The Official Description: 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.
Just the facts: Historical fiction, packed with suspense, wonderfully eerie atmosphere and shocking realism. Approximately 29 hours.
The best audiobook narrator joins forces with a master of suspense and atmosphere – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit: Now, there are mixed reviews of Dan Simmon’s book, The Terror, but you’ll find nothing wishy-washy about my opinion. As far as I’m concerned, this book is incredible. I’m not talking about the TV version of this story that has been created recently – it’s good – but it’s like comparing apples and oranges.
What Dan Simmons has done with The Terror is more than just creating a mythical creature to interact with characters on a ship that actually existed. He writes this story in a way that makes the reader fully aware of how terrifying and oppressive everything is to the sailors of the Erebus and the Terror. I’ve seen some reviews in which people have said that the long narratives in this book are boring and monotonous, but I think that’s brilliant. It’s routine and procedure that keeps these sailors alive on the ice for as long as they make it.
There is a wonderful cast of characters in this novel and the marvelous, John Lee is the perfect narrator. His skill with accents is remarkable and I completely forgot while I was listening that I was hearing one voice. I wasn’t hearing one voice, I was hearing the voice of all the characters. John Lee is perhaps, the best narrator I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. I would be happy to listen to anything that he read aloud.
This story is a fictional story stemming from the lost ships, the Erebus and the Terror. It’s more than just the ice and devastatingly cold temperatures that attempts to kill the men in this story. They are being stalked by a horrifying creature. Its strength and size are beyond anything natural and it haunts them, stalks them and follows them. Simmons is a master of writing tension and suspense… and the “attacks” of the monster in this book are terrifying.
If you love audiobooks… I can pretty much guarantee you’ll love this one. It’s worth it for John Lee’s talent alone.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Vivid descriptions of death, murder, blood, gore, physical violence and animal attacks, homophobia appropriate to historical time frame, detailed descriptions of illness, starvation, poisoning, amputation, and autopsy.
Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel.
- Dune written by: Frank Herbert Narrated by: Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, Simon Vance, Ilyana Kadushin Length: 21 hrs and 2 mins
- The Book Thief written by: Markus Zusak Narrated by: Allan Corduner Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
- Call Me by Your Name written by: André Aciman Narrated by: Armie Hammer Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins