Customer Reviews for

The Terror

Average Rating 4
( 208 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(107)

4 Star

(58)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

A terrifyingly superb historical fiction!

I first picked this book up because the cover caught my eye and so did the unbelievable price at $5.98. After reading about the book I could not stop thinking about it, so one day I started reading it and could not put it down! It jumps you right into the story of the...
I first picked this book up because the cover caught my eye and so did the unbelievable price at $5.98. After reading about the book I could not stop thinking about it, so one day I started reading it and could not put it down! It jumps you right into the story of the Franklin Expedition and the two boats that get lost in the frozen seas. However, starvation, disease, and mutiny are not the crew's only enemy, the bigger threat is the intelligent beast that lives out on the ice that seems intent on the destruction of all living things aboard these two vessels.

posted by Caravaggio on November 12, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Not quite "Terror"

I usually do not get frightened by novels, but was expecting a little more from this one. I found myself much more interested in the story behind the Franklin Expedition and the problems associated with the journey, rather than the attacks by the arctic beast. With this...
I usually do not get frightened by novels, but was expecting a little more from this one. I found myself much more interested in the story behind the Franklin Expedition and the problems associated with the journey, rather than the attacks by the arctic beast. With this in mind, the expedition element to the novel also became rather stale after a while. The novel seemed to drag once getting about midway. I am surprised at the positive response that this novel received. However, some positives were the characters and the detail of the journey.

posted by Ingsoc on August 11, 2009

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A terrifyingly superb historical fiction!

    I first picked this book up because the cover caught my eye and so did the unbelievable price at $5.98. After reading about the book I could not stop thinking about it, so one day I started reading it and could not put it down! It jumps you right into the story of the Franklin Expedition and the two boats that get lost in the frozen seas. However, starvation, disease, and mutiny are not the crew's only enemy, the bigger threat is the intelligent beast that lives out on the ice that seems intent on the destruction of all living things aboard these two vessels.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent and Nightmare Inducing

    I originally bought this book for my husband and only read it as a fluke, but once I opened it up, I couldn't put it down, even though at times I had to actually go outside and sit in the bright daylight to get the images of cold and death out of my mind. Character development, plot and even the rather inexplicable supernatural element all were handled masterfully, and added up to a novel that truly makes the reader not only examine the essence of evil but absorb it to the point of actual fear. The well-crafted prose style and references to Hobbes' Leviathon and Poe's Masque of the Red Death add a period authenticity to what might otherwise be something of a Stephen King knock-off. I give this book my highest recommendation.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Let the Size Deter You

    What a great book! I purchased it for the supernatural aspect, but ended up enjoying it much more for the wonderful characters, great descriptive writing, and endless suspense. I will admit that the first 100 or so pages weren't that gripping, but after that hump...wow. I couldn't put it down. A great book that also reminds us that sometimes human beings are more of a monster than the unknown entity in this story. At 700+ pages, don't let the size put you off. It's well worth the time you invest in reading it!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2007

    ONE OF THE BEST READS EVER!

    The story of John Franklin's ill-fated expedition to search for the Northwest Passage is one of those rare books you will put off your job, your favorite TV show, your dinner, your life in general, to read! It is 700+ well written pages of harrowing, exciting, undistilled adventure. If you like stories of man against the elements--explorers going to uncharted areas of extreme climes, mountain climbers clinging to the faces of Everest and K-2, fishermen facing giant seas, etc. you will LOVE this book. Not only does the reader have this high excitement to enjoy, there are supernatural and spiritual elements as well. Or are there? the characters are wonderfully well fleshed, from the dour, often drunk, Captain Crozier, an irritable Irishman who knows he will not be promoted futher in Her Majesty's Navy to Dr Goodsir, ships surgeon, who, unsure of himself at first, at last remains utterly true to the self he has found. THE TERROR shows mankind at its best as well, of course, at its worst. There is death in abundance, noble deaths abound-- as do the ignoble, the stoic and cowardly--and the mysterious. Dan Simmons, always a good writer, has really outdone himself with this one and I hope he reprises himself with at least one other failed expedition. I can hear the ca-chiiig at the box office now! Spielberg gets my vote. And who is that dead man in the bed anyway? Bravo Dan! (I'd have given it 10 stars if I were able!)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

    Multi-Genre Magic from Dan Simmons

    Dan Simmons's multi-genre expertise spins an engrossing historical tale into a white knuckle thriller.

    I found I couldn't sit down to read this book without a warming fire and comfortable quilt. While mastering the nautical language of the mid-1800s, Simmons touches all the senses; the touch of bitter cold, the scents of unwashed human beings and spoiled 'victuals', the pain of foot long claws, snow blindness offset by months of near-total darkness, and the sounds of men fleeing from the unknown thing on the ice.

    Simmons uses substantial research and his talent for epic world-building to pull the reader onto the slippery decks and treacherous pack ice of the Arctic.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    Exciting

    I read a review of this book and form that review i decided to buy it. I am only half way through but i already love this book. The fact that the main sotry is based on actual events is really interesting, i find myself reading everything i can find now on the true story of the Franklin Expedition. The characters in the novel very likeable or hateable whatever the case may be but i enjoy taking this crazy journey with them.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    A page-turner with substance

    Interesting experience reading this book -- I was a bit bored at times but almost always compelled to keep reading. It's difficult to describe. I felt like there were passages of the book that weren't essential, but the sailors' predicament was so suspenseful I had to keep reading. (In fact, I found myself pursuing this book much more enthusiastically than many I've recently read.) At the end, Dan Simmons pulled it all off, bringing together those events that seemed inconsequential at first. As I was finishing it, I found myself thinking, "I should read this again some time," but at almost 700 pages it will probably be a while. Recommended for someone who really wants to lose themselves in a page-turner with substance.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2009

    Not quite "Terror"

    I usually do not get frightened by novels, but was expecting a little more from this one. I found myself much more interested in the story behind the Franklin Expedition and the problems associated with the journey, rather than the attacks by the arctic beast. With this in mind, the expedition element to the novel also became rather stale after a while. The novel seemed to drag once getting about midway. I am surprised at the positive response that this novel received. However, some positives were the characters and the detail of the journey.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    It's rare that i get a hold of a book that doesn't let me go, but this is one of those books. I read it every available second i had, could not put it down. Some of the characters became my friends and some became my worst enemies. In the end, I wanted to slow down so as not to lose my friends, but couldn't because I HAD to know what happened to everyone. It was sad and creepy and thrilling and satisfying all at once. Dan Simmons makes you FEEL the cold of the Arctic and the terror the men experience from not only 'the thing on the ice' but from everything they must face. I highly recommend this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    REVIEWED: The Terror WRITTEN BY: Dan Simmons PUBLISHED: 2009 Up

    REVIEWED: The Terror
    WRITTEN BY: Dan Simmons
    PUBLISHED: 2009

    Up until the ending, this book was flawless. Not to take anything away from the ending – it was okay – but just not as powerful as the rest of this book. And when I say powerful, I mean my-heart-was-racing-and-I-could-not–put-this-down sensational. This is really just one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years, which is no small amount.

    The Terror is written from multiple points of view from the perspective of a crew of 126 sailors aboard two ships that are seeking the Northwest Passage in 1845. The ships become crushed by ice in an abnormally frigid ocean that keeps them prisoner for several years. Not only must the men fight the Arctic elements and starvation to remain alive, but an evil creature begins to attack the trapped vessels, picking off the sailors one-by-one.

    Imagine the movie ALIENS or John Carpenter’s THE THING if set aboard sinking ships in the mid-nineteenth century. Then add in cannibalism, rats, years-long misery, murder, mutiny, lots of rum, mysterious Eskimos, rich mythology, and a demonic creature that can apparently move through the ocean ice. Yes, my fingernails were gnawed to the quick.

    Dan Simmons has an amazing voice in his writing, able to transport the reader into the established rules and rigid beliefs of Victorian-era sailors. Not only that, but the author makes you feel the “cold” of the ice, the “hunger” of slowly starving to death, and the “fear” of being hunted by a creature that is only glimpsed.

    As I mentioned, the ending was my only issue. Not that it was bad, just… a “change” in the writing perspective which made sense to the story arc but still left me somewhat deflated.

    Warning for all: This book is tragic and depressing. It is an amazing story of exploration and survival, but readers who don’t like it regularly complain of its despondency. This is true – it is 765 pages of gut-wrenching despair although, also, told in such beautiful prose that it still covers the whole gambit of other human emotions.

    Six out of Five stars (see what I did there?)


    Midnight cheers,

    Eric

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2007

    Promises much but fails to deliver

    I eagerly waited for this book's release. However, after getting halfway through the story and finding the plot dragging along, I put it down. Simmons has thrilled with other works (including my favorite book, The Crook Factory) but here gets bogged down. for example, count how many times the word 'serac' is used throughout the book. When Simmons slowed the narrative to describe the advantages and drawbacks of a multitude of different types of boats, I stopped reading. The 'terror' in the story is a lot like the monster on the ABC TV show Lost - after a certain point, we just want to know what it is. Simmons delivery, however, disappoints.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    WORST I've ever read!

    DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME - I must say that I have never written a poor review of a book understanding that peoples' taste vary wildly. That is obviously the case for the The Terror. I was excited to read a historical fiction on a subject, Arctic Exploration, that I knew close to nothing about. I had read several glowing reviews and eagerly dove into the nearly 700 page book. By page 300 I was sorely disappointed. The only word I can come up with is BORING. I never put down a book though and always finish it. Well... lesson learned. After finally finishing it last night I must say that it is undoubtedly one of the WORST BOOKS I HAVE READ. Simmons seems to have written 700 pages (when he clearly could have written it in 300) simply to say that he wrote such a long novel. The vocabulary is terrible and the grammar is worse. The plot, though, is so extremely tedious and the ending is completely perfunctory that I wish I had put the book down at 300 and just moved on. Save yourself the energy and time and pass this book.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

    Lots of terror

    900 pages and it is still too short. Didn't want it to end. Great read !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    great middle, slow beginning, let-down in the end

    Although this book started slow, and goes overboard with detail, by the middle I was hooked! I couldnt put it down for the last 300 pages. However what ruined it was the end. It was too rushed and just didnt fit with the book. It is a great build-up and then the end just lets you down. I feel that I invested too much in reading the 700+ pages for it to end like it did. Disappointing!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2014

    This was a very well researched historical novel with extensive

    This was a very well researched historical novel with extensive character development and a compelling plot line. Unlike some reviewers, I  did not mind the length of the book,was never bored with the narrative or detailed descriptions of the Arctic landscape. I would have given Terror 5 stars except for the last part of the book,which I had to deduct a full star.Given the deep and descriptive insight into the personality of the lead character, Captain Crozier' I found his actions at the end of the book. disappointing and implausible. Maybe I could buy his reltionship with Lady Silence,; But  how Crozier could willingly submit to the evil Arctic spirit beast that had maimed and killed so many of his men, sacrifice his tongue  and become sort of apale skinned shaman in its honor, was preposterous. It would have been truer to the Captains character and much more satisfying . if he had gone to his death, fighting the creature.It was still a very good book,;, but it could have been a great one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    The Terror by Dan Simmons

    Another historical fiction from Dan Simmons. A great, but long, read about the Franklin Expedition to the north pole. Nice supernatural touches added to the storyline.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    The Terror,both the Title of the book and the name of the ill-fa

    The Terror,both the Title of the book and the name of the ill-fated ice-breaker from a late 1800's polar expedition is a multi-dimensional classic
    It combines historical fiction,horror,and .thrilling adventure all in one very long but never boring epic saga. Once again,Dan Simmons creates characters
    both unforgettable and real.The story is of two ice breakers from the late 1800's on an expedition at the North Pole to find a way through the
    NorthWest Passage.The plot is thick with mythos,horror,strife and human struggles. Dan Simmons captures the culture,attitudes
     and practices of the 19th Century .The "terror" out in the frozen dark icy North Pole stalking the men stuck for years in the ice is nothing
    compared to the horror of  mere survival,both physically and mentally.The men aboard the two ice breakers in the years trapped
     in the ice are alive and real and you will find yourself experiencing their trials  and miseries with them
    .It grips you and does not release you even after having finished the book. This classic has everything-mystery,
    drama,horror,exquisite detail,emotion,sorrow,thrill,and edge of your seat,nail biting suspense.This novel is
    not for readers with short attention spans or the faint of heart.It is written in a style reminiscent of the
     classics that actually were written in that time period,lending a further sense of being there....You don't have to
    be high brow to read The Terror....but it has elements of mastery that are found in true literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Historical Fiction Meets Epic Tale of Horror

    I really liked the way Simmons combined historical elements and research on Eskimo tribes to craft a superb story with elements of human and other horrors the crew may have experienced. This book also left me intrigued about the arctic and the famed Northwest Passage. It also made me feel lucky that although this has been a cold winter, it is all relative! ;-)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Fantastic Book!  Dan Simmons takes history and puts a new spin o

    Fantastic Book!  Dan Simmons takes history and puts a new spin on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Anonymous

    Not the story I thought I was buying but mesmerizing nonetheless. I could not put it down. Didn't even got bed last night as I was finishing up this amazing journey. Loved the ending.

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