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The Passage
Cover of The Passage
The Passage
The Passage Series, Book 1
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This thrilling novel kicks off what Stephen King calls "a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction."
NOW A FOX TV SERIES!
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post
  • Esquire
  • U.S. News & World Report • NPR/On Point
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • BookPage
  • Library Journal

    "It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born."
    An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can't stop society's collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.
    Look for the entire Passage trilogy:
    THE PASSAGE | THE TWELVE | THE CITY OF MIRRORS
    Praise for The Passage
    "[A] blockbuster."The New York Times Book Review
    "Mythic storytelling."San Francisco Chronicle
    "Magnificent . . . Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them. . . . The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King's apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy's The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt."Time
    "The type of big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night."The Dallas Morning News
    "Addictive."Men's Journal
    "Cronin's unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind."Parade
  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • This thrilling novel kicks off what Stephen King calls "a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction."
    NOW A FOX TV SERIES!
    NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY TIME AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post
  • Esquire
  • U.S. News & World Report • NPR/On Point
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • BookPage
  • Library Journal

    "It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born."
    An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can't stop society's collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.
    Look for the entire Passage trilogy:
    THE PASSAGE | THE TWELVE | THE CITY OF MIRRORS
    Praise for The Passage
    "[A] blockbuster."The New York Times Book Review
    "Mythic storytelling."San Francisco Chronicle
    "Magnificent . . . Cronin has taken his literary gifts, and he has weaponized them. . . . The Passage can stand proudly next to Stephen King's apocalyptic masterpiece The Stand, but a closer match would be Cormac McCarthy's The Road: a story about human beings trying to generate new hope in a world from which all hope has long since been burnt."Time
    "The type of big, engrossing read that will have you leaving the lights on late into the night."The Dallas Morning News
    "Addictive."Men's Journal
    "Cronin's unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind."Parade
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    • From the book

      Wolgast had been to the Compound only once, the previous summer, to meet with Colonel Sykes. Not a job interview, exactly; it had been made clear to Wolgast that the assignment was his if he wanted it. A pair of soldiers drove him in a van with blacked out windows, but Wolgast could tell they were taking him west from Denver, into the mountains. The drive took six hours, and by the time they pulled into the Compound, he'd actually managed to fall asleep. He stepped from the van into the bright sunshine of a summer afternoon. He stretched and looked around. From the topography, he'd have guessed he was somewhere around Telluride. It could have been further north. The air felt thin and clean in his lungs; he felt the dull throb of a high-altitude headache at the top of his skull.

      He was met in the parking lot by a civilian, a compact man dressed in jeans and a khaki shirt rolled at the sleeves, a pair of old-fashioned aviators perched on his wide, faintly bulbous nose. This was Richards.

      "Hope the ride wasn't too bad," Richards said as they shook hands. Up close Wolgast saw that Richards' cheeks were pockmarked with old acne scars. "We're pretty high up here. If you're not used to it, you'll want to take it easy."

      Richards escorted Wolgast across the parking area to a building he called the Chalet, which was exactly what it sounded like: a large Tudor structure, three stories tall, with the exposed timbers of an old-fashioned sportsman's lodge. The mountains had once been full of these places, Wolgast knew, hulking relics from an era before time-share condos and modern resorts. The building faced an open lawn, and beyond, at a hundred yards or so, a cluster of more workaday structures: cinderblock barracks, a half-dozen military inflatables, a low-slung building that resembled a roadside motel. Military vehicles, Humvees and smaller jeeps and five ton trucks, were moving up and down the drive; in the center of the lawn, a group of men with broad chests and trim haircuts, naked to the waist, were sunning themselves on lawn chairs.

      Stepping into the Chalet, Wolgast had the disorienting sensation of peeking behind a movie set; the place had been gutted to the studs, its original architecture replaced by the neutral textures of a modern office building: gray carpeting, institutional lighting, acoustic tile drop ceilings. He might have been in a dentist's office, or the high-rise off the freeway where he met his accountant once a year to do his taxes. They stopped at the front desk, where Richards asked him to turn over his handheld and his weapon, which he passed to the guard, a kid in cammos, who tagged them. There was an elevator, but Richards walked past it and led Wolgast down a narrow hallway to a heavy metal door that opened on a flight of stairs. They ascended to the second floor, and made their way down another non-descript hallway to Sykes' office.

      Sykes rose from behind his desk as they entered: a tall, well-built man in uniform, his chest spangled with the various bars and little bits of color that Wolgast had never understood. His office was neat as a pin, its arrangement of objects, right down to the framed photos on his desk, giving the impression of having been placed for maximum efficiency. Resting in the center of the desk was a single manila folder, fat with folded paper. Wolgast knew it was almost certainly his personnel file, or some version of it.

      They shook hands and Sykes offered him coffee, which Wolgast accepted. He wasn't drowsy but the caffeine, he knew, would help the headache.

      "Sorry about the bullshit with the van," Sykes said, and waved him to a chair. "That's just...
    About the Author-
    • Justin Cronin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage, The Twelve, The City of Mirrors, Mary and O'Neil (which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize), and The Summer Guest. Other honors for his writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writers' Award. A Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Rice University, he divides his time between Houston, Texas, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
    Reviews-
    • AudioFile Magazine Scott Brick's expressive delivery of this huge novel is exceptional. He injects emotion into even the smallest subplot. Abby Craden and Andenrele Ojo give small but carefully crafted performances as well, but Brick does most of the heavy lifting. The title refers to the time that has passed since a deadly virus consumed the majority of mankind and turned the infected from men to monsters. Is there any soul left within them? One extraordinary 6-year-old orphan may hold the key. What makes this big, sprawling fantasy work is how invested we become with the characters and what happens to them. Cronin is an evocative writer, and Brick engages with a heartfelt delivery. D.G. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
    • USA Today

      "Cronin has given us what could be the best book of the summer. Don't wait to dive into The Passage."

    • Parade
      "Cronin's unguessable plot and appealing characters will seize your heart and mind."
    • O, The Oprah Magazine
      "Great storytelling ... vital, tender, and compelling"
    • The New York Times Book Review
      "A blockbuster...astutely plotted and imaginative"
    • Salon.com
      "Cronin gets it just right; the combination of attentive realism and doomsday stakes makes for a mesmerizing experience."
    • Entertainment Weekly, A- "Magnificently unnerving...A The Stand-meets-The Road journey."
    • Men's Journal
      "Addictive, terrifying, and deeply satisfying. Not only is this one of the year's best thrillers; it's one of the best of the past decade - maybe one of the best ever."
    • Time
      "A literary richness that rivals Stephen King's The Stand."
    • Kirkus
      "Literary author Cronin turns in an apocalyptic thriller in the spirit of Stephen King or Michael Crichton....The young girl as heroine and role model is a nice touch."
    • Booklist
      "[An] apocalyptic epic...Expect a lot of interest in this title."
    • Library Journal, starred review "The monsters in this compulsive nail biter are the scariest in fiction since Stephen King's vampires in Salem's Lot...This exceptional thriller should be one of the most popular novels this year and will draw in readers everywhere."
    • People
      "Meet what is likely to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer."
    • The Washington Post "Imagine Michael Crichton crossbreeding Stephen King's "The Stand" and "Salem's Lot" in that lab on Jurassic Park, with rich infusions of Robert McCammon's "Swan Song,"Battlestar Galactica" and even Cormac McCarthy's "The Road."
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      Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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      All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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    The Passage
    The Passage Series, Book 1
    Justin Cronin
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