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The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
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The Strain (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0282401,875 (3.62)176
Member:angelikat
Title:The Strain
Authors:Guillermo del Toro (Author)
Other authors:Chuck Hogan (Author)
Info:Pymble, NSW ; New York : HarperCollins, 2009.
Collections:Your library, Horror, Ghosties & Thingys, Fiction
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Vampires, Infectious Disease, CDC, Horror

Work details

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (2009)

  1. 160
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (Joles)
    Joles: The authors treat vampires in a similar light. The Strain could very well be what leads up to Matheson's I Am Legend.
  2. 72
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (smiteme, questionablepotato)
  3. 40
    Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry (Joles)
    Joles: Undead creatures that reanimate with a nice bit of real-world science thrown in.
  4. 20
    Draculas by Jack Kilborn (Scottneumann)
  5. 20
    Swan Song by Robert McCammon (Phantasma)
    Phantasma: you could say They Thirst would be a more likely reccomendation for this vampire novel. But I think the post-apocalyptic Swan Song is much more closesly related.
  6. 21
    Children of the Night by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  7. 10
    Feed by Mira Grant (trav)
  8. 10
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  9. 10
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  10. 00
    Uprising: Vampire Federation by Sean McCabe (mamaove)
    mamaove: Good versues evil theme with vampires
  11. 00
    Live Girls by Ray Garton (dante414)
  12. 00
    The Missing by Sarah Langan (ahstrick)
  13. 11
    Wizard And Glass by Stephen King (kraaivrouw)
  14. 11
    Necroscope by Brian Lumley (leahsimone)
  15. 00
    Salem's Lot by Stephen King (Moomin_Mama)
    Moomin_Mama: Those who enjoyed the undead returning to their original homes, and the horror of the vampire in a domestic setting, will love Salem's Lot, which did it first and did it a lot better.
  16. 12
    The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (ShelfMonkey)
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» See also 176 mentions

English (233)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (244)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
The Strain starts strong, real strong. So strong in parts I got goosebumps. That Mr Leech is here part? Awesome!

Then about half way it has a bit of a stumble and the tone of the book seems to change.

The premise of the book is vampirism from a scientific / virus angle and traces it's roots to events in Europe. The story is written in a realistic manner which gives a feeling that it really could be possible as opposed to the fantastical writing of some vampire type novels.

You can definitely tell it's written for a trilogy, the end is a pause more than a resolution.

Overall, 4.5 / 5 stars. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Aug 7, 2016 |
There’s very little new in The Strain but it’s a well put together horror romp which successfully revitalises an old genre. Obviously intended to be adapted for the screen (it’s written by a film director after all, and has indeed been transformed into a TV series), this novel re-treads an old story in the modern style. It mixes familiar themes and gore-soaked scenes that are perfect for rapid reading.

The second half of the book doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the first, however. The opening chapters are the best realised, with a possibly-contaminated jet plane being inspected by CDC officials, unaware of the plague they are about to unleash. The tension runs high initially, with the action slicing between the core characters and the spooky plane. However, once the contagion spreads then the creativity stalls and much of the plot re-tells a standard story with only a few creative embellishments – although the finale is extremely satisfying.

SPOILER ALERT: it’s nigh-on impossible to say more about The Strain without mentioning the subject of the book. So if you want to read more detail, hop over to:
http://murdermayhemandmore.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/the-strain-scary-vampires-no...

Expect plenty of gore, some gruesome bits, zero sex, lots of fast action and a decent set up for the second book in the trilogy. I have high hopes for the next book in the series (The Fall, which is followed by The Night Eternal).

Having done all the predictable stuff in the opening episode, maybe the authors can move on to fresher ground and explore some more of the interesting scenario they've created. I'll definitely be looking out for book two, and the TV series.
8/10
( )
  RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
SOOOO scary. Very quick, easy read. Could not put it down, heart beating too fast. Cannot wait for the next one. ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |

“...to all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone.”

While the Strain may deliver a nifty TV show, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a great book.

While that may sound contradictory, trust me, that’s the way it read. Guillermo del Toro is used to making movies and you can feel the sense of 'scene changes' in the book. You can tell it's for the sake of reading the story and plot rather than reading through character's experiencing story and plot. Lots of tell, little show, there is no sense of care or realism with the paper people.

I watched an episode of the TV show, which worked because they made the characters come alive, but also because this story isn't done in TV show format much. Yeah, we get the popular vampire strains in True Blood and Vampire Diaries, but how often recently have we gotten TV shows about bad vamps like this on the TV screen? Since it’s not done to death, it works for watching – but in book form, the story has been sucked dry, so it needs other redeeming qualities to keep people returning for more.

For the TV media it was new and inventive. In book form it is dull and so overdone that I couldn't bring myself to care. There were no surprise twists, I didn't care about the victims, the story was stale. I could predict most of the events that took place as they came around. To stay fresh and intriguing, this book at least needed fleshed-out characters I cared about. Instead we get semi-dry people who blended together after a while. Having a custody battle thrown in wasn’t fun either.

It didn't help that I'd seen the show first - no surprises in store for me - but the dry writing combined with the familiar plot makes this one an average read. If you’re a die hard fan of the show you may be impressed, but for me? I needed more substance.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
3.5 stars

This was a reread for me, well actually a relisten (is that a word?); I read it when it was first released in 2009, and listened to the Audible version this time around. Someday I may even watch the TV show.

Just about everyone knows who Guillermo del Toro is: the genius filmmaker of the dark and fantastic. It’s no surprise his first fictional jaunt is The Strain, complete with the expected ghastly atmosphere. This is a suspenseful story of a vampiric infection threatening to engulf all of New York City in a tale that is half horror and half police procedural. Yes, you read that right.

The story itself is huge, following about a dozen characters through the initial stages of the vampire invasion. While there is a truck-load of vampire clichés, for the most part, it works. The vampires are creatures of the night; they aren’t glitzy angst-ridden teenagers, they are horrific monsters on the hunt. Boiled down, it’s the story of an ancient vampire being hunted by a Van Helsing character.

As I said earlier, I listened to the Audible version. I don’t often reread books, but seeing that Ron Perlman was narrating this one “forced” me to burn an Audible credit. One of my favorite actors, he is an able narrator, handling a New York accent, a Russian/Romanian accent, and an Hispanic accent with ease.

I knew what I was getting into when I started this one. Overall, this book is an enjoyable, “jumpy” read, as long as you realize you have to suspend reality and not expect too much. It is, after all, a vampire book. How much reality do you expect? ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
I am torn about The Strain. I like it for all of its blood-sucking charms, but in order to do so, I’ve got to overlook some fairly major shortcomings in its mechanics. And I’ve got to do it all while somehow managing to avoid blaming Guillermo for anything.
 
It's so creepy that when I told my wife and daughter about it *they* got creeped out just from my description.
 
The Strain is a breakneck thrill ride chronicling only the first four days of the vampire plague that may destroy civilization. The cinematic quality really comes though, making the book feel more like a action blockbuster than a thought-provoking horror novel. The publisher is hyping the heck out of this book, and it will sell like a Dan Brown of the Undead. It has some dopey parts, but is also pretty entertaining and scary. This would be an excellent vacation read, although I would not recommend reading the first fifty pages on an airplane if you are a nervous flier. Save it for the beach soaking up the UV rays.
added by PhoenixTerran | editio9, Chris Hsiang (Jun 2, 2009)
 
Un Boeing 777 aterriza en el aeropuerto John F. Kennedy de Nueva York proveniente de Berlín, y cuando se dirige a la puerta para que los pasajeros empiecen a desembarcar, de repente se oscurece. La torre de control pierde contacto con el piloto y toda la actividad eléctrica del aparato se corta. No se escuchan móviles, ni BlackBerries, ni la radio, nada. Las cortinas de las ventanillas están bajadas y no se ve a nadie dentro. Se reúne un equipo de emergencias y todos observan al avión silencioso ahora bañado por las luces del aeropuerto, en completo silencio. Parece una gigantesca lápida blanca que brilla contra el oscuro cielo de la noche.
Entonces una brecha negra aparece en el fuselaje: es una puerta que se abre desde dentro con una lentitud glacial…
Siempre han estado aquí. Vampiros. Anidando y alimentándose. En secreto y oscuridad. A la espera. Ahora ha llegado su momento. En una semana, Manhattan habrá desaparecido. En tres meses, todo el país. En seis meses, el mundo entero.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Del Toro, Guillermoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hogan, Chuckmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Raitio, RistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Dedicated to all nightmares, past and present, and to all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone. -GDT
To Lorenza, Mariana, and Marisa...
and to all the monsters in my nursery:
May you never leave me alone
- GDT

For Lila
- CH
For my Lila -CH
To Lorenza, Mariana, and Marisa ...
and to all the monsters in my nursery: May you never leave me alone. -GDT
For Lila -CH
First words
The Legend of Jusef Sardu
"Once upon a time," said Abraham Setrakian's grandmother, "there was a giant."
"Once upon a time," said Abraham Setrakian's grandmother, "there was a giant."
Der var engang en kæmpe
Quotations
Nothing can unman you like an un-man.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description


They have always been here. Vampires. In secret and in darkness. Waiting. Now their time has come.

In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country.

In two months—the world.

A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Eph Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane. What he finds makes his blood run cold.

In a pawnshop in Spanish Harlem, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust named Abraham Setrakian knows something is happening. And he knows the time has come, that a war is brewing . . .

So begins a battle of mammoth proportions as the vampiric virus that has infected New York begins to spill out into the streets. Eph, who is joined by Setrakian and a motley crew of fighters, must now find a way to stop the contagion and save his city—a city that includes his wife and son—before it is too late.

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Abraham Setrakian, a former professor and survivor of the Holocaust, joins forces with CDC specialist Eph Goodweather to battle a vampiric virus that has infected New York in this first installment in a thrilling trilogy about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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