The Terror

The Terror

A Novel

Book - 2007
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The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.When the expedition's leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape. The Terror 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). With a haunting and constantly surprising story based on actual historical events, The Terror is a novel that will chill you to your core.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., c2007.
ISBN: 9780316017442
Characteristics: 766 p. :,ill., map ;24 cm.


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János_SPPL 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.

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!

johnxlarson 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!

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.

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.

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.

Mar 17, 2015

Foolish of me not to realize this was total fiction to the point of fantasy on a subject of historical importance. Not worth my effort except to prompt me to read the historical facts.

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 07, 2014

Simmons's attention to historical detail is impressive, and with the tale of the Franklin expedition, still shrouded in mystery, he has constructed a supernatural suspense tale that pulses with a sense of dread throughout.

linjacobson Sep 26, 2013

This book, aptly named, was a struggle to read. Unbelievable hardships willingly embraced by early explorers intent on finding the Northwest Passage Not one of my favorite Simmons books but definitely one with a large impact.

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marycatlyons Oct 10, 2017

marycatlyons thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Aug 22, 2016

morrich thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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