Why you must read The Passage

CoverThe Passage has been summarised as Stephen King’s The Stand meets Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

And, to my reading delight, it is that good.

Throw in telly series The Survivors, Dracula, X Files, spooky little girl movies like Firestarter and Poltergeist, and any number of dystopian, post apocalyptic scenarios and you still won’t be fully capturing the blockbuster that is The Passage. It takes all these sources and creates something new – a world and characters that inhabit your mind.

It’s a sturdy 700 plus pages, but I am rocketing through it and can’t shut my mouth about how compelling it is. I’ve cried, I’ve been left so on edge that the merest sound could make me shriek.  And I’ve read it after midnight.

Mr Stephen King himself recommends it:

Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night. It has the vividness that only epic works of fantasy and imagination can achieve. What else can I say? This: read this book and the ordinary world disappears.

Test out Stephen’s theory by reading this excerpt and get your holds on, and also read the Booksellers NZ post on The Passage and its NZ publication.

Has anyone else read it yet? What’s your verdict?

A rare combination of sweetness and guilt!

Everyone once and awhile you come across a random book by an author that you have never heard of and fall in love. This was my experience of Elizabeth Taylor and her book Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont. No I am not talking of Elizabeth Taylor the famous actress with an insatiable appetite for marriage! My Elizabeth Taylor  was a popular English novelist and a former librarian (Hence her genius).

Taylor’s work is mainly concerned with the nuances of everyday life and situations. Her books have won her a wide audience, including mine as I intend to start making my way through the rest of her books.

The back cover of this book reads like this:

One rainy Sunday in January Mrs Palfrey, recently widowed, arrives at the Claremont Hotel in the Cromwell Road. Here she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are a magnificently eccentric group who live off crumbs of affection, obsessive interest in the relentless round of hotel meals, and undying curiosity. There is Mrs Burton with her mauve-rinsed hair and her drinking; Mrs Arbuthnot, bossy and arthritic; Mr Osmond with his endless stream of letters to the press. Together, upper lips stiffened, teeth gritted, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the grim Reaper. And then one day Mrs Palfrey encounters the handsome young writer, Ludo, and we learn that even the old can fall in love…

This book made me laugh, grimace and sigh. If we are lucky we will get old. This book is a reminder that despite the media’s preoccupation with youth that getting old means change, not oblivion.  Mrs Palfrey has taught me that despite a slowness in gait that may come with age the need for contact and community does not diminish.  So I ask you … when was the last time you saw your elderly relatives?