Monday, June 13, 2011

The Passage by Justin Cronin

iconiconBack when I first downloaded the B&N eReader app onto my iPhone last summer, a sample of The Passage was automatically downloaded into my account.  I didn't ever read the sample, and eventually deleted it, but it's been on my unofficial reading list ever since.

Michael got an iPad recently though (a hand-me-down first-generation from a friend), and was wanting an ebook to read, so we checked out The Passage from our library.  I decided to read it too while we had it out (both of us being able to read it at once being another of the advantages of library ebooks).

Both of us finished the book on Saturday, and we've been talking a lot about it ever since.  The Passage is one of those books that you can't stop thinking about, even after you've finished reading it.  I was glad that I read the book after the sequel was announced, because I think the end would have driven me crazy otherwise, making me wonder whether the author planned on finishing the story.  I mean, the book ties up most of the loose ends nicely — only to pull on a thread in the last five pages and start it unraveling in a major way.

One other thing we both noticed was the quality of writing.  The descriptions and narrative have almost a literary quality much of the time — that is to say, they are really good, as well as beautifully written.  There is one scene where a character throws up, and the way it was described, I almost felt like throwing up, too.  I know it's not necessarily desirable to have a book's description cause nausea, but I thought this was a good way to illustrate how well written the book was!

Followers of this blog will know that I really like vampire books.  I've read quite a few of them: Anne Rice, Twilight Saga, Sookie Stackhouse, Sunshine, Jane Yellowrock, Dracula...  This one was a little bit different, as it falls into the post-apocalyptic fantasy subgenre just as well as the vampire subgenre, but I think it might be one of the best vampire books I've ever read.  Certainly it's one of the ones that has stuck with me the longest after I've finished reading it.

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