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The Terror

A Novel

Simmons, Dan

(Book - 2007)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Terror
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Their captain's insane vision of a Northwest Passage has kept the crewmen of HMS Terror trapped in Arctic ice for two years without a thaw. But the real threat to their survival isn't the ever-shifting landscape of white, the provisions that have turned to poison, or the ship slowly buckling in the grip of the frozen ocean. The real threat is whatever is out in the frigid darkness, stalking their ship, snatching and brutally killing their fellow seamen. Captain Crozier, who has taken over the expedition after the death of its original leader, Sir John Franklin, draws equally on his strengths as a mariner and on the mystical beliefs of the Eskimo woman he's rescued as he sets a course on foot out of the Arctic and away from the insatiable beast. But every day the dwindling crew becomes more deranged and mutinous, until even Crozier begins to fear there may be no escape from an ever-more-inconceivable nightmare.
Publisher: New York : Back Bay Books, 2007
Edition: 1st Back Bay pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780316017459
0316017450
Branch Call Number: FICTION SIMMONS 2007
Characteristics: 771 p. :,maps ;,21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

June. This is a great book about survival (and the failure to survive) on the ice after an expedition to the Arctic runs into terrible trouble. It's good on so many levels-- lots of good characters, there's something creepy out on the ice stalking the crewmen, and there are a ton of interesting f... Read More »

This novel is loosely based on the true story of an Arctic expedition that went terribly wrong in the 1840s. No one actually knows exactly what happened to the Franklin expedition in real life, but in this one, there’s a sea monster.
(Diana's fave)

This is a great book about survival (and the failure to survive) on the ice after an expedition to the Arctic runs into terrible trouble. It's good on so many levels-- lots of good characters, something creepy out on the ice stalking the crewmen, and there are a ton of interesting facts-- about A... Read More »

The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of finding the Northwest Passage. When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice.
Inspired ... Read More »

This novel is loosely based on the true story of an Arctic expedition that went terribly wrong in the 1840s. No one actually knows exactly what happened to the Franklin expedition in real life, but in this one, there’s a sea monster. It’s available on audiobook cd.


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Sep 26, 2013
  • linjacobson rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

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.

Mar 21, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

Mar 06, 2013
  • OldDarth rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

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.

Nov 22, 2012
  • Robert9410 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Oct 24, 2012
  • stormy1960 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Oct 22, 2012
  • Lilith81 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is gnarly, gruesome, agonizing, awesome.

Oct 22, 2011
  • shancock4 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If I had to pick my all-time favourite novel, it would be hard. But, one of the contenders would be this FANTASTIC novel by Dan Simmons. This book has everything - history, adventure, terror (duh) and suspense, gripping horror, amazing characters... I can't go on enough about this book. So well written, the settings and characters leap off the page. The faithful adherence to the true story makes this book seem like an academic tome of sorts, until the story deviates off into the world of "what may have happened to the crew..." Boy o boy, does the book soar at that point! And it was already great up until then! I can't stop thinking about this book and I read it at least five years ago. One of the best ever. Read it. Now.

Jun 20, 2011
  • Mysticara7 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What an amazing mixture of historical fiction, horror and fantasy! All of the characters are well drawn and distinct. Although it's long, it never drags. Each chapter contains a major, or at least interesting event. The only problem was that there are pretty much no transitions into flashbacks, which is sometimes confusing, the second chapter is the best example of this, so don't give up if it makes no sense at that point. The Terror is based on a real event too. Don't look too closely at the maps in the front and back of the book because they contain spoilers. Some of the best death scenes I've ever read are in this book. It's simply amazing.

Oct 26, 2010
  • pinkydoo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Could not put it down. Details of survival in arctic conditions alone would be enough, as the levels of suffering are beyond what I could imagine people could endure. Details of the characters involved also make this an amazing book, as the people have had or have fascinating lives: one sailed with Darwin and had had a bittersweet relationship with another crewman; another (the captain)was a famous but infamously incompetent leader who brought his crew to this white hell. And just when the misery and incidents of the human character rising above this seem to be the entire story, a terrible monster appears and slaughters crewmen. Bodies are found mutilated, crewmen disappear. In the long, dark days and nights of the arctic, they wait to find who will live and who will meet the monster. The ice, moving like a living thing, is slowly crushing the two ships even as the monster is filling the crew's lives with terror and their minds are returning to the primitive fear humans had when they were the hunted and gods and malignant spirits were real. If you like adventure action, monsters which are unique and alien to our culture, the sins and final redempion or final justice of humans, please read this. You won't regret it.

Aug 08, 2010
  • biblioholic rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I'd read Simmons's space SF and enjoyed it, but was not sure what to expect from a novel about Arctic exploration.

I was stunned. I literally had a hard time putting this book down. The sense of inevitability, devolution, and ultimately mystery and, well, terror, engaged me from start to finish.

Simmons's later works, like Drood, have not, in my opinion, hit quite as high a mark. But this one is a gem.

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