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Justin Cronin Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Passage Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Mary and O'Neil (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Summer Guest (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ferryman (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Justin Cronin Biography:

Nineteen hundred and sixty two New England saw the birth of Justin Cronin, an author who would, rather rapidly, rise to success, critical acclaim and award winning heights in American literary society. Cronin continued to reside in New England throughout his childhood and adolescence. Even attending college couldn’t draw him away from his childhood home, he attended Harvard University. Cronin then attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Started in 1936, this creative graduate-level writing program at the University of Iowa has highly sought after programs for prospective writers.

Employment Along the Way

La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was fortunate enough to be Cronin’s employer from 1992 until 2003 He worked there as a creative writing professor and was also the resident author for the university. He he now resides in Houston, Texas, with his wife and children. Since moving to Houston Cronin has been employed at Rice University as an English professor.

Small in Quantity, Big on Quality

Although Cronin has only produced five novels, with a sixth on the way, he has a devout following of adoring fans. Starting in 1990 Cronin began producing his masterpieces with, A Short History of the Long Ball. It was eleven years before he produced another novel but when he did it was a huge hit in literary circles. For Mary and O’Neil Cronin won both the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize from the book of the month. Another of the most prestigious awards that has been bestowed upon Cronin is a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writer’s Award.

Earlier Works

Before writing the vampire horror Passage series Cronin’s writing style produced quiet and sweet works of literary fiction. At times he has been criticized for crossing over from his high literary style to the commercial books he now writes. While Cronin may have moved into writing a different type of book he certainly has not completely abandoned his writing roots. Often one can find references to past writers such as T.S. Elliott or Milton. He has often been recorded stating that in doing this he is staying true to the books and authors that he loves reading.

His first, Mary and O’Neil, was described by one critic as “beautifully beautiful”. In this novel Cronin uses Mary and O’Neil’s children, parents and friends to tell eight separate and different stories. Then, with grace and dignity, weaves them together to tell the remarkable tale of the couple throughout their lives. Mary and O’Neil is a novel that covers so many bases of human emotion and behavior it is hard for the reader to not develop a connection to at least one if not many of the characters. The story begins in 1973 and although Mary and O’Neil are the primary characters they, themselves, do not enter the story until halfway through the book. When they do come onto the page Mary and O’Neil, both of whom have suffered severe emotional traumas that had not yet healed, working as teachers at a Philadelphia high school, wonder how they can ever

trust and love again. Throughout this novel the author makes the reader feel as if he has lived in each of the characters shoes for decades. It is as if each character is the author’s autobiography instead of a fictional individual he created solely for the purpose of the book. Through his writing style, amazing perception and delivery of each character’s emotional perspective Cronin produces a novel that could be about any man or woman. This Everyman writing style endears Cronin to his readers and gives them a feeling of connection to him and his characters.

Three years after Mary and O’Neil, in 2004, Cronin published The Summer Guest. Similar to Mary and O’Neil, The Summer Guest, is told through using many different characters stories to build the plot and reveal the lessons that are to be learned. Set in a rustic fishing community in Maine it appears as if the novel appears as if it going to be about Joseph Crosby, a WWII veteran. Once the reader ventures past the prologue and into the first few chapters it becomes apparent that the author has much more in store for his readers. Across the pages the decades of Joseph’s and his family’s lives begin to take shape. Each with his or her own story to reveal but each is also intertwined with the others as people’s lives are in real life. As the story progresses it is made apparent to the reader that the story is about Joe, Joseph’s son, his wife Lucy and a wealthy businessman, and Harry, that they befriend.

The relationship between the three of them is the propulsion for the novel that, ultimately, sends it to its end with the third generation of the Crosby family, Kate. Along the way the reader is also privy to the lives and relationships of each of the other characters to each other. Cronin uses each chapter to give a different character a voice, a chance to tell his or her story, by having them alternate their narration. By alternating between the characters chapter by chapter Cronin is able to layer and build the story through their intermingling and relationships. Harry, his decades of love for Lucy, and how his story intertwines with the other characters that moves the story along to the present day to enable the ending and conclusion to being to take shape. This story ends with the big secret finally being shared with the reader and leaves the reader wanting for long, slow, lazy summer days in the country.

Making of a Movie Series

Cronin originally started the Passage series of books because of his daughter. She requested that he write a book about a girl that saves the world. Eight hundred pages later that’s exactly what he had done. What else he had done was earn himself a $3.75 million dollar, three book deal. The book was hailed by reader and writers alike. Stephen King had high praise for the book which thrilled its author as he is a big fan of Mr. King’s numerous books.

A Man Content

Throughout the changes in writing style and genre, fame and money Justin Cronin has remained much the same as he always. A quiet man that most enjoys being a homebody with his family and his books.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Justin Cronin

One Response to “Justin Cronin”

  1. robyn: 2 years ago

    I read all three of Justin’s Cronins Books.. these were true gems.


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