The Passage book review

The Passage has been billed by some (mainly its publishers) as being the biggest book this summer.

Book review, Time In
Justin Cronin


The Passage has been billed by some (mainly its publishers) as being the biggest book this summer. It’s the new DaVinci Code, the new Twilight saga, even the new Harry Potter. It’s the new book that’s going to make a billionaire out of its author and spend the next five years at the top of the book and movie charts before dying from over-publicity and never being referred to again.

In terms of size, at nearly 1,000 pages it is certainly one of the summer’s bigger novels. And as for being the new Twilight saga, well it is about vampires (of course). In fact, the plot’s so clichéd it will probably make the author billions (most readers will only buy a book if it bears very close resemblance to something they have read before).

So, scientists find (deep in the Amazon, of course) a bunch of vampires that have self-healing properties. They don’t die of cancer, or heart attacks, or anything, in fact, which has great applications for human beings, mortal creatures that we are. And so the government (in an underground highly secret facility, of course) selects a bunch of people (death row inmates from Texas, of course, and a little orphan girl, all alone in the world, who can speak to animals, of course) and turns them into vampires in order to have a little experiment. Like all good experiments in cheap American fiction, this one goes a weeny bit wrong... Sound familiar? It’s only like every vampire/zombie/nasty virus film from the past five years, but that doesn’t stop the book’s English publisher from describing it as a ‘breakthrough’.

The major difference between The Passage and The Da Vinci Code is that The Passage is actually rather well written, though even its clever style and certain wit can’t disguise the fact that the plot could have been written by a computer. Still, if you make it through the 1,000 pages and find yourself yearning for more, this is the first in a trilogy, so there is plenty more to come, lucky you.

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