I managed to get through Stephen King’s “The Stand,” but I certainly would never have wanted to read it again. So, it was unfortunate that I found myself doing exactly that while reading “The Twelve.” The much anticipated sequel to “The Passage” was, in a word awesome. This is if you were looking for an intricately detailed account of multiple characters who appear only for a short time in the aftermath of a plague that much of civilization. Typical of Cronin, the writing was strong and told so many different stories, each with its own voice and purpose. But it was just too much! It began to feel like he was trying to hit 600 pages, rather than tell a cohesive story. I found myself getting frustrated that so much time was spent on the background of characters who only appeared in the novel for a short time. I made it about 200 pages in, which hadn’t even picked up from where the first book left off, before I gave up. Honestly, the word excruciating comes to mind when I think of this gargantuous book. To get through this one, a reader has got to have a lot of patience because the superfluous plots and characters are overwhelming. Next time you play the game, what would you take to a deserted island, you could safely add this book to the list.