Prepare for 'The Passage': blog, excerpt, viral videos
Before Justin Cronin's
The Passage releases internationally in June, anxious readers can tune into a fictitious blog, watch a series of viral videos, and read an excerpt from the post-apocalyptic saga that's being pegged as the summer's hottest read.
Coming in at more than 750 pages, The Passage is set in the United States after a security breach at a secret government facility unleashes the product of a military experiment, leaving behind a crumbling civilization of fearful survivors. The first book in a trilogy, it focuses on the story of one survivor, a girl named Amy.
The Passage's reputation long precedes its publication date, with Stephen King giving advance praise and Ridley Scott expected to direct a film adaptation. King, whose The Stand is a likely influence, calls the book an "enthralling, entertaining story wedded to simple, supple prose, both informed by tremendous imagination...read this book and the ordinary world disappears."
To pique readers' curiosity, The Passage is being marketed with movie-industry-like viral techniques that offer a wealth of pre-release watching and reading. FindSubjectZero.com is an extensive blog created by a fictitious computer programmer named Paul who writes, "I'm not [sure] how much of what's coming out of the media is true, but let's face it - if the disease is really spreading like they say it is, we're going to need to figure out where it originated." The site is filled with frequent blog spots, proposed initiatives for dealing with "the spread," and several Blair Witch-style videos under a tab titled "Evidence."
Stephen King also says of the book, "Read fifteen pages and you will find yourself captivated; read thirty and you will find yourself taken prisoner and reading late into the night." With this in mind, readers can find a 15-page excerpt of the novel at:
The Passage is due out on June 8 in the US and on June 24 in the UK.
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