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A riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn’t what it seems.

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.

Read an Excerpt

The dream was always the same.

I am swimming in the sea. Below the surface, breath held, I push my way forward through a liquid, blue-­green world. My limbs feel clean and strong, my strokes effortlessly powerful; sunlight shimmers on the surface, far above.

On a trail of exhaled bubbles, I ascend. The sun is setting, making ribbons of color against a purpling dome of sky. Drawn by an unknown influence—­my actions are neither voluntary nor involuntary, they simply are—­I swim away from shore. Night falls slowly, then all at once, whereupon I experience a terrible sense of error. This is all a grand mistake. I pivot toward shore to find no lights anywhere; the land has disappeared. Panicked, I spin wildly in the water, all sense of direction obliterated. I am alone in an infinite sea.

“You don’t have to be afraid, Proctor.”

A woman is swimming next to me with a smooth breaststroke, her head held erect above the surface, like a seal’s. I cannot make out her face; her voice isn’t one I know. Yet there is something about her presence that fills me with a great calm. It is as if I have been waiting for her; at last she...

Excerpted from The Ferryman by Justin Cronin. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


“A feat of addictive storytelling.” —The Wall Street Journal

The Ferryman is next to impossible to put down once you’ve read the first few pages. Exciting, mysterious, and totally satisfying, this is a book to get lost in.” —Stephen King

“A mind-bending novel full of big ideas and a roller coaster’s worth of twists and turns—so powerful and thrilling!” —Andy Weir

“Fiction doesn’t get better than this. A transcendent meditation on the human condition, delivered through gorgeous prose, characters who steal your heart, and riveting storytelling that is guaranteed to put the rest of your life on hold until you’ve turned the final page.” —Blake Crouch

“Cronin’s shrewd world-building allows us to have it both ways: We sink into aspirational fantasy even as we relish the author’s sly commentary on a certain species of coastal elite.... It’s a careful book with a limited cast, animated by the bonds of parental and romantic love. An undercurrent of grief, organized around a pure, almost unobjectionable family tragedy, forms the book’s emotional core.” —The New York Times Book Review 

“An intricate mystery that deals with loss and devastation on levels both personal and global. It’s a love story as well, or rather a catalog of love stories.” —The Boston Globe

“A wondrous epic both brilliant and...

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