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The Hunger by Whitley Strieber

The Hunger (1981)

by Whitley Strieber

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Showing 5 of 5
Not a book I would probably pick up today, but in high school I watched the movie (largely because of the tiny part with Bauhaus, but hey, it's got Bowie and Deneuve, too) and that led me to this. The book cover of the version I read was at least a little bit less ridiculous. ( )
  tercat | Feb 6, 2014 |
Miriam Blaylock is thousands of years old and has moved around the world, from Egypt to Europe to America. She needs to feed, but strangely for one of her kind, she also requires companionship. If humans become like her, she can make them immortal, but Miriam can only delay the aging process, she cannot fight nature entirely - one after another, her accomplices have decayed but not died, forcing her to transform and train another living servant. The answer to her problem seems to be a female scientist researching the link between sleep and ageing, who can perhaps find the antidote to the sudden physical and mental breakdown of her human slaves. Dr Sarah Roberts is on the cusp of discovery, but her last experiment on a rhesus monkey goes horrifically wrong and her funding is withdrawn. Miriam Blaylock's latest companion John is failing fast, and her planned replacement - a young girl who comes for music lessons - has been taken from her. Can Miriam and Sarah use each other to get what they want?

Whitley Strieber's writing is darkly hypnotic, but the premise of the novel is stronger than the superficial characters and slow pacing. Basically, although I don't think the word is actually used, The Hunger is your average vampire novel dressed in scientific theory. Instead of being defeated by advanced knowledge, like Stoker's Dracula, this creature of the night turns to modern science for assistance in keeping her pet humans alive for longer. Miriam is a powerful, sensual, threatening creation, and the various flashbacks that tell her story from ancient Rome to modern day America are almost epic in terms of history and dimension, but her human prey, Sarah and her partner Tom, are bland and flat. Who cares what happens to them? Karma bites Sarah on the ass for torturing that poor monkey in the name of progress - who wants to live forever, I ask you? - and Tom is such a whining, self-centred fool that I was glad when the obvious happened. I'm not sure if the reader is supposed to sympathise with Miriam, but I certainly did - after suffering through needy Tom telling repressed Sarah that he loves her for the ninetieth time, and then sulking when she doesn't respond as expected, I was praying for a swift ending.

I only read this on Kindle because I accidentally borrowed the last book in the trilogy from the library, but if Miriam is going to continue wasting her time on pointless people like Sarah and Tom, I don't know if I'll get that far. ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Apr 26, 2011 |
One of the "new classics" in the vampire genre, written before Whitley Streiber went all weird over alien abductions -- although, as a side note, most of his novels are strange. Maybe believing he had been taken by aliens has something to do with his choice of subject matter. ( )
  avanta7 | Apr 24, 2009 |
Streiber adds to the vampire mythos, introducing a separate species and exploring the loneliness and loyalty of what may be the last of that species. ( )
  hermit_9 | Aug 28, 2008 |
A rather original vampire story, about a lonely vampire who seeks a mate. Unfortunately her mates decline after just a couple of hundred years. Was made into a rather odd movie- the book is better! ( )
  isiswardrobe | Apr 7, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Il y avait dans les cieux un abominable arc-en-ciel.
D'elle, nous connaissions la trame et la texture.
Elle est vouée au morne catalogue des choses ordinaires.
Lamia, John KEATS
L'homme vient, il retourne le champs sous lequel il reposera.
Et après bien des étés meurt le cygne.
Moi, seule la cruelle immortalité me consume...
Tithonus, TENNYSON
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
Annd after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
--Tithonius, Alfred Llod Tennyson
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We knew her woof, her texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.
--Lamia, John Keats
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Pour M.A.
First words
John Blaylock consulta à nouveau sa montre.
John Blaylock checked his watch again.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743431022, Mass Market Paperback)

Eternal youth is a curse for Miriam Blaylock because everyone she loves withers and dies. Now, haunted by signs of her adoring husband's imminent demise, Miriam sets out in search of a new partner, one who can quench her thirst for love and withstand the test of time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:59 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Beautiful and wealthy, Miriam Blaylock enjoys a house in Manhattan's exclusive Sutton Place, priceless antiques, a magnificent rose garden, and an ability to live forever, which inevitably destroys her unknowing lovers.

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