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The Strain by Guillermo del Toro

The Strain (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8262222,058 (3.62)172
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
Tags:Vampires, Infectious Disease, CDC, Horror

Work details

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (2009)

  1. 140
    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. 30
    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. 10
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  7. 21
    Children of the Night by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  8. 10
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  9. 00
    Uprising: Vampire Federation by Sean McCabe (mamaove)
    mamaove: Good versues evil theme with vampires
  10. 00
    Feed by Mira Grant (trav)
  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 172 mentions

English (214)  Spanish (4)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (224)
Showing 1-5 of 214 (next | show all)
There are a number of reasons why I DNFed this book. Like usual with a DNF review, I'll cover the most important ones.

1.) The story structure -- I can see why this was made into a TV show recently. Because it's written exactly like one, which, in this case, is a major issue. I have no problem with episodic series books or even single books that are somewhat episodic in terms of their story arcs, but the way The Strain was written...it was almost like someone actually summarized scenes that happened on an TV show. The scene transitions came off as abrupt and the arrangement of scenes in a chapter often had this "choppiness," where an interesting narrative would continually be interrupted at crucial moments by another scene. I found it very irritating.

2.) The characters -- Don't get me wrong, there were some characters I liked in this book, but the main characters came off rather flat and one-dimensional to me. They also followed a number of cliches, like the divorced protagonist struggling to maintain a bond with his child and the female colleague he's having an on-and-off sexual relationship with.

3.) The ending -- I spoiled myself on this, I admit it. But I like spoilers, so you can hush up. Point is, the ending frustrated the heck out of me. I hate it when rational, intelligent characters suddenly turn stupid at crucial moments in order to steer events in a specific direction that would never fly if they maintained they're actual characterizations. That comes off as somewhat sloppy and lazy to me, plot-wise.

Those were my top three problems with this book, and ultimately, the reason I DNFed it in the middle.


2.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Fan-freaking-tastic!! Will post a review soon! ( )
  JessPeacock | Oct 29, 2015 |
I wanted to read this before the TV series based on the books comes out in the spring. This was surprisingly good, so far comparable to [b:'Salem's Lot|11590|'Salem's Lot|Stephen King|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327891565s/11590.jpg|3048937]and [b:They Thirst|876475|They Thirst|Robert R. McCammon|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1344390689s/876475.jpg|16695823]. On to 2nd book in the series ( )
  glindaharrison | Oct 19, 2015 |
Without giving too much away, 'The Strain' is a novel about vampires, only its more science or ""speculative"" fiction than fantasy -- think 'Outbreak' with blood sucking fiends instead of monkeys . Throw out everything you think you know and let go of your preconceived notions, because this is an entirely different take on the lore.

I'll admit that when I started reading, it took some time for me to become invested -- only because this story is so unlike anything I've come across -- but by the end, I was completely immersed in it. Do not be put off by parts of it that seem non-topical, everything has it's purpose. My disinterest in the beginning was due to my questioning everything before allowing the answers to reveal themselves naturally. The story develops in an intriguing way and it's quite entertaining when you let it unravel.

The storytelling can become somewhat disorienting as focus constantly shifts to different characters, -- its similar to the 'Frankenstein' novels by Dean Koontz in that way -- but each story is a piece of a larger puzzle that begins to take form as it progresses. The interludes briefly take you out of the main story -- hence the name -- and act as windows to the past, revealing histories and motives that otherwise might have become background noise.

The book is well-written, the characters aren't one-dimensional, and the pacing makes for great suspense. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  rawrrbot | Sep 15, 2015 |
  rouzejp | Sep 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 214 (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 (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guillermo Del Toroprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hogan, Chuckmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hogan, Chuckmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Raitio, RistoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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

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
Nothing can unman you like an un-man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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