Customer Reviews for

Passage

Average Rating 4
( 59 )
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(30)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Another great book from Ms. Willis!

PASSAGE is a long book, but then, it needed to be. Because there is a lot going on between it's covers, and it's an ultimately very satisfying and emotionally moving read. It's neatly divided into three parts. The first is a rather leisurely introduction, which estab...
PASSAGE is a long book, but then, it needed to be. Because there is a lot going on between it's covers, and it's an ultimately very satisfying and emotionally moving read. It's neatly divided into three parts. The first is a rather leisurely introduction, which establishes the important characters (all of whom have important functions in the plot), and their relationships with each other. The tension really begins in Part Two, which ends with a plot twist too devious to spoil. In Part Three, the book shifts into overdrive, and it all ends with a climax that I completely adored. I avoided reading this book for quite a while, because the subject matter of Near Death Experiences just didn't interest me, but I finally gave in and read the book, and I'm really glad that I did!

posted by Queengeek on June 25, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

It's a fascinating subject to be sure. But Willis is lost here. Something else- it seems that when Willis writes with an American accent instead of a British one, the magic dies... Based on the other Willis books I've read (5), and what other reviewers said here, ...
It's a fascinating subject to be sure. But Willis is lost here. Something else- it seems that when Willis writes with an American accent instead of a British one, the magic dies... Based on the other Willis books I've read (5), and what other reviewers said here, I got the book. I am VERY disappointed. The main lead in the book is a one-dimensional creature and the behavior of the supporting cast is not logical. Chapter one could be Chapter fifteen and nobody would know the difference. I am VERY VERY disappointed.

posted by Anonymous on October 10, 2001

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  • Posted June 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great book from Ms. Willis!

    PASSAGE is a long book, but then, it needed to be. Because there is a lot going on between it's covers, and it's an ultimately very satisfying and emotionally moving read. It's neatly divided into three parts. The first is a rather leisurely introduction, which establishes the important characters (all of whom have important functions in the plot), and their relationships with each other. The tension really begins in Part Two, which ends with a plot twist too devious to spoil. In Part Three, the book shifts into overdrive, and it all ends with a climax that I completely adored. I avoided reading this book for quite a while, because the subject matter of Near Death Experiences just didn't interest me, but I finally gave in and read the book, and I'm really glad that I did!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    My favorite Connie Willis book (and one of my favorites overall)

    A fascinating topic, well written, with humor and dry wit. You'll stay up all night reading. Don't miss this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2001

    Disappointing

    It's a fascinating subject to be sure. But Willis is lost here. Something else- it seems that when Willis writes with an American accent instead of a British one, the magic dies... Based on the other Willis books I've read (5), and what other reviewers said here, I got the book. I am VERY disappointed. The main lead in the book is a one-dimensional creature and the behavior of the supporting cast is not logical. Chapter one could be Chapter fifteen and nobody would know the difference. I am VERY VERY disappointed.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome book!

    I have this in hardback but am seriously considering buying this for my nook as it deals with some very interesting topics and is well written. I also cannot understand the bad reviews. Purhaps the subjects do not appeal to all rraders, but this is a great book and I have suggested it to many people.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2011

    Brilliant!!

    Not the easiest book to read as there is a very complicated message being told. However it is so intricately exicuted I would have to say it is one of the best reads I have had the pleasure of getting tangled up in. Those that have given a negative review I'm afraid just don't understand it. No disrespect intended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    What gives?

    I don't understand the negative reviews of this book. It's one of the most amazing pieces of fiction I've read (and reread) in the last ten years. I pick it up at least once a year to peruse it again, astonished each time at the things I missed before. The subject matter is brilliantly handled, and the race toward the final reveal keeps me reading well into the wee hours of the morning. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2005

    Believable

    One of the most important characteristics of good Science Fiction and Fantasy is that one shouldn't have to stretch too far to believe what is written. Such is the case with 'Passage.' Connie Willis builds the suspense slowly, and an impatient reader might have a problem with that. But she uses that slow buildup to let us become familiar with her well-developed characters. Maisie, Mr. Briarley, Kit, Vielle, and even Mr. Mandrake all seem familiar, and are very much like people I have met, so I found them to be entirely realistic characters. It is possible that some readers with particularly strong religious beliefs might have some problems with Ms. Willis' premise regarding the Near Death Experience (NDE), but the conclusion of the book leaves the issue open, so it should offend nobody. I liked this book, as I have liked all of the Connie Willis books I have read. It is recommended reading for those with a little patience and an open mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    Not one of Willis' best.

    I've read most of Connie Willis' other books, and she's always been one of my favorite authors. That said, this is the most boring, annoying book she's ever written. I still can't make my way through the whole thing -- all Joanna Lander does is skitter around the hallways of a hospital and hide from people. The first 300 pages don't do anything, and if anything, rather than care for Lander, you'll end up hating her halfway through just because this book is about 400 pages too long.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2004

    Exciting Thrill-Ride of a Story

    I happened upon this book and found the topic fascinating. I love medical mystery/thrillers so I knew that I'd enjoy this one. Contrary to most of the reviews, I don't think it should've been trimmed in length. After finishing the book, I flashed back to all of the little delicious plot bunny hints that the author expertly dropped along the way for the readers to find...like breadcrumbs. What I think I loved most about the length of the book is that you really fall in love w/ all of the main characters, Joanna, Richard, Veilla, Kit, and Maisie. When I then finally hit the traumatic last part of the book, I really cared about what happened to everyone and I cried several times (something I'm generally not prone to do.) My only complaint is Willis's annoying continuous use of over utilizing the word 'said' for every instance when someone says something- even when they're answering or asking a question. Frankly, if that's my only real complaint, I guess I'm not complaining much. Great read, and although the ending is vague- it leaves one thinking, something also that is rare in fiction thriller books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2002

    Very well written

    I enjoyed 'Passage' because of the in depth research that Connie Willis had done. The details and the things she knew convinced me of the story line. It was a page turner for me and although long, it was quite necessary to draw the reader into the story. I was quite attached to the characters and so that made everything much more real. If you enjoy Connie Willis this is a must-read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2001

    400 pages too many

    This would have made a great short story - repeat - short story. Willis spends half the book having her main character avoid other characters by hiding in stairwells, and running around a maze of hallways in this hospital setting. The prose is basic and boring. The premise - having a near death experience on the Titanic is interesting, but the whole Titanic thing has been so overdone I just couldn't get excited about this either. Sorry folks. If you want to read this save your money and borrow it from the library.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2001

    Willis's best yet!

    Passage is an enthralling, fast-action, can't put it down novel. A sure winner of another Hugo for Willis. Willis teases the reader constantly with the unexpected. You are never quite sure where the line falls between fact and fiction. Passage deserves to be widely read. The person who recommended this to me advised me to call in sick, take the phone off the hook and plan to do nothing for a day but read this book from cover to cover. Good advice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    In Willis' Masterpiece, Everything Is There For a Reason

    This is Connie Willis' most profound work - a moving and uplifting work about the process of dying: in particular, the 4-6 minutes before brain-death occurs. It is also a tribute to the courage and unflinching honesty of the scientist. Dr. Joanna Lander is a cognitive psychologist studying NDE's (Near-Death-Experiences). She is thwarted in her attempts to get unbiased descriptions of NDE's from recalled-to-life patients at Mercy General Hospital by her nemesis Maurice Mandrake, a popular new-age writer. He biases their reports by 'suggesting' that their NDE's have been warm cozy experiences filled with angels, golden light, etc. Fortunately, Joanna teams up with Dr. Richard Wright, a cognitive psychologist who has found a drug which triggers NDE's in the lab, allowing them to engage in a scientific study of the Near-Death-Experience. What they find is anything but warm and cozy. Connie Willis' description of the process of brain-death, although harrowing and completely non-spiritual, is ultimately a profoundly moving tribute to the courage of the human mind/body. In this book, one person's mind is a universe, and its last few minutes are an epic odyssey. A WARNING: a lot of readers are going to find the first half of the book tedious, as there is a great deal of time spent describing Dr.Lander wandering about labyrinthine corridors in the hospital,or trying unsuccessfully to reach people with beepers and voicemail, or to hunt down information. Nobody seems to have cellphones or use the Internet. One reader even complained that reading this book was like having an NDE. DON'T GET FRUSTRATED! It seems to me that the above reader was more correct than he realized - that the entire novel indeed is a metaphor for the NDE itself - that CONNIE WILLIS IS TRYING TO GIVE US THE EXPERIENCE OF HAVING AN NDE. The endless corridors of Mercy General (or Joanna's high school) are a metaphor for the neural pathways of the brain. For example, Mercy General is three hospitals imperfectly combined into one building by a series of passageways that don't quite match up,(and her high school has three levels) just as the brain is composed of three parts - cerebrum, cerebellum, and amygdula - imperfectly joined together. If you try testing this hypothesis as you read the book, you'll find the first half much more engrossing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    Rational Scifi about NDEs

    I loved the systematic, rational approach to death as well as the fantastical ending that leaves readers with a plausible explanation or total fantasy depending on which they are inclined toward. A must-read for agnostics who find themselves wondering about the dying process. However, this book WILL give you the creeps, but if you didn't like a little discomfort in your reading material you wouldn't have chosen a Connie Willis novel...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2013

    Disappointing


    Disappointing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Thrilling

    One of my favorite books. I was hooked the entire way through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    Great

    good review

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2011

    Great

    good review

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Tedious and Boring with no payoff at the end.

    Boring, horrible characters. Monotonous dialogue and descriptions. Hundreds of pages where NOTHING HAPPENS at all.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    Riveting

    I was fascinated by this story. The characters were well-rounded and believable. I was shocked by the turn of events near the end, and as stunned as Joanna. The ending caused me some distress. I was confused. But overall I would recommend the book to all. Very well written; I will read more of her books....

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