Justin Cronin and his new book, The Twelve, the second in his series about a viral-induced apocalypse.
The Twelve is an advanced thriller, elevated horror, and epic storytelling. And I say these things not because Cronin used to write literary fiction and has turned to writing about what boils down to vampires, but because while reading The Passage and The Twelve I was in awe of his narrative abilities. The strings he ties and pulls, the plots he weaves but resolves, are all impressive and gymnastic literary feats. At some points in The Twelve, readers might be reminded of the Gollum’s role in destroying The Ring in The Lord of the Rings, or Wormtail’s importance in Harry Potter’s life. Cronin’s plot twists can be that epic, that ingrained in his world building.
Cronin read from the book yesterday at the Tribecca Barnes & Noble, and it was a decidedly un-stodgy event as he told a funny story about his very first reading, took a bunch of questions, and made the crowd laugh. My favorite quote of the night was, “I’ll always write about the same things, I’ll always write about people,” when an audience member asked about the direction he sees his career taking. It’s easy to see why people like The Passage series so much, Cronin enjoys writing about the people experiencing the apocalypse, not the technicalities of it.