Thursday, August 19th, 2010...11:27 am

The Passage by Justin Cronin

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The Passage book coverWhat happens when a literary author goes renegade and rewrites the vampire novel playbook?

With The Passage, Justin Cronin leaves the literary arena behind (he won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the Stephen Crane Prize for his past novels) and leaps (bat like!) into the world of speculative fiction. But this is no teenage love story, or southern waitress’s adventure. Cronin’s world of vampires is monstrous, terrifying, and more than plausible. In Cronin’s near future gas is $13/gallon, the FBI works illegally and without accountability, California secedes from the union, and Jenna Bush is Governor of Texas.

The military engineers a virus designed to heal wounds and extend human life….and all goes terribly wrong. The virus escapes the bunker and spreads across the country; millions succumb. Life as we know it is OVER.

100 years later, a colony of 94 people survive under the lights, lights maintained by a battery system that is deteriorating fast. When the lights go out (the lights keep the virus away) so will this last scrap of humanity.

A silent child arrives alone at the gate to the colony. How did she survive? Is she the key to the future?

The Passage is an epic work (700 + pages, first in a trilogy) with multiple characters and plotlines. It reads like both as a terrifying history and a sci-fi adventure thriller. Director Ridley Scott bought the movie rights BEFORE the book was published. Buzz has been building, most of it positive. Fans of intelligent speculative fiction should jump on the train NOW before it reaches epic proportions.

The Passage checked out? Try more of the literary/speculative fiction genre with these titles at the John Tyler Library:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Year of the Flood and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Dune by Frank Herbert

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