Book Review: The Ferryman By Justin Cronin - The Fantasy Review

Book Review: The Ferryman By Justin Cronin

The Wulver Library’s Review of The Ferryman

Publisher’s Blurb

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 labour to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumours 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.

Review of The Ferryman

Review of The Ferryman

The Ferryman is the complex and brilliant story by Justin Cronin that feels like an extension of the Truman Show idea moulded into A Brave New World.

This was a carefully weaved and detailed world that I felt invested in. The measure of the plot is fast-paced and captivating. The characters filled with such emotional depth. The writing style is an enveloping mass of mystery and science. This was not just a novel, but an experience. A pivotal ride in such an unexpected scientific journey, this is the dystopian entertainment that many books strive to be. We examine social and human nature set in a seemingly ideal world managed by the wealthy, served by those less fortunate. There are secrets here, truths to an immersion that requires we pay attention to the story and the themes Cronin has set.

Cronin has established some well-rounded characters and the evolving dynamics were a better part of the story. These were well-written and gave us feeling towards their behaviours. Each had their own mysterious parts that played on their emotions adding to the thoughtful work that Cronin insists we put in. The fantastic immersion of the story and what we discover is so creative and well-crafted that I was genuinely surprised at some of the outcomes.

This was an influential story filled with works of wonder that deserves many re-reads.

Related to our review of The Ferryman

Back to top