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The Terror
The Terror
Author: Dan Simmons
Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of The Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison before they open them, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the froze...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780739485811
ISBN-10: 0739485814
Publication Date: 12/10/2007
Pages: 766
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

sevenspiders avatar reviewed The Terror on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
At 800+ pages this book can certainly be a fearful prospect, but within the first few chapters I was so wrapped in the terrifying prospect facing our protagonists that I didn't even notice the size of the book. Lost and trapped for two years in the blinding cold of the arctic ice, the crews of the ships Terror and Erebus face not only eminent starvation and the madness creeping up on them in their isolation and petty day-to-day grievances, but now also the unknown monstrous thing that stalks them, a monster of unimaginable strength and cunning. With the monster stalking them from without, and a growing faction of human monsters within their own crews, the tale of the heroes of the Terror will keep you up at night and give you a new appreciation for a warm summer's day and a convenient snack.
swampdonkey avatar reviewed The Terror on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I really enjoyed this book. If you like survival books you'll like this. He does each chapter from a different persons point of view(multiple chapters for each character) You definitely become involved with the characters. I did not know it was based on a true story. Very interesting to now go and look into the true history. Simmonds did a great job weaving in the true material.
NYbooks avatar reviewed The Terror on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
* * * Historical fiction. Two English ships searching for the Northwest Passage get trapped in Arctic sub-zero ice (history). They are not alone; something is killing them off (fiction).

The 800 pages may seem long, but they are not boring. The book captures the struggles the crew may have gone through, from hunger, sickness and mutiny to gruesome death.

My only complaint is of the authors love of nonrestrictive clauses. If you can understand this sentence - the book includes a map of the possible route the ships may have taken which are probably based on thorough research done by the author - then you can understand the book. An arduous read but tremendously fascinating, especially if you are into historical fiction.
DRLAKE66 avatar reviewed The Terror on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book is rather hard to define and transcends genres. It is a fictionalized account of what might have happened to the Franklin Expedition which disappeared while exploring the Arctic in 1846-1848 in search of the North West Passage.

It starts with the crews of the two ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror already stranded and ice bound. The narrative jumps around in time and perspective. We are offered events from the perspectives of Francis Crozier, Captain of the Terror, Harry Goodsir, surgeon aboard the Erebus and Sir John Franklin, commander of the expedition, among others. This can make it a bit difficult to follow the storyline but adds some richness as well because we are able to understand some of the different motivations and desires that drove these men to take on such a dangerous challenge.

To complicate matters further the crews are being stalked by a mysterious (and possibly otherworldly) beast that is killing them at random. Their food stores are determined to be tainted and there is no game for them to hunt. All of which adds additional strain and already stressed crew.

Even without the supernatural stalker, this tale would have been worth reading. I think Simmons offers an interesting and realistic perspective of how events may have played out. The twin themes of patriotism and religion also weave their way throughout the storyline. Most of these men truly believed with every fiber of their being that England was blessed by God and they had a right, if not an obligation, to venture forth in search of ways to make the Empire even greater. This confidence (even arrogance) may have been all that sustained these men during some of the harsh times they endured. Their ability to maintain order, keep their spirits up and keep on going despite the obstacles that faced them is genuinely awe inspiring.

This book is long and sometimes it can be a bit hard to slog through all the verbiage but at the end of the book I felt it was a rich and detailed story worth telling and worth reading.
mglennx avatar reviewed The Terror on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This was a phenomenal book. Yes, it was long. But, unlike another reviewer, I found the great detail contributed profoundly to understanding the bleakness and danger of the situation. I enjoyed the twists and turns and was a little frustrated (in a good way) that I could not figure out where the author was going until he got there. It is very rare to read a book that has such a fresh approach that the end is not somewhat predictable. This book did not tease with a long build-up and then disappoint with a neat bow at the end of the book. I was very gratified that the end was as fully developed as the entire story of getting there. I also found the entire premise to be thought provoking, in that it provided me with insight as to how other cultures might develop spiritual beliefs and mythologies. There really isn't any proof that they are wrong and we are right.
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boomerbooklover avatar reviewed The Terror on + 290 more book reviews
Excellent adventure tale of an Arctic expedition. Set up for a multi-year search for a northwest passage, British ship and crew are stuck in ice for months and face starvation, among other threats.
reviewed The Terror on + 105 more book reviews
Thrilling survival story of a Brittish exploration crew seeking out the Northwest Passage in the 1800s. Draws you in with great characters, plot lines, mystery, suspense, and a fascinating setting. However, there's a point where this novel turns 180 degrees and becomes a different book. Very disconnecting.

3 stars out of 5
WhidbeyIslander avatar reviewed The Terror on + 604 more book reviews
Simmons writes well, but this book was way, way, way too long. At 750 pages, there were many back-stories I could have done without (and did, skimming many parts), and lots of repetitive passages. Chapters jump around between characters and in time, which is a little disconcerting at first, but effective. The pages from the surgeon's "notebook" are particularly worthy of skimming once the halfway point is reached. Not quite as exhausting to read as it probably was dragging boats across pack ice, but it was a chore to finish it.


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