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Most of us would rather not spend a lot of time contemplating death, but the characters in Connie Willis's novel Passage make a living at it. Joanna Lander is a medical researcher specialising in Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and how the brain constructs them. Her partner in this endeavour is Richard Wright, a single-minded scientist who induces NDEs in healthy people by injecting a compound that tricks the brain into thinking it's dying. Joanna and Richard team up and try to find test subjects whose ability to report their experiences objectively hasn't been wrecked by reading the books of pop-psychologist and hospital gadabout Maurice Mandrake. Mandrake has gained fame and fortune by convincing people that they can expect light, warmth, and welcoming loved ones once they die. Joanna and Richard try to quantify NDEs in more scientific terms, a frustrating exercise to say the least.
The brain cells started to die within moments of death. By the end of four to six minutes the damage was irreversible, and people brought back from death after that didn't talk about tunnels and life reviews. They didn't talk at all... But if the dying were facing annihilation, why didn't they say, "It's over!" or, "I'm shutting down"?... Why did they say, "It's beautiful over there," and, "I'm coming, Mother!"
When Joanna decides to become a test subject and see an NDE firsthand, she discovers that death is more and less than she expected. Readers are in for some shocks as Willis reveals the secrets and mysteries of the afterlife. Unfortunately, several running gags--the maze-like complexity of the hospital, Mandrake's oily sales pitch and a tiresomely talkative World War II veteran--threaten the pace of the story near the middle. But don't stop reading. We expect a lot from Willis because she's so good, and Passage's payoff is incredible--the ending will leave you breathless, and more than a little haunted. Passage masterfully blends tragedy, humour and fear in an unforgettable meditation on humanity and death. --Therese Littleton, Amazon.com -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
“A true heir to John Donne, Kurt Gödel and Preston Sturges, a wit with a common touch who’s read more great books, and makes better use of them in her work, than two or three lit professors put together.”
“Willis has developed an idea that bears all the authority of a genuine insight: disturbingly plausible, compelling, intensely moving, and ultimately uplifting.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Thoughtful, often fascinating ... Willis makes Lander’s journeys into the afterworld increasingly frightening and compelling.”
— Chicago Tribune
Also by Connie Willis:
To Say Nothing of the Dog
Miracle and Other Christmas Stories
Available wherever Bantam Books are sold
Dieses Buch ist vor allem eines: Langatmig und langweilig. Selbst die grosse Enthuellung am Ende entteauscht lediglich. Dazu kommen heftige logische Fehler. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 30. Mai 2012 von A. Wagner
C. Willis entwickelt eine interessante Geschichte, Respekt vor diesen Ideen und Assoziationen. Trotzdem hätte es dem Buch gut getan, wäre es deutlich gekürzt worden. Lesen Sie weiter...Veröffentlicht am 28. August 2009 von Fachonkotusse