Passage

Passage

eBook - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
One of those rare, unforgettable novels that are as chilling as they are insightful, as thought-provoking as they are terrifying, award-winning author Connie Willis's Passage is an astonishing blend of relentless suspense and cutting-edge science unlike anything you've ever read before.

It is the electrifying story of a psychologist who has devoted her life to tracking death. But when she volunteers for a research project that simulates the near-death experience, she will either solve life's greatest mystery -- or fall victim to its greatest terror.

At Mercy General Hospital, Dr. Joanna Lander will soon be paged -- not to save a life, but to interview a patient just back from the dead. A psychologist specializing in near-death experiences, Joanna has spent two years recording the experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and lived to tell about it.

It's research on the fringes of ordinary science, but Joanna is about to get a boost from an unexpected quarter. A new doctor has arrived at Mercy General, one with the power to give Joanna the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.

A brilliant young neurologist, Dr. Richard Wright has come up with a way to manufacture the near-death experience using a psychoactive drug. Dr. Wright is convinced that the NDE is a survival mechanism and that if only doctors understood how it worked, they could someday delay the dying process, or maybe even reverse it. He can use the expertise of a psychologist of Joanna Lander's standing to lend credibility to his study.

But he soon needs Joanna for more than just her reputation. When his key volunteer suddenly drops out of the study, Joanna finds herself offering to become Richard's next subject. After all, who better than she, a trained psychologist, to document the experience?

Her first NDE is as fascinating as she imagined it would be -- so astounding that she knows she must go back, if only to find out why this place is so hauntingly familiar. But each time Joanna goes under, her sense of dread begins to grow, because part of her already knows why the experience is so familiar, and why she has every reason to be afraid....

And just when you think you know where she is going, Willis throws in the biggest surprise of all -- a shattering scenario that will keep you feverishly reading until the final climactic page is turned.


From the Hardcover edition.

Baker & Taylor
A clinical psychologist obsessed with near death experiences, Joanna Lander joins forces with Dr. Richard Wright, a neurologist who has come up with a way to manufacture NDEs in the laboratory with the help of a mind-altering drug, but the experiments may yield far more than she ever anticipated when she volunteers to become a test subject in the experiment. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2002
Edition: Bantam mass market ed
ISBN: 9780307573728
0307573729
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK

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danielestes
Jul 05, 2016

Passage by Connie Willis is a slow, slow buildup to a delightfully unexpected 3rd act that I thought was both audacious and worth the effort to get there (barely). My paperback version is nearly 800 pages. Call me impatient but this story could've easily been told in 300-400 pages. So unless you don't mind what too often feels like plot stalling, know that Passage, expertly written though it is, takes its sweet time.

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starkradio
Apr 04, 2014

This is a brilliant read. I was completely captivated. It's so well-plotted, and the characters are wonderful. Easily her best.

I just love this book.

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lynnie2005
Dec 29, 2012

I loved the book. Yes, Connie Willis get long, but she looks into things. "To Say Nothing of the Dog" caught me by the title, since it's the subtitle of one of my all-time favourite books. She recreates the atmosphere without false notes. She is brilliant!

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LazyNeko
Jun 04, 2012

It starts out promisingly with bustling characters and creepy scenes of near death experiences. Then it suddenly veers into preposterous territory and I couldn't take the story seriously anymore.

k
kalio
Dec 23, 2011

Connie Willis is an acclaimed science fiction writer who happens to love history. Her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novel Doomsday Book sends a graduate student back in time to the Dark Ages; her comic gem To Say Nothing of the Dog mixes the Victorian Era with World War II. In Passage, Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist researching near-death experiences (or NDEs). She?s developed a drug that can stimulate the experience and is working with neurologist Richard Wright on a theory that NDEs are actually a survival mechanism. But when Joanna goes under herself in a stimulated NDE, what she finds is completely unexpected?it?s the Titanic, and neither Joanna nor Richard have any idea what it means. But Willis drops plenty of hints, all the while distracting her protagonists with chance meetings, half-forgotten conversations, and characters as varied as a smart little girl with a severe heart condition to a fellow doctor who wants to use their research to promote his own career. As Joanna explores her strange experience farther and farther, the tension and the mystery build to a fever pitch?and then there?s an intense plot twist just before the ending. Suspenseful and powerful, reading Passage is an unforgettable experience.

MARGARET A BRIGNELL Jul 18, 2011

At first it was really down-to-earth and then suddenly it got creepy. I found the ending confusing.

o
orl_biblio
Apr 13, 2011

Intense and slightly odd novel about research into Near Death Experiences.

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LazyNeko
Jun 04, 2012

"The perfect metaphor," he said, "looming up suddenly out of nowhere in the middle of your maiden voyage, unseen until it is nearly upon you, unavoidable even when you try to swerve, unexpected even though there have been warnings all along. Literature, literature is a warning," he said, and then waveringly, "'No, no, my dream was lengthened after life.' Shakespeare wrote that, trying to warn us of what's coming. 'I passed, methought, the melancholy flood, With that sour ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.'"

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