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Author: Connie Willis
A tunnel, a light, a door. And beyond it ... the unimaginable. — Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. She is about to get help from a new doctor with the power to give her the chance to get as close to death as anyone can. — A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to ma...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780553580518
ISBN-10: 0553580515
Publication Date: 1/2/2002
Pages: 800
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 135 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Passage on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
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: 5
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: 4
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 + 139 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A serious fantasy (wih some hilarious sequences) with a bittersweet ending about two researchers studying near-death experiences. I recommend reading Spook by Mary Roach first.
reviewed Passage on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Connie Willis writes science fiction for the (usually) nonscience fiction reader. Her books always raise interesting questions and keep the reader thinking long after the book has been finished. The beginning of this is a bit slow, as she establishes her charecters, setting and situation,describing the researchers, their project and the various problems they must overcome in their day to day work. However, sticking with the book pays off,as Joanna, the main character is pulled deeper and deeper into the project. Willis often ends her books on a slightly melancholy note, and this is no exception. Don't be scared off though, the ending is appropriate to the book and fits better than a ridiculously cheery happy ending would.
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reviewed Passage on + 1125 more book reviews
Willis has a great idea here, setting her story among medical researchers looking for the secret -- and possible lifesaving use -- of near-death experiences, but she loads it down with so much frantic action and dream symbols that it's a real struggle to get through. There's an interesting twist at the end, but even that drags on interminably. Close, but no cigar.
reviewed Passage on + 85 more book reviews
I liked this book a lot. Gave it 4 stars. It's the story of a psychologist, Dr. Joanna Lander, who is researching near death experiences (NDEs), along with another doctor, Dr. Richard Wright, in the hospital where she works.

She records the experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and lived to tell about it. Dr. Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug and when their list of test subjects gets rather small, Dr. Lander volunteers to become a test subject herself.

She becomes more and more obsessed with her own NDE and keeps going under multiple times to learn the secret.

And just when you think you know where she is going, Willis throws in the biggest surprise of all -- a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page is turned.

The reason it's only a 4-star review is that the author does repeat herself quite a bit during the book and at over 800 pages long, it's just too darn long.
reviewed Passage on + 52 more book reviews
This was interesting and even riveting in spots, up to a point. After too many words about the convolutions of the hospital's layout, and rambling from a nice old WWII vet, it began to lose my interest. Editors, anywhere? But it's worth reading; don't beat yourself up if you skip a lot toward the end.

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