The Terror Hardcover – 1 Feb 2007
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|Hardcover, 1 Feb 2007||
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"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.
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I couldn't put this book down. Right from the start you know Simmons has done his research. I love the way he takes a factual event and mixes it with horror and suspense. Read morePublished 10 days ago
Dan Simmons returns to us with an effective horror tale, set on an Arctic explorer vessel caught in the ice with a frozen terror on the loose. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter Bjørn Perlsø
Reads like an actual history book which adds to the story but also takes away at some points. Also it veers left at the end which is a shame.Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
Not a review (I am sorry if I am breaking the rules) but I thought people interested in this book would like to know, and might not learn elsewhere, that it was announced today... Read morePublished 5 months ago by MoreTears
This is a magnificent book. The full impact of the Franklin Expedition on the sailors is truly frightening. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr Macabre
Fantastic book based very loosely on actual events, the author has intertwined fiction and non fiction very well. Love the story...look up the real HMS Terror.Published 6 months ago by M Watson
Once again Simmons delivers - a master of desperation and horror. Odd thing - I read the book a year after they discovered the Erebus ship, still Simmons has done excellent... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Martin Miliev