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Publisher's Summary

The men onboard HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the Terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape. A haunting, gripping story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.

©2007 Dan Simmons (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"The best and most unusual historical novel I have read in years." (Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe)
" The Terror is both dazzling history and a sparkling chiller." (Caroline Leavitt, People)
" The Terror is nothing less than a revelation. Dan Simmons is a giant among novelists, and I am in awe of his achievement." (Lincoln Child)

What listeners say about The Terror

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

This was the best audiobook I have EVER listened to. The narrator was beyond amazing- accents, characters. everything.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

Listened to many audiobooks, this was the best by far. over 150 audiobooks and I've never given a 5 star review until now

1 person found this helpful

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A Masterpiece

A phenomenal story. Amazing detail and imagination meshed into a horrific true story.

The Terror is a journey that will sit with you for weeks, remembering the human suffering and desperation in these men's lives.

One of my favorite audiobooks.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Tense and gripping

Even though some plot points are telegraphed, the author is so good at putting you in the scene! You feel the characters' dread, their indecision. Very suspenseful.

1 person found this helpful

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Best narrator I’ve heard yet

The man could not have done a better job. He added so much to this dark and suspenseful story.

1 person found this helpful

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great read. Lots of tension, lore, history

listened to it almost every waking hour.
Finished it today only to find out 2chapters from the end they made a movie series haha.
Thats next :D

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Good atmosphere, rambling story

This novel provides great visuals, and provides a real sense of dread and desperation through narration and description, however the story overstays its welcome, and lags badly trough the middle, with some questionable narrative choices in the latter half.

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A feast of a book

The Terror by Dan Simmons is an epic story of intrepid arctic sailors looking for the north west passage. The characterizations are rich and vivid. The situations varied and tense even when locked in ice. The protagonists are solid and worth rooting for. The antagonists human or not are evil and frustrate the good mightily.

Tom Sellwood’s performance is excellent and he handles the variety of characters and languages very impressively. He captures your attention and keeps it. Looking forward to hearing him again.

There is a mix of the natural and supernatural in the story. I’m not always a fan of the latter but this book handles it nicely tying it into the myths of the north.

This was a very enjoyable listen and I highly recommend it.

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Fantastic book and narration

Really enjoyed this historical fiction based on the true story. Great writing by Dan Simmons. Interesting characters, visuals and historical details along with thrills and horror. Really brought everything to life.
Excellent characterization of everyone including females. Made it easier to keep track of who was who. Varying pace and intensity kept me reading late into the night. Tom Sellwood is an amazing narrator. I will look for more audiobooks narrated by him.

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Harrowing

I went to school with the son of Owen Beatty - the University of Alberta researcher who discovered and examined the graves of the men who died in the Franklin Expedition. Dr Beatty came into our class to deliver a lecture on the expedition in 1985 - an amazing story. Dan Simmons does admirable research to inform this dark tale about the ill-fated mission. The facts (dates, personalities, procedures) are accurate, but the to-this-day-unexplained death of these men provides an opportunity to construct an engrossing tale of paranormal intrigue. Simmons introduces mysterious Inuit occultists, ghostly omens, men being stalked and hunted by some malevolent spiritual/cryptozoological entity, and descent into cannibalistic madness. Simmons becomes overly metaphysical, anthropological, and etymological in the last few chapters of the book, but that is a minor flaw.. for the vast majority of the book he masterfully weaves a genuinely dark atmosphere. The writing is full of tension, moodiness, and disturbing imagery. The description of terminal scurvy, for example, is gut-wrenching.
Simmons uses a non-linear storytelling technique -  relating the desperate actions of the survivors during years trapped in ice, the hopeless attempts to escape, and simultaneous retrospective explorations of the planning and experiences of the men back in civilization and early in the expedition. The result is immersive and captivating.

Tom Sellwood does an above-average job conveying the mood intended by the text. He has a deep, smooth voice that expresses emotion marvellously. The suspense in the tale is exhibited by Sellwood with truly chilling effect. Some of the chosen accents are a little strong - rendering some segments difficult to follow - but the text is presented clearly and crisply. Sellwood gives a professional performance that is a joy to peruse..

Altogether, this is a well-crafted 9/10 horror/thriller. It's a dark, entertaining read - well worth a credit.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JENNY L.
  • 2018-07-25

This book DRAGS on forever!

This book dragged on for for so long I often got drowsy listening to it. It was about 19 hours longer than it had to be. If you like books that give you the descriptions of every single little detail, this is your book.

Of all the deaths of the crew, two of them were a surprise, I had thought they would live.

The narrator did a great job but I doubt I will buy another book from this author, I like my audio books when I am driving and this one is NOT something to listen to while driving!

54 people found this helpful

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  • dpen11
  • 2018-10-16

Drawn outtttttttttttt

I was not a fan of this book but listened til the end. It was a long drawn out story and very depressing. At times I felt that the author got carried away with the supernatural aspect which I found just out of place with the rest of the book. I found the monster following them to be unbelievable and the back story annoying. It was also an extremely depressing book, no high points. The parts that did hold my attention in the book was the information on scurvy and how starvation really effected the men on the boat. What I also found informative was the ship and what went into sailing the sea in the 1800's. I did enjoy the main character. I did enjoy the reader. I'm not really sure how this book received 4.5 stars

46 people found this helpful

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  • Randall
  • 2018-07-24

Very good then, NOT


I love a good historical fiction, and three quarters of this book was fantastic.

A tale of hardship followed up by bad luck and tragedy. Not to give anything away, but they find themselves stuck fast in the ice while trying to find a passage to sail north of Canada. they begin to be hunted by what appears to be an extremely large Polar Bear.
The crews of the 2 ships struggle to survive and many parish. The story is told in, through the eyes experiences from many different crew members .
BUT THEN at about chapter 62 the story tales a bad left turn and never recovers.
This is my first Dan Simmons book and I was impressed in his many detailed characters,and the telling of the story through their experiences.
I will definitely try another Dan Simmons novel soon

135 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 2018-04-15

Too Much Of A Mediocre Thing

Basically I have two main criticisms.

The first is the narrator who was just a terrible choice for this book. His voice has now depth to it, no gravitas, and listening to characters who are meant to be hard-bitten sea-faring types is akin to hearing teenagers role-playing practising their all 'grown up and stuff' voices.

As a comparison, I'm now listening to the Patrick Melrose novels narrated by Alex Jennings who's capable of giving clear and distinct voices, across accents and gender, and can thus give his characters both variation and life. Sellwood just wasn't up to this task.

The second criticism is of the book itself. If Stephen King can be accused of 'verbal diarrhoea' in the length of density of his books, then Dan Simmons must do his writing from the toilet seat.

Good grief but the man can waffle, especially towards the end of the book and in particular the last chapter or two which should be full of melancholy and atmosphere but instead seemed to be little more than the other showing off his 'Inuit to English' dictionary.

Another occasion where I find myself distinctly in the minority. How this has 4.5 stars baffles me.

So, yeah, two main criticisms of an audiobook; the audio... and the book.

45 people found this helpful

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  • BMac
  • 2018-08-19

Too much timelines to follow.

Each chapter highlights a character/story but they jump around too much for me to follow. I need a picture to know where in the timeline the chapter is taking place.

35 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AndreaOwens
  • 2018-07-20

Not my cup of tea.

I guess I was expecting something a little more realistic. It just wasn't my kind of book.

31 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jocelyn B.
  • 2017-08-15

Most implausible story I have listened to by Dan

I am not sure my review will help anyone make up their mind about whether to purchase this audio book. But the creature(s) described in The Terror, and man's means of "communing" with it/them are uterly baseles. The story telling is decent but the action scenes are few in comparison to previous Dan Simmons listens. The characters are also rather shallow and under-developed. I feel I could have given this one a "pass" and not missed anything except than as a sleep aid. But a bit of warning, the author jumps around between character sketches and action sequences, that it is very hard to doze and figure out where to rewind to, upon waking up! :)

38 people found this helpful

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  • Nemo
  • 2018-07-18

Oh the Whispering!

Oh dear, it is so over-written that I can't see anything, or any narrator, making it work. Do we really need to have one, not-so-interesting scene told from multiple viewpoints? No. Do we need to know every single name, first and last, of every crew member told us in the scenes they are involved in? No. Imagine Captain Kirk, of the Starship Enterprise:

"Mr. Spock, take a landing party, Marcus W. Welby, of Yorkshire, John B. Kildare, of Kildare, James Tillbury, of the Pillsbury Tillbury's, Xavier Holloway, Betrand Rainer, Lee Revere, and Scotty! to the surface to see what's going on."

It is ridiculous. And whilst I can usually excuse this sort of excess for a novel set in the 1800's because I think, well, Dickens, well, Thackeray, well. . . for all of his research, Dan Simmons is neither, and the book isn't compelling enough to justify it. It's just boring.

Narrator Tom Sellwood is talented, bar his astonishingly atrocious stab at the Irish granny's accent, which is classic stage-Oirish. (Apparently, only Irish Roman-Catholics are Oirish in Sellwood's mind. Bless!) The whispering, oh, the whispering! which seems truly random, is a deal-breaker. Isn't there a director, or producer who oversees these things? It is so irritating that even if the story wasn't so boringly drawn-out I would have given up on it. You turn the volume up, you turn the volume down. You turn the volume up, you turn the volume down. No thanks.

So, Mr. Sellwood, knock off your Oirish, and stop with the whispering, if you want this customer to listen to another book narrated by you. You can do better!

Mr. Simmons, get yourself a decent editor. If you have a decent editor and think you know better than they do, you don't.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-06-18

Not for me

I made it about halfway through this book before giving up from boredom. There were a couple of chapters that gripped me utterly, but aside from that I found it tedious to listen to. I ended up reading the rest of the plot online to decide whether or not to continue but ended up abandoning it. The narrator, however, is excellent and was able to give each character a unique voice. His storytelling was probably why I made it as far as I did.

36 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tia
  • 2018-11-04

Horrible story with horrible things happening

I learned after I was seven hours into this audio book that it is heavily abridged. That makes sense, whereas this shortened audio book definitely does not.

This book is about a crew that is ship wrecked in artic waters, and it details how the crew tries to save itself. I will say the book was good and fun in the beginning and at the end, but the middle drags so hard and it's so hard to care about.

35 people found this helpful