The Terror

The Terror

A Novel

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
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Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2007.
ISBN: 9780739485811
9780316017442
9780316017459
Branch Call Number: FICTION SIM

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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 05, 2017

Simmons writes well, but this book was way, way, way too long. At 750 pages, there were many back-stories I could have done without (and did, skimming many parts), and lots of repetitive passages. Chapters jump around between characters and in time, which is a little disconcerting at first, but effective. The pages from the surgeon's "notebook" are particularly worthy of skimming once the halfway point is reached. Not quite as exhausting to read as it probably was dragging boats across pack ice, but it was a chore to finish it.

e
ebotsikos
Sep 13, 2015

Loved this book! Dan Simmons takes the mystery surrounding the Franklin expedition and offers up his own interpretation. So is this historical? Absolutely. Very well researched. Is it fiction? Yes. On some level it has to be as each historical character speaks in his own voice. Is it supernatural? Somewhat. There is this supernatural monster out on the ice after the crew. Is it horror? Definitely! Even without the supernatural monster prowling around, the incredible trials, pain, hardships, acts of murder, madness and cannabilism suffered by the crew of the Franklin expedition in an icy hell can only be described as horror. The only part that I tried my patience was the author's indepth explaination of the Innuit cultural and spiritualist beliefs that preceded the last chapter. That part I could have done without. The story also kinda ends in a fade out happily-ever-after scene which can be a little off-putting after the page-turning action. Note: You also have to watch out for the author's tendency to use 'flashback' chapters. For instance, in one chapter, Cpt Franklin had died but in the next chapter, there he was alive. Had to flip pages back and forth until I realized that you have to make note of the dates and location at the top of each chapter to align yourself in the timeline.
Other than these criticisms, this was a great book and would highly recommend it, especially to history and naval buffs.

i
Ivansdad
May 27, 2015

Simmons creates an amazing sense of dread that builds throughout the text. I found the book descriptive, yet economically worded. It's an interesting story, beautifully told. Fully satisfying.

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IV27HUjg
Mar 17, 2015

Foolish of me not to realize this was total fiction to the point of fantasy on a subject of historical importance. Not worth my effort except to prompt me to read the historical facts.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 07, 2014

Simmons's attention to historical detail is impressive, and with the tale of the Franklin expedition, still shrouded in mystery, he has constructed a supernatural suspense tale that pulses with a sense of dread throughout.

linjacobson Sep 26, 2013

This book, aptly named, was a struggle to read. Unbelievable hardships willingly embraced by early explorers intent on finding the Northwest Passage Not one of my favorite Simmons books but definitely one with a large impact.

b
becker
Mar 21, 2013

This is historical fiction with a twist. It's basically a survival story of the Franklin Expedition when they become frozen into the ice while in pursuit of the discovery of the Northwest Passage to the Arctic Sea. The twist in the story which comes in the form of a mythical monster that stalks them on the ice is very well done. This is a long but captivating read.

l
LouWSytsma
Mar 06, 2013

Simmons once again researches the hell out of this era of historical exploration and paints a vivid picture of what it must have been like for those poor devils trapped in the ice.

Unfortunately it's a lot of buildup and background to set up what turns out to be, for me, an unsatisfying conclusion.

Robert9410 Nov 22, 2012

This books is well written; it's the kind of book in which you could slink under the bed sheets and read for hours - if you have the time. It's NOT a "bubble-gum" novel. Simmons writes with exceptional skill (ala "classical" writers) and the pace is not bipitty bop this happens... and then that. Because of the author's writing style, the pace of action is somewhat slow. If you are into history, mixed with supernatural, mixed with suspense... you will like this book.

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stormy1960
Oct 24, 2012

The only reason I can think of for this book not having won tons of awards is that the jurors would not be able to figure out what to do with it. Horror? Mystery? History? maybe Scifi? Who cares. This is a masterpiece of storytelling, completely aligned with the time, location and cultures of the story being told. Unlike anything you'll find on most award winners lists and worth reading all 900+ pages for just that reason.

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morrich
Aug 22, 2016

morrich thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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