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Comment: Ex-library book. PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASE. This is an ex-library book and therefore has stamps throughout. It is also likely to have considerable shelf-ware. It is however still in useable condition, and a great read. Thanks. Well-loved but cared for, and still very readable. The previous owner has certainly very much enjoyed reading this book more than once, therefore please be aware there will be some creasing on the spine or slight shelf wear. If it's been in their collection for some time, say years old or more, some pages might be discoloured and there may be other minor age blemishes, but that won't affect its readability. Shipped from the heart of the British countryside this book will leave our library within a day or two of your order and be with you shortly thereafter.
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The Terror Hardcover – 1 Feb 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593057627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593057629
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 5.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 616,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"THE TERROR is both dazzling history and a sparkling chiller." Caroline Leavitt, "People""

"The best and most unusual historical novel I have read in years." Katherine A. Powers, "Boston Globe""

"THE TERROR is nothing less than a revelation. Dan Simmons is a giant among novelists, and I am in awe of his achievement."
Lincoln Child" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise of The Terror is the ill-fated Arctic expedition, led by Sir John Franklin, of the 1840s. I must admit I knew nothing about the expedition beyond the basics when I read this novel, and as such I got a little lost when the point of view switches characters, but some research soon cleared that up.

This novel is meant to be historical fiction instead of a factual account, and in that regard it excels. Most of the characters are based on members of the real Franklin expedition, including the protagonist(s). Not wanting to spoil the plot, I'll say that the (fictional) encounters with native Inuits and the mysterious beast stalking the men are seamlessly woven into an historical context.

The plot itself is a marvellous one; gripping and page-turning without resorting to cheap shock moments. The characters are well-established, and you feel a genuine pang of sadness if one dies. I read the whole 950-odd pages in under three days, not because it's a skim-read book (it isn't), but because I was so drawn in. The plot is exciting, with much of the "I have to know what happens next!" of good storytelling.

However, this is not a perfect book. There is no one major bad point, just a few little niggles that conspire to knock a star off the rating.

Firstly, and I understand this is a copy error not a writer error, the proofreading in the paperback copy was shoddy. There are more than a few cases of words running together - "theanimal" - and the typist often uses a quotation mark (") to mark plural possessive (childrens") instead of an apostrophe or other mark. Obviously this is a printer error and not Simmons' error, but it does detract from the story and stop you being drawn in when it happens.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
To be honest, I never thought I would enjoy this novel as much as I did. The Terror was meant to be some sort of break from my preferred speculative fiction picks. The book being based on the true story of the ill-fated Franklin expedition, I was expecting a detailed historical thriller. The Terror is indeed that, and then some! I should have known that an author such as Dan Simmons would have integrated a few "fiction" elements to the mix.

What is beyond the shadow of a doubt the most brilliant facet of this novel is the fact that it reads like a firsthand account. The acknowledgements at the end of the book demonstrate the kind of extensive research which was required to produce such a detailed work. Still, it took a master storyteller to weave all those disparate elements into such an excellent whole. À la Patrick O'Brian, Dan Simmons literally plunges the reader into the day-to-day life aboard HMS Erebus and Terror. Sailors, it seems, at least based on a number of references, share a proclivity for farting. . . As one reads along, you can definitely feel all an expedition through Arctic ice encompasses. Moreover, Simmons captures the frigid landscape and the Siberian temperatures beautifully. The narrative conveys the bone-chilling cold and its repercussions on the two ships and their crews in a manner I've never encountered before.

The characterizations are "top notch," another aspect which makes The Terror a "must read." Much like George R. R. Martin, most of Simmons' chapters showcase a different POV character. Witnessing the crews' struggle for survival through the eyes of such contrasting characters makes for an even better reading experience.

My only complaint would have to be that the book is at times overlong.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When the weather is cold, dark and bitter there is no better time of year than to start reading The Terror by Dan Simmons. The book is a lengthy historical horror novel following the events of the HMS Terror and its sister ship Erebus, two 19th Century exploration sailing ships trapped in the polar ice of the Arctic Circle and stalked by a mythical snow creature. When the crew have to abandon their ships the morale and order descends even further into chaos as murder and treachery take hold. By shifting perspective between various crew members a growing sense of horror is gradually revealed. Rich in detail The Terror is a book which demands patience on the part of the reader to really appreciate its strengths and terrifying depths. Despite the staggering length of the book I was surprised how easily I sailed through the story, relishing the chilling world that the author has created although the mystical themed ending was a bit disappointing. To conclude The Terror is an immense and involving novel that leaves a strong cold impression long after you’ve finished reading.
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