23 Apr

Little, Brown and Company Hachette Book Group USA First Edition hardbound 2007 Historical Fiction horror 769 pages

The imagery and atmosphere in this book are brilliantly written in stark and chilling detail. This is, after all, based on the very real Captain Sir John Franklin’s expedition through the Canadian Arctic in search for the Northwest Passage.

During the mission of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, 129 seamen, and these two Royal Navy Ships, disappeared after having been sighted for the last time in Baffin Bay in the year 1845. Dan Simmons weaves fact with his own imagination, and gives us a theory of what could have possibly happened to these men and these two ships that, as to date, have never been recovered save for a few artifacts and the remains of some dead bodies. In real life, a timeline has been loosely established through these artifacts and human remains.


In the book, there is a thing that lies in wait for the men as they make their way, between the moored ships, on the pack ice in temperatures of 100 below zero. Some of the men are succumbing to scurvy; others from lead poisoning; and still others dead from horrific mutilations caused by a monster that is tracking them. There is also a side story about a mysterious Esquimaux (Eskimo) woman (witch) known as Lady Silence, who is somehow able to kill Bear and Seal for her own sustenance while the men‘s provisions are dwindling, and they are starving.

The narratives, which are graphically told from the perspective of some of the main characters, begins to falter about three quarters of the way through where the storyline becomes confusing and doesn’t seem to make any sense at all. This book is excruciatingly long with an ending that baffles and disappoints. And yet, I will be brooding over this tome for a long time to come. Fascinating.



4 Responses to “THE TERROR”

  1. echooutside April 23, 2014 at 8:59 p04 #

    This is one of my favorite books! 🙂 It scared me so badly when I first read it.

  2. Verity April 24, 2014 at 8:59 p04 #

    Sounds great and the Franklin expedition is very interesting. I read a completely different novel that also dealt a bit with this same expedition and I really enjoyed this element of the story. It was called The Ice Child by Elizabeth McGregor. I’d like to give this novel a try. Great post 🙂

    • WORDMAN April 24, 2014 at 8:59 p04 #

      Thank you my dear. I am certain you will be enthralled, but be prepared, it is a very long book!



    […] many books?).  Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot of interest in The Goldfinch, but on the heels of The Terror by Dan Brown, and it’s bazillion pages, I really don’t think I’m up for another marathon so […]

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