The Passage

Cover image from the book called The Passage

The Passage is one of the best epic horror books of the decade

The Passage
Justin Cronin
2010

I’ve easily read hundreds, maybe thousands of books. Of those, most were pretty good. Only a small percentage of them have been bad enough to stop reading before I got to the end.

This was not one of those books.

On the other end of the spectrum, only a small percentage of them have been good enough to literally keep me glued to the book, especially as I got older and more jaded.

This was one of those books.

The Passage has the end of the world in it. A terrible calamity which unfurls in the first part of the book. I will not go into this further, but the Cronin does a great job of ending the world in a cinematic, jarring, and disheartening way. Very well done.

After the world ends, the book really begins. And then what is left, except for a journey? There is good, there is evil. The evil is vast and all-powerful. The good is weak, lost, and confused. So the journey must begin.

If this reminds you of a bunch of books, say Lord of the Rings or The Stand, you’re not alone. Stephen King is a huge fan of this book and the sequel, and it compares favorable to The Stand. In fact, I’d say it’s better than The Stand (gasp!), but it’s been a long time since I read King’s book.

After reading so many books, everything starts running together. It’s the crime novel with the twist at the end. It’s the thriller where the best friend is the enemy. It’s the fantasy novel where people just mill about waiting for a crash of galactic civilizations. And so forth. The writing? Well, it’s pretty much all the same.

Cronin is a craftsman. I found myself enjoying the way he put the words together for the book almost as much as the book itself. I remember a few times early on in the book where I said to myself “Wow! This guy really has me hooked and I’m on quite a ride!” I very rarely feel like that. There’s a magical feeling you get when you’re young and you dive into a great book. Cronin was able to do that to this jaded reader, and that made the book well worth the purchase price.


By the way, there is already a sequel out! “The Twelve”. Can’t wait to get started on that one next week!

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