twists are truly gripping…Summer blockbuster entertainment at its best. All that's missing is a slo-mo pre-disaster montage.” (Kirkus Reviews)  

“I absolutely loved it. It sucked me right in and kept me gripped right until the end. With some real jaw dropping moments, it was an edge of your seat read.” (Claire Allen, USA Today best-selling author of Her Name is Rose

What listeners say about The Passengers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

my most favorite audible book I've listened too

I really enjoyed listening to this. Having the diffrent voices or when it would be the news updates. I think that was very exciting for the story and made it more of a enjoyable experience for me. This is the first book I've read of John Marrs I could finally say. I will be reading more of his books in the near future! Thats forsure!But o.m.g this book and the diffrent types of characters. Like I wasnt sure how it was gunna go was everyone slowly gunna die or crash and burn. Like wow..then theres all the secrets ..lies..and such ..like hollaaayy molllaayy some of the shit these characters do. This is a must read ..I'd recommend listening to it though only because of the voices and sounds. But yes loved it..took me a day to finish it. Couldnt put it down.

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Loved it

Had to listen to this after enjoying "The One" and I'm glad I did. it was a very similar style and it was fast, entertaining and sometimes thought provoking. A good, fun listen. Reccomend!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate
  • 2019-09-27

Not a long shelf life on this one

This is 2019, wrapped up in one quick, fun listen. Get it now, because by 2021, it probably will have aged horribly (I certainly hope so at least). At the center of the plot is a UK in the very near future where autonomous cars are mandatory. That technology is new and not perfected yet, and outright scary for a lot of us, so it lays a good groundwork for a fast paced thriller. But it is so much more than driverless cars. It's a scathing portrait of society - our blood thirsty, mob mentality nature, how pervasive social media and technology is, and a not very flattering portrait of the views on immigration, racism, etc. Even men's rights made an appearance. While the plot was nice and unique and made for a good beach listen, it deserved an author with a little bit more skill than John Marrs. The twists really depended on subtlety and nuance - Marrs cannot deliver either. The twists became extraordinarily predictable. And most of the characters had about as much depth as a rain puddle. One, in particular, Jack, should have been twirling his cartoon mustache. It was eye rolling and cringeworthy that the author couldn't have made him a villian by using a little bit of nuance instead of over the top obnoxiousness and antagonism that came out of left field. The performance was better than most. I always appreciate when multiple narrators are used for different characters instead of a single one trying to affect different tones. It worked well in this book. Minus one star because a handful of the narrators pronounced the name "Jude" with such a quick, hard "J" that it sounded more like "Dude". It was nails on a chalkboard for me.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Getshotzi
  • 2019-11-24

I love this author!

I am a huge fan of his books. He is perfect at throwing you a curveball after the book seems to be resolved. He always manages another moment that forces me to say, "SHUT UP! THAT DID NOT JUST HAPPEN!?!!" This story is perfect for Black Mirror fans like me!

5 people found this helpful

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  • B
  • 2019-09-11

2 halves don’t make a whole!!

This book started strong and kept me engaged throughout the “journey”. Unfortunately things took a detour when the “journey” ended. The second half of the book seemed to delve into how things ultimately turned out for the passengers and while I was interested in some of them, I didn’t think the second half of the book needed to be devoted to the “aftermath”. I would give the first half 4 stars and the second half 3 stars. I guess that ultimately ends up at 3.5.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ronda
  • 2019-09-02

Thought provoking

I enjoyed the first part of the novel, it was suspenseful and very interesting. The last section lost me- it was very good up until then. The narrators were great and well chosen for their parts.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Hooey
  • 2019-09-19

Fast paced and keeps you guessing

This audiobook was fantastic! It takes the saying don’t judge a book by its cover to a whole new meaning. It is a roller coaster of emotions and each and every chapter as you hating and liking new characters. Then in the next chapter it totally switches. Then you get that big reveal at the end and it just makes everything worthwhile, the entire ride is definitely worth it! It has some pretty futuristic and fancy technology that actually seems quite possible and will be here one day. The main characters the story follows come from all walks of life and you really learn a lot about them throughout the entire story. Don’t be quick to judge, as I was, you will soon find out there are many secrets in this story. This is a full cast production and each performer brings his or her own flair to the reading. Let’s not mention that this book takes place in England and each and every performer has an English accent. Each character is so well performed they fall seamlessly together, each chapter is read by a different performer and follows a different characters perspective. What a wild ride and just when you think you figured it all out there’s another plot twist. They just keep coming right out of left field and they don’t let up until the end. The production even has newscast stories and headlines at the beginning of some chapters which are accompanied by little sound effects, which typically I don’t like but in this case were quite well with the story. Definitely do yourself a favour and pick this one up you won’t be disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2020-03-30

This Book is Amazing!

Marrs did it again. The story is complex and almost too real. His characters are incredibly well developed with the narrators' exceptional talents bringing them alive. It is a strong, yet entertaining commentary on how powerful social media and reality television have become in our world. I also enjoyed how he wove his storyline from The One into this as well. This audible book is superb in every way!

2 people found this helpful

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  • momof3
  • 2020-01-15

loved it!

This is the 3rd John Mars book I have read, all in the last few months. And, it is the 3rd time I have stopped all else I could to keep reading.

2 people found this helpful

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  • FanFiAddict
  • 2020-03-25

A Master of His Craft

Rating: 9.0/10 Thanks to Audible for a listening copy of The Passengers for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions. The Passengers is yet another taut thriller with break-neck pacing from the mind of John Marrs. I think I am starting to figure out this author (not really) but I do know that every time I flip open a new novel of his, I can expect originality, a fantastic array of characters, and a premise few can pull off. Here is a master of his craft. Sit back and think for a second: how many authors can you count on two (2) hands where each consecutive release of theirs is as good, if not better, than the last? Oh wait, you only need one (1)? Pretty difficult, eh? Well, add John Marrs to your hand-list, be it your ring finger or pinky. Come to think of it, who in the world would you put on your middle finger? That’s a conversation for a different time. So, The Passengers. Eight (8) people trapped in self-driving cars are at the bidding of some lovely hackers and, you know, the entire world via social media. Their lives are broadcasted for all to see and none are who they portray themselves to be. But how can you seriously balance the scales when it comes to choosing who gets to live, no matter their transgressions? The line “The Greater Good” from Hot Fuzz comes to mind, and that is sort of/not really what plays out here. What I really enjoyed about The Passengers is really the same thing I enjoyed about The One, another fantastic thriller by the same author: the characters. As genuine as they may all seem, in the end, they are all flawed in one way or another, and those flaws tend to break them down in more ways than one. Marrs makes it so easy to feel for his characters, you know, until they ultimately end up being some of the most vile people on the face of the earth. That is what truly makes his novels so easy to get hooked on. You know, that and trying to figure out just what the heck is going on and exactly what the friggin end game is. All in all, if you want a fast-paced, futuristic thriller with emotionally charged characters, look no further. And if you enjoy this one, I highly recommend checking out the rest of Marrs’s catalog.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MimzyCatz
  • 2020-02-20

Awesome Book and Narration!

Wow! I started out with reading this intensely built up story with numerous twists and then switched to audio which made this book become alarming real. The narration was excellent with each characters personality built up by voice so that they become real.. News break section start!ed me to feel that I was no longer in fiction. This book will stay with me for a long time and I almost feel like riding a bicycle to work would be safer. Highly recommend if you like a tense realistic exciting read. I will definitely listen to this again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Catra121
  • 2020-10-22

Wow...loved it!

The last few books I've listened to have been disappointing and I couldn't figure out why. They were fine enough stories but just left me feeling meh and I could not put my finger on why. Then I listened to the Passengers and now I know what was missing. I LOVED this story because it's more than just a good plot...its a story that has left me thinking...big questions were brought up about technology, social media, the justice system and I will be thinking about those things for days. And it's not preachy...its a good story where these questions are raised but there's not a clear cut "right" answer. I love a book that really leaves me thinking at the end about our world, what I would do in different situations, and what these things say about me. Great plot, good characters, goid writing and fast pace...but it's also one that will stick with me which is why this one gets 5 stars from me.