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Justin Cronin is an American New York Times bestselling author of horror and science fiction novels.

He is popularly known for writing the runaway bestseller, The Passage Trilogy.

A native of 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 between 1992 and 2003.

Cronin made his breakthrough as a novelist in 2010 with The Passage, which was the inspiration for the FOX TV series by the same name.

He is also the author of Mary and O'Neil (2001), which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize.

Cronin’s books have been published in over 45 languages, selling millions of copies across the globe.

A writer in residence at Rice University, he currently spares his time between Houston, Texas, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

More about Justin Cronin

Genres: Fantasy / SF, Horror

Born: 1962

United States


Non Series

  • Mary and O'Neil (2001)
  • The Summer Guest (2004)
  • The Ferryman (2023)


  1. A Short History of the Long Ball (1995)


  1. The Passage (2010)
  2. The Twelve (2012)
  3. The City of Mirrors (2016)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Mary and O'Neil

Mary and O’Neil: They are like any other couple. They have survived loss and found love and managed the occasional hard-earned laugh as they move toward the future, hearts thick with hope. 

Each human life is ever changing, born of moments large and small—births and deaths and weddings, grave mistakes and chance encounters and acts of surprising courage—and in this unforgettable book, Justin Cronin makes vivid how those moments connect us all, making us more than we could ever be on our own.

Alight with nuance, sly humor, and startling wisdom, Mary and O’Neil celebrates the uncommon grace to be found in common lives

Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0385333597
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
The Summer Guest

On an evening in late summer, the great financier Harry Wainwright, nearing the end of his life, arrives at a rustic fishing camp in a remote area of Maine. He comes bearing two things: his wish for a day of fishing in a place that has brought him solace for thirty years, and an astonishing bequest that will forever change the lives of those around him.

From the battlefields of Italy to the turbulence of the Vietnam era, to the private battles of love and family, The Summer Guest reveals the full history of this final pilgrimage and its meaning for four people: Jordan Patterson, the haunted young man who will guide Harry on his last voyage out; the camp’s owner Joe Crosby, a Vietnam draft evader who has spent a lifetime “trying to learn what it means to be brave”; Joe’s wife, Lucy, the woman Harry has loved for three decades; and Joe and Lucy’s daughter Kate—the spirited young woman who holds the key to the last unopened door to the past.

As their stories unfold, secrets are revealed, courage is tested, and the bonds of love are strengthened. And always center stage is the place itself—a magical, forgotten corner of New England where the longings of the human heart are mirrored in the wild beauty of the landscape.

Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0385335829
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
The Ferryman

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.

Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 2023
ISBN: 978-0593678374
Publisher: Random House Large Print


A Short History of the Long Ball

Narrator Jake Conklin grows up in an affluent suburb, friend of the cosmopolitan Donny Flannigan. Both grapple with their fathers in the painful movement toward manhood. 

Conventional Jake becomes a journalist and writer, marries and fathers a son of his own, but Donny succumbs to heroin addiction and very slowly battles his way out. The pivotal scenes are also the least authentic: Jake's visit to Donny in a chemical-dependency unit, the birth of Jake's child, the resolution of the friends' adolescent rivalry.

Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-0933031234
Publisher: Council Oak Books


The Passage

“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl and risks everything to save her. 

As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

The Passage (TV Series)
Director: Jason Ensler and other directors
Cast: Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Saniyya Sidney, Jamie McShane, Caroline Chikezie, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Brianne Howey, McKinley Belcher III, Henry Ian Cusick, Vincent Piazza, Kecia Lewis, Jason Fuchs
Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0525618744
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Twelve

The end of the world was only the beginning.

In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. 

Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. 

April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight on for humankind’s salvation . . . unaware that the rules have changed. The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man’s extinction. If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.

Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0345542373
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The City of Mirrors

The world we knew is gone. What world will rise in its place?

The Twelve have been destroyed and the terrifying hundred-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew—and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

But far from them, in a dead metropolis, he waits: Zero. The First. Father of the Twelve. The anguish that shattered his human life haunts him, and the hatred spawned by his transformation burns bright. His fury will be quenched only when he destroys Amy—humanity’s only hope, the Girl from Nowhere who grew up to rise against him.

One last time light and dark will clash, and at last Amy and her friends will know their fate.

Author: Justin Cronin
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0425285527
Publisher: Ballantine Books