Iowa Alumni Magazine | August 2010 | Reviews

The Passage


It's been billed as one of the hottest books of the summer, drawing the attention of everyone from Stephen King to the New York Times. The wildly popular novel— part of a vampire series—is already being developed into a major motion picture.

And that's where the similarities between Twilight and The Passage end.

Written by Iowa Writers' Workshop alumnus Justin Cronin, 89MFA, The Passage chronicles the aftermath of a government project to create the perfect soldier that goes terribly wrong.

With much of the world's population infected by a virus that transforms people into vampires, this post-apocalyptic epic adventure explores questions of what makes us human. Cronin, an associate English professor at Rice University in Houston, stopped by Prairie Lights this past June as part of a 20-city international tour. To see a video of his reading, go to the UI's Writing University website at For more on the book and its author, visit