Monday, May 29, 2023

The Ferryman - Justin Cronin

I really enjoyed Justin Cronin's 'Passage' trilogy and have been eagerly awaiting his new tale - The Ferryman to immerse myself in.

Cronin again takes us to a time and place somewhere in the future. There's an island called Prospera that is home to the wealthy. They're supported (or should I say served) by the staff who live in the Annex. And with those two sentences you can surmise what's going to occur, can't you? I'll let you discover how that unfolds.

Cronin gives us a great lead character in Proctor Bennett. He's one of the Ferrymen who guide and accompany 'retiring' residents on their final journey. But his last journey raises questions that Proctor has never before thought to ask...until now. There are many, many other players, all just as uniquely well drown.  

The setting is easy to imagine given the amount of detail Cronin employs. He's a master of worldbuilding. The plot is inventive, very imaginative and easy to get lost in. There are a number of turns in the narrative, that change what I had had thought. This does keep the reader on their toes. And you do need to read carefully as events, people, points of view and settings change often. I was eager to see what the final chapters would bring. Now, as much as I like a good chunkster, I do think The Ferryman could have been tightened up a bit. That last chapter seemed much too long and too twee. 

The narrators were Scott Brick and Suzanne Elise Freeman. I have to say - Scott Brick is one of my favorite readers. His voice is so expressive and versatile. Brick conveys the tone and tenor of Cronin's plot easily, drawing the listener deeper into the story. His voice is easy on the ears, clear and the pace of speaking is just right. Freeman was a new to me reader. She alters her voice to fit the characters that are 'speaking'. She too has an easy on the ears voice, and speaking clearly. An excellent presentation of a great read. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of The Ferryman.

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