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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Passage



I've been wanting to re-read Connie Willis' book Passage for a long time but it hasn't been in audio and I haven't been able to read the small print of the paperback. But I just received a kindle as a gift, and the first book I bought to read with it was Passage ... the kindle makes the font size so large that even I can read it ...



Passage is a science fiction novel by Connie Willis, published in 2001. The novel won the Locus Award for Best Novel in 2002 .... Connie Willis's inspiration for Passage came in part from her mother's death, when Willis was 12. Willis felt frustrated that relatives and friends tried to comfort her with platitudes, so she wanted to write a novel that dealt with death honestly and could help people understand the process of death and mourning. - Wikipedia

Here's the beginning of a review of the book at Salon.com ....

“Passage” by Connie Willis
By Laura Miller

Connie Willis’ “Passage” is a suspense novel in the same way that Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is a slasher movie; it defies the genre while still delivering its thrills. I’m tempted to dub “Passage” a neurological detective story with metaphysical leanings, but even that description goes too far in nailing down this mercurial work. I’m sure, though, that it’s one of the smartest books I’ve read in years; its construction is a marvel of ingenuity and — what’s even more remarkable, given the wizardry of Willis’ storytelling — its intellectual honesty is impeccable.

“Passage” begins on a typically frazzled workday for Joanna Lander, a research psychologist who works at a large, rambling city hospital and who has for two years been collecting the oral accounts of people who have “coded” — become clinically dead — and then returned to life: near-death experiences. Richard Wright, a new neurologist at the institution, asks her to team up with him in his studies of a drug that can simulate an NDE. Richard uses a new technology called a “RIPT scan” that “simultaneously photographs the electrochemical activity in different subsections of the brain for a 3-D picture of neural activity in the working brain. Or the dying brain.” He can manage the technological aspects of the research, but he needs her to help him map the images in the RIPT scans to the distinctive sensations reported by people undergoing NDEs ...


I'm just getting started on the book but the memory of it from the first time I read it has kind of haunted me. I wonder all the time what will happen after I die, if anything will happen, so the subject matter was challenging in that it wasn't a feel-good amalgam of new age near-death memoirs ... it was actually almost frighteningly mysterious. Or so I remember - guess I'll have to see if it strikes me the same way again. I'm just glad I have another chance to read it once more.


1 Comments:

Anonymous Victor said...

crystal, forgive me for writing here but I sure hope they catch who ever is responsible for your identity theft and with today's technology, I don't see how they could'nt cause until they do, it is not fair to you and especially the people who run these blogs.

Victor

1:43 PM  

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