Monday, June 28, 2010

The Passage by Cronin - An Instant Classic of the Vampire Apocalpyse

I just posted my review of The Passage by Justin Cronin, quite possibly one of the biggest fiction (that’s right not just Science Fiction/Fantasy) releases of the year. The book comes with a great deal of prepublication buzz, with movie rights sold to Ridley Scott. Mark/Hobbit reviewed the book earlier in the year, and he, like many other people thought very highly of the book. I can only concur – the book will likely be one of the top 2 to 5 books I will have read by the end of the year.

In many ways, Justin Cronin’s epic doorstopper, with its continual shifts in narrative voice, shouldn’t work. But these various methods of laying out the story give The Passage its backbone and authenticity as a chronicle of what might happen if Vampires were genetically engineered and run roughshod over humanity.

While the early portions (about ¼) of the novel set the foundation for the new world, the remainder focuses on a stronghold in California where the people have been able to survive for the intervening 92 years since the original breakout. Here Cronin focuses his story on a group of people born after the outbreak - our heroes Peter, Michael, and Alicia. In this compound, Cronin steps back from the shifting narrative of the first third of the book and slows down the pace, and while it may seem a stretch that such an abrupt shift would work, the opposite is indeed true.

All told, think some parts 28 Days Later, I am Legend (the original novel), The Stand by King, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

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