Thursday, October 28, 2010
Truthfully, I liked it immensely. I read quickly but it took me over a month to finish this book and I was fatigued by the end. It's a brutal bit of writing. Much like Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD, the hope offered is little and fragile. It's difficult to spend hundreds and hundreds of pages with characters that you realize are all likely to die. I'm not saying they do, I don't want to spoil anything, but there's a pervasive lack of hope that infects the novel, and inevitably infects the reader. I didn't lack the ability to devour the book in a couple of sittings, I simply lacked the will.
That said, I think that Cronin managed a beautiful marriage of literary and genre fiction. This is what will help save adult books. If we stop treating genre fiction like a ghetto and realize that it can be beautiful and well-written and awesome, then maybe we can bring readers back to the fold. Maybe TV and movies have eroded our ability to focus on whole books, but if more were written like The Passage, then it's possible to see the terrible trend of non-reading reversed.
I'm not sure I'm making much sense. How about this: Go read it. It's good. It's like TV...on paper.