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The Terror [Kindle Edition]

Dan Simmons
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

The men on board Her Britannic Majesty's Ships Terror and Erebus had every expectation of triumph. They were part of Sir John Franklin's 1845 expedition - as scientifically advanced an enterprise as had ever set forth - and theirs were the first steam-driven vessels to go in search of the fabled North-West Passage.
But the ships have now been trapped in the Arctic ice for nearly two years. Coal and provisions are running low. Yet the real threat isn't the constantly shifting landscape of white or the flesh-numbing temperatures, dwindling supplies or the vessels being slowly crushed by the unyielding grip of the frozen ocean.
No, the real threat is far more terrifying. There is something out there that haunts the frigid darkness, which stalks the ships, snatching one man at a time - mutilating, devouring. A nameless thing, at once nowhere and everywhere, this terror has become the expedition's nemesis.
When Franklin meets a terrible death, it falls to Captain Francis Crozier of HMS Terror to take command and lead the remaining crew on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Eskimo woman who cannot speak. She may be the key to survival - or the harbinger of their deaths. And as scurvy, starvation and madness take their toll, as the Terror on the ice become evermore bold, Crozier and his men begin to fear there is no escape...

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Product Description


"Simmons has created a chilling supernatural novel... the horrific trials of their impending icy deaths are vividly brought to life" (DAILY EXPRESS)

"One of the most remarkable things I've read... nothing short of a masterpiece. It is a bona fide tour de force" (SFREVU)

"I am in awe of Dan Simmons" (STEPHEN KING)

"Go out and buy this book... a fantastic achievement. Gripping, well-observed, and at times genuinely frightening" (SFX)

"A revelation. Dan Simmons is a giant among novelists" (LINCOLN CHILD)

Book Description

The bestselling author of Ilium transforms the story of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition into a devastating historical adventure that will chill you to your core.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1976 KB
  • Print Length: 946 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (27 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JH79D2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,995 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.

Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."

Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.

Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.

Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.

In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling historical thriller 23 Aug. 2008
The Terror is based on the true story of the ill-fasted Franklin expedition to the Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. Two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, set sail to find the passage and were never seen again by white men. Graves and artefacts were found by other later explorers but the story of the hundred plus men will never be fully known.

Simmons cleverly uses this true story as the base for this fantastically thrilling novel. The dark nature of the human psyche is the true monster in this tale, not the huge beast that is methodically slaughtering crew members. The decline of the human body and the human mind is brilliantly explored and proves to be more chilling than the brutal attacks of the white beast. The story is well researched and it's all too easy to imagine yourself there in the dark and the cold, wrapped in clothes that never fully dry out. The invasion of the white Europeans into the lands of the native Inuit is also introduced in this book through the use of Inuit mythology.

This is a large book and the pace is somewhat glacial, if you'll pardon the pun. However, it's well worth the read. Just wrap up warm as you read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves to be a classic. 3 Feb. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first of Dan Simmons' books that I've read, so I don't know what he's like as a science fiction writer (which I gather is how he got his fame), but as a historical fiction writer, Simmons is amazing. I bought this book because I was interested in the Inuit and the arctic and I love anything with a touch of the Victorian. That said, I am not into ships and wasn't sure how I would like a largely naval-themed book...

I was pleasantly surprised. Simmons is a first-rate storyteller with a wonderful sense of pace that pushes the story along even when (and here is my ONLY little niggling gripe with this book) it gets bogged down in regurgitating all the ship research Simmons clearly did before embarking on this story. It is a little bit overly long, but strangely I never felt the desire to abandon it - it was still interesting enough that I kept going, even though I skimmed over some of the ship anatomy details. I had never heard of the Franklin expedition, so I didn't know how much of this was fact and how much fiction. It was so well done that even the mythological monster parts were actually super believable.

Another reviewer felt the story petered out at the end, but I really liked the ending. I thought the emphasis on the Inuit mythology side of things toward the end, and the maybe slightly open-ended feeling really gave the ending of the story an epic feeling that I really liked. In general I felt like this book was on par with some of the greatest classics in literature - it mixes equal parts Moby Dick, Lord of the Flies and Beowulf and throws in the not-so-well covered topic of Inuit mythology and survival in the arctic to create an epic story that stays with you for a long time to come and gives a very vivid account of how things MIGHT have gone for the mystery-shrouded, doomed Franklin expedition. Superb book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold, chilly, frightening and superb 4 Nov. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sir John Franklin, known as `the man who ate his shoes' after his first failed expedition to the Arctic Circle to find the Northwest Passage, has been given one last chance, over twenty years later. Sir John leads an expedition of two vessels reinforced to withstand the crushing might of the ice - HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. While Sir John travels in the flagship Erebus, Captain Francis Crozier commands the Terror. But with no time at all after their arrival in the Arctic, three men are dead of consumption and the ships are trapped for the 1845-46 winter off Beechey Island. The next year they make little progress, finally reaching a standstill off King William Island, so close and yet so far, Sir John is sure, to the entry to the fabled and heartily desired North West Passage.

The Terror evokes with all the power and horror that Dan Simmons' remarkable imagination can bring forth the cold desolation of the lives of approximately 150 men who are trapped within the ice, not for one year but for closer to three. History tells us that fate will not be kind to these men and so the novel resounds with the hollowness of their future and the desperation of their plight. You'd have thought that having to survive within these freezer ships and then cast out on the ice would be enough to contend with but the Franklin expedition is plagued by something else, the `thing' that stalks them, trying to tunnel its way into their vessels, watching them from the ice, stealing men during the endless Arctic winter night, leaving their pieces to terrorise the minds of the rest of the crews.

The Arctic ice is a wide and open place, sea joining with ice into a great land mass, its horizon merging with the enormous sky, the seam hidden by fog, blizzards or whiteout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterful Horror/Sci-Fi Adventure Tale 22 July 2014
I loved reading this book, and was sad to reach it's end. This is a fictional tale of the shipmen on board HMS Terror, on a fateful Arctic expedition in 1845, whose vessel gets stuck in the snow and ice. The story is very loosely based on real historical events, which adds to the drama. 126 men have to fight to survive against the hostile climate and ever diminishing food rations. But the real danger is far worse than this, namely an unseen and incredibly stealthy predator, who is stalking the ship and its crew. As winter approaches, scurvy and starvation take hold, as the men make a bid for escape across the frozen wastelands, always tracked by the malevolent unseen being. This is a long book, close to 1000 pages, but I found it "unputdownable". From start to finish there is nerve-shredding suspense, and the author's vivid portrayal of the arctic landscape and life on board the ship, makes you feel as if you are right there in the thick of things. I had never read Dan Simmons before, and I had no expectations from this book. This made it a delightful surprise to come across this work by accident, discovering a brilliant book which is much less widely known about than it ought to be. I don't like period pieces, and Master & Commander type books/films normally leave me cold, but this book was a remarkable exception. My father read the book on my recommendation, and he was equally impressed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good. I watched a tv program on the expedition ...
Very good. I watched a tv program on the expedition shortly after and was glad to find the book was so accurate as to conditions and the problems encountered (Apart from the... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Zoe G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
One of the best books I have read. Simmons has done his research and has done a fantastic job with the historical parts and melds it perfectly with the fiction.
Published 2 months ago by sly
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Spoiler! No actual yeti.... But it's actually a decent book with an unusual plot
Published 3 months ago by MR D R HINCHCLIFFE
5.0 out of 5 stars beautifully written. Simmons has rendered an utterly unforgiving world...
Meticulously researched, beautifully written. Simmons has rendered an utterly unforgiving world that really brings to life the tragic characters we've heard of, and puts them... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Smo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my favourite novels. Highly recommended. Swift delivery and nicely packaged too.
Published 5 months ago by MR King
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful fictionalised tale of the arctic expedition of the Terror...
Wonderful fictionalised tale of the arctic expedition of the Terror and the Erebus, with a terrifying monster thrown in for good measure. I loved this book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars explify Simmons great ability with set pieces and understanding of the...
I think this has become one of my favourit books. I can understand how some people have complained about the ending, the tension is deflated somewhat but it is a small complaint. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Greatbeast
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally recommend
Fantastic book. What a great read - I couldn't put it down! Based in the true story of the Sir John Franklin Expedition which never returned, this is extremely well researched... Read more
Published 9 months ago by MrsH
4.0 out of 5 stars Bleak Horizon
When the weather is cold, dark and bitter there is no better time of year than to start reading The Terror by Dan Simmons. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Warren Stalley
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could have been much better.

I discovered this book purely by chance. Someone on Twitter recommended I read *The Abominable* by Dan Simmons, but after reading the sample I found... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Alex Roddie
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A question... (spoilers!!!) 3 25 May 2013
Mutiny? (Spoilers!) 1 26 May 2010
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