by Justin Cronin comes heavily promoted, and is a post-apocalyptic vampire novel very much in line with the current zeitgeist. Cronin (born 1962) is American, with two previous novels (literary fiction) and a novella under his belt, winning the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Stephen Crane Prize, and the Whiting Writer's Award. However, with The Passage, he appears to have set out to write a blockbuster, and as a result has hit a financial jackpot.
Cronin was born and raised in New England, and is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He taught creative writing and was the 'Author in-residence' at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA from 1992 - 2005. He currently lives with his wife and children in Houston, Texas where he is Professor of English at Rice University. The Passage is the first in a trilogy which has apparently earned Cronin close to 3.75 million USD. In addition, Fox 2000 has purchased the film rights to the first book in the trilogy for approximately 1.75 million.
The Passage has been very heavily promoted, with the full weight of an internet marketing campaign and no less than two websites - http://enterthepassage.com/ and http://www.findsubjectzero.com/. The original first edition was the US earlier this month. The book is now being published in the UK by Orion, presumably with a large print run, but is already into reprints. Goldsboro books have an exclusive signed, numbered and slipcased edition now sold out. In addition, there is a version signed by the author on a tipped in additional sheet. This is available from a number of dealers, but also from Amazon discounted to £17 on pre-order.
Is this a good book? In the book world it shows every sign of being this summer’s blockbuster (780 pages), and reviews have been surprisingly positive, although some inevitably a little disparaging. I think it will be going with me on holiday.
“First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.”
Sunday, 27 June 2010
Posted by Trapnel at 16:03