The Terror

The Terror

A Novel

eBook - 2007
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Grand Central Pub
"Dan Simmons writes with the salty grace and precision of Patrick O'Brian. But in piling supernatural nightmare upon historical nightmare, layering mystery upon mystery, he has produced a turbocharged vision of popular doom." -Men's Journal

Greeted with excited critical praise, this extraordinary novel-inspired by the true story of two ice ships that disappeared in the Arctic Circle during an 1845 expedition-swells with the heart-stopping suspense and heroic adventure that have won Dan Simmons praise as "a writer who not only makes big promises but keeps them" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). THE TERROR chills readers to the core.

"Brutal, relentless, yet oddly uplifting, THE TERROR is a masterfully chilling work." -Entertainment Weekly

"In the hands of a lesser writer than Dan Simmons, THE TERROR might well have dissolved into a series of frigid days and three-dog nights. But Simmons is too good a writer to ignore the real gold in his story-its beleaguered cast." -Bookpage

"Guaranteed to have readers pulling their covers up to their noses, THE TERROR will make for a blood-freezing, bedtime read this winter-and any season thereafter." -Pages

Baker & Taylor
Captain Crozier must find a way for his crew to survive the deadly attacks of a mysterious and insatiable sea monster that is stalking the men trapped in the Arctic ice, in a novel loosely based on the mid-nineteenth-century Arctic expedition originally led by Sir John Franklin. 75,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2007
ISBN: 9780316003889
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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1
1860Colt
Sep 03, 2018

So in depth, you feel like you're one of the men, living and dying along with them. It is well written, and is exactly what I have been searching for for years: a real historical event, but fictionalized with an event that although isn't real, does fit with what might have happened. Only problem, it does tend to drag in a few parts, mostly with a pair of characters who are completely useless and should have been removed due to their zero effect on the overall plot. Also, the ending felt a bit ad hoc, a little different from the t.v. series, but still a tad off. But I do recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and/or a good horror story.

c
Chopper2342
Jun 12, 2018

I started watching the television series based on this book and wanted more. I checked this book out and read it in a few days. It's a fun fictionlized tale of the supernatural surrounding a real historical event. I found the writing to be gripping, and it flowed well. It did drag a bit in some spots, but overall was a good page turner. It also helped me to understand some of the elements of the TV program that weren't fleshed out very well. Overall, I enjoyed this book and the associated TV series quite a bit.

l
lexlothor
Apr 02, 2018

“The Terror”, a novel by Dan Simmons is without equivocation, the single most tedious and dreadful book that I have ever followed down to the bitter end. It is based on the true story of the most harrowing catastrophe in the history of world exploration. This is of course the infamous Franklin Expedition of the 1840’s when two Royal Navy ships “Erebus” and “Terror” were dispatched into uncharted waters in what is today the Canadian Arctic in an effort to find the elusive Northwest Passage. It was thought that two wooden ships equipped with primitive steam engines could travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean between a labyrinth of islands and peninsulas that were frozen into the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean most of the year. The infamy of the Franklin Expedition is the fact that both ships vanished into the Arctic wastes and every man aboard them perished. This is not a spoiler. It is an historic fact.
The known information in this episode are strange and compelling enough to prompt the writing of a fictionalized novel based on these events. That is what I thought that I was getting when I picked up this tome. What I got instead was the equivalent of a “Twilight Zone” episode that just goes on and on and on, seemingly forever. Dan Simmons has hammered the known facts into a bizarre amalgamation of the genres of high adventure, horror and surrealism. It is as though Edgar Alan Poe wrote “Moby Dick” or Maupassant wrote “Treasure Island”.
Imagine that Captain Cook had not been killed by Hawaiians but instead by Godzilla, or that Ferdinand Magellan had been killed by King Kong. It wasn’t the Sioux and the Cheyenne who obliterated Custer and his men at the Little Big Horn. It was the work of werewolves and skin walkers. This is the sort of absurdity one is expected to swallow when the author of “The Terror” tries to tell his readers that Franklin and his men were all slain by some imaginary Eskimo bogyman.
The other dreadful feature of this novel is that the writer seems to take sadistic glee in describing the deaths of almost the entire crew one at a time in gruesome and inventive detail. The result is that the story becomes progressively more ghoulish and ghastly. This book is not so much a thriller as it is a glacially paced tedium to be endured. It took me months to get through this book. I set it down for long periods only to return in the hope that pace would pick up. Oddly enough it does toward the end when the story takes a right angle turn into the ludicrous. There is even an element thrown in on the very last pages that comes out of nowhere. It is as if Simmons ran out of ideas and just threw a few leftover buckets of gore up against the wall to see what would stick.
This book has inspired a ten-part television miniseries produced by Ridley Scott, the director of “Alien” and “Blade Runner”. It appears that the dramatists have walked back a lot of the implausible conjectures and badly bound story structure of the book to make this horror/adventure more palatable (pun intended). Think of it as John Carpenter’s “The Thing” meets “Master and Commander”.

SPPL_János Mar 12, 2018

The story of the lost 1845 Franklin expedition to the Northwest Passage is retold once again, but this time the perils of Arctic exploration are ratcheted up with the presence of a fearsome monster stalking the doomed sailors. Simmons shows a mastery of several genres, stuffing his lengthy tale full of historical details, evocative descriptions of the cold and ice, horrors both realistic and inexplicable, and an allegory about Western civilization's treatment of the environment.

k
Kona9988
Feb 12, 2018

I loved this book! I picked it up because I saw a trailer for the AMC mini series that will be out in March. I loved how the author tied in historical facts into the story. Most of the main characters are real men who were actually on the historical Franklin Expedition. You can tell Simmons put in a lot of research on the topics he writes about including naval history, Inuit folklore, and survival.

This was the first book by Dan Simmons I've read and I'm definitely picking up more!

SPPL_jcl Feb 07, 2018

I enjoyed this book for its mix of historical events and mystical/fantastic elements. I felt the cold seeping in as the crew spent day after day locked in the ice and spiraled further into desperation and fear as supplies ran low and something seemed to be "out there".

Reading this book led me to read more about the doomed Franklin expedition and the true stories of other ships and crews trapped in the unforgiving polar realms.

marycatlyons Oct 10, 2017

Overall, this was a pretty solid read. However, it was like slogging through frozen mud to try and finish it. Not that it wasn't a quality read, but I felt as if I was never going to finish it, despite the fact I would read for hours on end. The ending also left a little to be desired for me personally as a reader and there were moments I felt the author wasn't doing certain characters as much justice as he could have, but alas, it is what it is. If you enjoy mystery, suspense, and a little Stephen King-esque writing thrown into the mix, then this one is for you my friend!

w
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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marycatlyons Oct 10, 2017

marycatlyons thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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