Justin Cronin’s novel, The Passage, released today under a slew of positive advance reviews, is the first in a trilogy of vampire novels set in a post-apocalyptic America. Riding on Stephanie Meyer’s coattails isn’t a bad thing, especially when a recent New York Times article noted that Cronin, a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, previously published two literary novels that garnered him meager financial return, unlike the purported $3.75 million advance he received for The Passage .
In the article, Mr. Cronin states, “I think literary is shorthand for appreciated, and commercial is shorthand for sells. I did not undertake the writing of this book thinking that it was one thing or the other, or even that books in general have to be one thing or the other. Those are descriptions of what happens to a book after it’s written.” There’s no doubt, though, that vampires sell, at least for the time being.