A combination medical thriller, horror story, and road novel, The Passage
is a richly compelling tale of life after an apocalyptic event changes the world as we know it. It was also one of the most 'buzzed' about books of summer 2010, when first published in hardcover (and when we first reviewed it).
If I wanted to be snarky, I would say that you may have read The Passage
in the 70's when it was called The Stand
. There's no getting around it; Justin Cronin's first novel will give fans of Stephen King's classic an acute sense of déjà vu, with its notable similarities in plot, characters and settings. What makes this arguably forgivable is that Cronin's writing style is more refined than King's, and his characters more likeable and well-rounded. Despite the derivations, I was able to enjoy The Passage
in its own...
Beyond the Book
The vampires of folklore are hideous and frightening figures, walking corpses that feast on the blood of the living. But during the Victorian era, writers began to create stories about a different kind of vampire, typified by an aristocrat who represented both death and sexual desire, a possible reaction to the repressiveness of the times. An early example of such a tale is John Polidori's The Vampyre
, (1819) in which the title character, Lord Ruthven, is a seductive nobleman.
Another example is Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla
(1871), notable because it features a sexy female vampire who seduces and drinks the blood of a female victim. Yet, the...