'The Passage,' 'Water for Elephants' follow-up among hot titles at BEA

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The Independent Culture

Justin Cronin's The Passage was among the most hyped titles at BookExpo America 2010, reported US trade resource Publishers Weekly as the event wrapped up on May 27. Likened to Stephen King's The Stand, the book has long been pegged as a summer hit, with a glowing review from Stephen King and an advance deal with director Ridley Scott boosting its appeal.

Cronin, a PEN/Hemingway-winning novelist for The Summer Guest, sets his story in a post-apocalyptic United States, after a security breach at a secret US government facility unleashes the product of a military experiment, leaving behind a crumbling civilization of fearful survivors. The Passage is due out June 8 in the US and June 24 in the UK.

Among other talked-about titles at BookExpo America was Sara Gruen's Ape House, the follow-up to her 2006 bestselling historical novel Water for Elephants. The new novel, which book buyer Bill Cusumano calls "better than Water for Elephants," will shift its focus from the circus elephants of Water to a family of bonobo apes. It is due out internationally on September 7.

An estimated 1,500 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors attend BookExpo America, the premier book fair in North America and the largest English-language book fair in the world. Authors and celebrities featured at the 2010 fair included Barbra Steisand, Condoleeza Rice, Jon Stewart, John Grisham, and Christopher Hitchens.

Find more BEA buzz books at: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bea/article/43336-bookexpo-america-2010-the-buzz-books-at-bea.html

The next BookExpo America is set to begin on May 24, 2011.