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P. 1
Passage

Passage

Ratings:

3.85

(2,222)
|Views: 1,585|Likes:
One of those rare, unforgettable novels that are as chilling as they are insightful, as thought-provoking as they are terrifying, award-winning author Connie Willis's Passage is an astonishing blend of relentless suspense and cutting-edge science unlike anything you've ever read before. It is the electrifying story of a psychologist who has devoted her life to tracking death. But when she volunteers for a research project that simulates the near-death experience, she will either solve life's greatest mystery -- or fall victim to its greatest terror. At Mercy General Hospital, Dr. Joanna Lander will soon be paged -- not to save a life, but to interview a patient just back from the dead. A psychologist specializing in near-death experiences, Joanna has spent two years recording the experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and lived to tell about it. It's research on the fringes of ordinary science, but Joanna is about to get a boost from an unexpected quarter. A new doctor has arrived at Mercy General, one with the power to give Joanna the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Dr. Wright is convinced that the NDE is a survival mechanism and that if only doctors understood how it worked, they could someday delay the dying process, or maybe even reverse it. He can use the expertise of a psychologist of Joanna Lander's standing to lend credibility to his study. But he soon needs Joanna for more than just her reputation. When his key volunteer suddenly drops out of the study, Joanna finds herself offering to become Richard's next subject. After all, who better than she, a trained psychologist, to document the experience? Her first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined it would be -- so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why this place is so hauntingly familiar. But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid....And just when you think you know where she is going, Willis throws in the biggest surprise of all -- a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page is turned.From the Hardcover edition.
One of those rare, unforgettable novels that are as chilling as they are insightful, as thought-provoking as they are terrifying, award-winning author Connie Willis's Passage is an astonishing blend of relentless suspense and cutting-edge science unlike anything you've ever read before. It is the electrifying story of a psychologist who has devoted her life to tracking death. But when she volunteers for a research project that simulates the near-death experience, she will either solve life's greatest mystery -- or fall victim to its greatest terror. At Mercy General Hospital, Dr. Joanna Lander will soon be paged -- not to save a life, but to interview a patient just back from the dead. A psychologist specializing in near-death experiences, Joanna has spent two years recording the experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and lived to tell about it. It's research on the fringes of ordinary science, but Joanna is about to get a boost from an unexpected quarter. A new doctor has arrived at Mercy General, one with the power to give Joanna the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Dr. Wright is convinced that the NDE is a survival mechanism and that if only doctors understood how it worked, they could someday delay the dying process, or maybe even reverse it. He can use the expertise of a psychologist of Joanna Lander's standing to lend credibility to his study. But he soon needs Joanna for more than just her reputation. When his key volunteer suddenly drops out of the study, Joanna finds herself offering to become Richard's next subject. After all, who better than she, a trained psychologist, to document the experience? Her first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined it would be -- so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why this place is so hauntingly familiar. But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid....And just when you think you know where she is going, Willis throws in the biggest surprise of all -- a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page is turned.From the Hardcover edition.

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Publish date: Dec 9, 2009
Added to Scribd: Apr 25, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780307573728
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srboone reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Near great horror/sci-fi blend with a mlitary experiment gone wrong setting 13 vampires loose upon the world. A young girl, the 14th experiment, holds the key to makind's survival. A great first act of the book giives way to an episodic denuement that doesn't live up to the beginning.
debbiebspinner reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Delicious. Looking forward to the sequel.
kimjd_2 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
Enjoyed the first half of this, but it he second half really should have been continued as the next installment in the series. Way too long and bogged down as a single novel.
erickibler reviewed this
Rated 2/5
POSSIBLE SPOILERS

Hey Cronin. Stephen King much?

Seriously, you could read this book aloud at a party and make a drinking game of calling out all the Stephen King parallels. Super-virus leading to apocalypse? Check. Metaphysical struggle between good and evil? Check. Legion of vampires led by older vampire named Barlow? (Sorry, Babcock in this book). Check. 100 year old black woman who acts as a spirit guide? Check. (Well, actually, there are TWO such "Mother Abigails" in this book). Shadowy government program that lets an awful cat out of the bag? Check.

There's even a sequence near the end where the heroes hide out in an empty, snowed-in Colorado hotel. The description leaves no doubt that we're supposed to be reminded of the Overlook Hotel from "The Shining". That's an obvious homage to King, but after ripping off the entire chunks of his oeuvre, it doesn't seem too kind.

For a little vacation from Stephen King-isms, there's a detour into Richard Adams-land, as the heroes arrive at a community of overly happy folks that are being used as a human-breeding farm for the vamps. You know, like the similar scenario used in "Watership Down".

Cronin has written a restless novel. He never spends enough time in one locale or with one character to get the reader locked in. So much is thrown at the wall that nothing sticks. Characters are given extensive back-stories and then seemingly thrown way. It's a mess, to be honest. Maybe an editor with a strong hand could have made this book stronger.

I hope I find this review in a couple years and reread it before deciding to read the next book in the series.. I may want to save myself the trouble.
akmargie reviewed this
Rated 3/5
36 hours later...that's right 36 hour audiobook. And after all that I'm conflicted. Mostly because I feel this was about 2 or 3 stories too many for one book. Some books you read and think "hey, it could have ended at this earlier point" The Passage could have ended at 7 or 8 points and still been a complete story. The marathon nature of it was exhausting when you start wondering how many times can these characters go through the in peril/magically saved cycle.
Speaking of characters, I know there's a lot of dark in the world, I get that. But I don't see how giving every character a majorly tragic back story is a good thing. And I do mean everyone had some hideous background story. Molesters, being molested, prostitution, murder, genocide, homeless, child abuse...and I could go on and on. After awhile it doesn't make the characters unique, just boring and takes a lot of impetuous off the characters. "Well they do bad things because bad things happen to them."
Oh and it was about failure. And vampires. Well, kinda vampires.
As much as I liked in the book, I was also annoyed. If you're going to start then be prepared to commit.
allyshaw_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I loved this book despite its myriad implausibilities and disappointments. When the writing was good, it blew me away.
hayduke_1 reviewed this
Rated 2/5
I really enjoyed Willis' Doomsday Book, which was about a college student who travels back in time and mistakenly lands in the middle of the Black Plague. Passage is about NDE's or Near Death Experiences, which one would think is a topic ripe for imaginative play, but this book was really lame. If she had trimmed it from 600 to 200 pages it might have been fairly interesting, but as it was I'm surprised I was able to finish it.
auntieknickers reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I've given this a fairly low rating compared to Willis's other books, which is not to say it's not good -- just that it wasn't as satisfying for me as some others. Also, it isn't my favorite time travel genre. But, for all that, it kept me reading and thinking right to the end and would be well worth your attention.
caroline77_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
If I could give this book six stars I would. It is amazing from start to finish. I looked forward to it every day. READ THIS BOOK!
cait815 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
More like 4.5 stars. What a ride! I can't believe it will be at least 4 years until this story is resolved.

ETA: A day later I still find myself checking behind doors; I'm also hesitant to go out into the garage alone. Well played, Mr. Cronin. Well played.

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P. 1
Passage