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Author: Connie Willis
One of those rare, unforgettable novels that are as chilling as they are insightful, as thought-provoking as they are terrifying, award-winning author Connie Willis's Passage is an astonishing blend of relentless suspense and cutting-edge science unlike anything you've ever read before. — It is the electrifying story of a psychologist who has dev...  more
ISBN-13: 9780553111248
ISBN-10: 0553111248
Publication Date: 5/1/2001
Pages: 608
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 31 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Passage on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I am someone who loves books and reading. I forced myself to read this one all the way to the end, only because I am determined to give a book a chance. This book was one of the most tedious books I've read in I don't know how long, and that includes my postgrad textbooks! Ms. Willis could easily have tossed about half of this book out and still had a decent plot; how do you spell VERBOSE? Several of the "conversations" were just little rabbit trails that led nowhere plot-wise and could so easily have been eliminated. Another thing that began to get on my last nerve was her constant use of the word "confabulate". If I never hear that word again in this lifetime, it will not be soon enough! My advice: don't waste your valuable point on this book. If you think you must read it, check it out of the library.
reviewed Passage on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is still another book read recently that sorely needed editing. Does a reader really need repeated tedious references to the intricacies of the hospital's corridors? I got the idea after the initial explanation.
Whenever I'm hit over the head with repeated narrative, I always feel as though this is done simply to pad the text. Are they paid by the word?
I have almost always enjoyed Connie Willis' work. She has interesting concepts and fleshed-out characters. This, unfortunately, cannot be on my recommended list.
reviewed Passage on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I wish that I had read more of these book reviews before starting Passage! To describe this novel as tedious is generous. It was probably 300 pages longer than necessary. The characters were not well developed, particularly the male lead, Richard. I think that pretty much the only thing that he contributed to the novel was staring at brain scans. My brain started to flatline the further I kept reading. The idea of a novel based around near death experiences is fascinating; unfortunately, Passage does not deliver.
reviewed Passage on + 953 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I couldn't put this book down! It was eerie, and a little scary and uncomfortable--after all, most people don't want to contemplate death in clinical detail--but also, somehow, it was hopeful, upbeat, and touching. The characters were genuine, and the wordiness that some readers disliked made the story more real to me, as though I was living through the events with the characters. For me, Connie Willis can miss (To Say Nothing of the Dog), or hit the mark (The Doomsday Book), and Passage was another hit.
reviewed Passage on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This one is a bit different from Willis's time travel books. But still exceptional writing, compelling characters (the absent-minded doctor is perfectly developed). And the use of the Titanic as her metaphor for life and death is brilliant. She has pretty much run the gamut now, from farce (Bellweather)to action (To Say Nothing of the Dog) to tragedy (Passage and Lincoln's Dreams). If you haven't read her book Remake yet, get it and read it -- she uses comedy to tell us what the golden age of Hollywood was really like.
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reviewed Passage on + 74 more book reviews
As a friend suggested, this book would be better if about 200 pages were edited out of it. There's just too much repetition of material that does not move the story forward, and this is a common thing in Willis's novels--that purposeless, frenetic activity going on all around.

But the story is compelling, and the ending hopeful, if ambiguous (as perhaps it ought to be). As a Christian, I was frustrated with many of the presuppositions--mocking those who believe in a spiritual existence beyond death, with all the best characters being "agnostic" if not overtly skeptical. The characters are also very limited, even the "stars," who have almost no existence outside the workplace or, in one case, a home. For example, the main character has many meals through the book, but almost all of them are from vending machines, and not one at home, that I can recall. I expect those who know WWII history, Titanic history, hospital routine, or neuroscience are at first attracted and then probably frustrated at errors I had an inkling of as I read.

But I hate to miss something good, and so I plodded along through too many pages to get to what was a pretty satisfying finish. I'm usually pretty picky about my reading in advance, and I expect that this is a much better novel than the usual out there. So enjoy! :-)
reviewed Passage on + 23 more book reviews
It felt like it took me ages to finish this book, even though it took just the weekend.

Like other readers, I could have done without the endless descriptions of the hospital. I also think that the rambling of Joanna's inner thoughts and dialogue could have been cleaned up a bit.

I hate to say it about Connie Willis, since I love her other novels so much, but this book was a real bore. The only parts that were interesting were the descriptions of NDEs.

I especially found the last part of the book to be a real drag. I kepy saying to myself, "Get to the point, Connie!"

I wish this was a short story, rather than a novel. It probably would have made more sense to keep it short and sweet and yet still creepy.

Overall, I would not recommend this book as it is now. A condensed version? Yes, please!
reviewed Passage on
Great book, very intersting subject (near death experience)

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