The Ferryman by Justin Cronin

The Ferryman by Justin Cronin Book Summary


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Next to impossible to put down . . . exciting, mysterious, and totally satisfying.”—STEPHEN KING
From the author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn't what it seems.

Founded by the mysterious genius known as the Designer, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. Then they retire themselves, embarking on a ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh. 

Proctor Bennett, of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding people through the retirement process—and, when necessary, enforcing it. But all is not well with Proctor. For one thing, he’s been dreaming—which is supposed to be impossible in Prospera. For another, his monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast. And then comes the day he is summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry.

Meanwhile, something is stirring. The Support Staff, ordinary men and women who provide the labor to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumors spreading of a resistance group—known as “Arrivalists”—who may be fomenting revolution. 

Soon Proctor finds himself questioning everything he once believed, entangled with a much bigger cause than he realized—and on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.

The Ferryman Book Details

Book Name The Ferryman
Genre Mysteries & Thrillers
Author Justin Cronin
Published 02 May 2023, Tuesday
Price $13.99
E-Book Size 9.45 MB

The Ferryman by Justin Cronin Book Reviews

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Superb. Cronin’s writing is magical. His stories are intricate and within this framework he builds stories that celebrate life in its horrors and beauties, it’s magic and wonder. In this case, I wish I could ingest a memory erasing drug so I could read it again for the first time.


Another Stellar Outing for Justin Cronin. The Ferryman contains multitudes: Part dystopian novel, part sci-fi exploration of eternal human themes, part detective story, and part action-packed thrill ride, it is a compelling examination of interpersonal relationships, resilience, and human consciousness. When the story starts, there is no real build-up—the story drops the reader right into this world Cronin has created, which is similar enough to our own that we can relate to its inhabitants even while sensing that something isn’t quite right. The result is a novel that is labyrinthine but never really confusing. All threads are kept distinct, even as they intertwine through multiple timelines, shifting perspectives, and narration that switches from first to third person and back again. Proctor Bennett, the ostensible hero, is likable and competent. His actions are understandable and internally consistent with what we know of his character and his experiences in the world he inhabits. As the story develops, it takes on a Truman Show quality where the seemingly perfect world starts to show its seams and the characters all present a facade that masks their true natures and motivations. Cronin has a real facility for making up worlds and then putting characters into them that act in ways that are perfectly understandable while never being exactly predictable. His creativity is, of course, a strong suit, but he has an uncanny ability to write believable dialogue and descriptive passages with just the right amount of detail and depth. I thoroughly enjoyed The Ferryman. It touches on many relevant issues, such as the looming threat of climate change, the human tendency to foster and exploit class distinctions, and the struggles associated with personal loss. This was a meaningful meditation on deep themes and a wonderful book. I am grateful to NetGalley, Ballantine, and Random House for the opportunity to read and review The Ferryman.


Excellent read. Excellent book! Spent many nights staying awake with this book. Being tired for work was well worth it!


A Heartbreaking Disappointment. I have to start this review by acknowledging that I was and continue to be a huge justin Cronin fan. His Passage trilogy was incredible; so incredible that had to read it again, three or four years after I had read it the first time. This, however… What a gigantic, heartbreaking disappointment. At times Logan‘s Run, at other times The Matrix, with a tiny bit of superficially developed space opera moments, and a dash of 1984 for (not so) good measure, The Ferryman - to me, at least - seems to occupy an undecided and often scattered position between paying homage to some storytelling classics and lazily imitating them. Yet its lack of originality is perhaps something I could have overlooked somewhat, had Cronin maintained his writing style. In The Ferryman, long gone are the lyrical, glorious, breathtaking, emotional parts of the Passage trilogy. The writing is prosaic, wooden, and unoriginal. At times, I wondered if Cronin had become a Dan Brown wannabe, a writer who had abandoned complexity and sophistication and frankly, the courage to write in a way that challenges the reader, all for the sake of making his writing more accessible and therefore sell more books. It is all heartbreakingly disappointing. And since there are no negative star ratings, I shall have to equate this (lack of) literary effort to a Marvel sequel: clichéd, repetitive, and idle.


His best book!. By far an outstanding read.


Mind blowing. Phenomenal from the genius mind of Justin Cronin

Reads Sci Fi

Ferryman. What a read, what an amazing journey!

Attn Patients!

Not a page turner but very good.. And an interesting story too…


Great story, writing is a little off. I consider The Passage Trilogy to be in the top tier of sci-fi/horror/dystopian literature. So I came to The Ferryman with very high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed in the story at all. The book is absolutely worth reading for the story. Bu I found his writing to be a little choppy in places, almost as though the book didn’t quite make it through enough editing. Still, a great story.

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Justin Cronin - The Ferryman Comments

5 Books like The Ferryman (Justin Cronin)

About Author "Justin Cronin"

Justin Cronin (born 1962) is an American author. He has written six novels: Mary and O'Neil, The Ferryman, and The Summer Guest, as well as a vampire trilogy consisting of The Passage, The Twelve and City of Mirrors. He has won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, the Stephen Crane Prize, and a Whiting Award.Born and raised in New England, Cronin is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He taught creative writing and was the "Author in-residence" at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1992 to 2003. He is a former professor of English at Rice University, and he lives with his wife and children in Houston, Texas.In July 2017, Variety reported that Fox 2000 had bought the screen rights to Cronin's vampire trilogy. The first book of the series, The Passage, was released in June 2010. It garnered mainly favorable reviews. The book has been adapted by Fox into a television series, with Cronin credited as a co-producer. Bibliography A Short Histor....

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