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The Strain by Guillermo del Toro

The Strain (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Guillermo del Toro (Author), Chuck Hogan (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,458None2,488 (3.63)158
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)

2009 (21) 2010 (13) apocalypse (20) ARC (31) audiobook (14) disease (13) ebook (32) epidemic (19) fantasy (40) fiction (225) Guillermo del Toro (14) horror (302) Kindle (25) New York (30) New York City (19) novel (15) paranormal (17) read (24) read in 2009 (34) science fiction (46) series (35) strain trilogy (21) suspense (14) thriller (48) to-read (56) trilogy (13) unread (24) vampires (333) virus (24) zombies (14)
  1. 130
    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. 11
    The Green Mile Book 2: The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (ShelfMonkey)
  13. 11
    Wizard and Glass by Stephen King (kraaivrouw)
  14. 11
    Necroscope by Brian Lumley (leahsimone)
  15. 00
    The Missing by Sarah Langan (ahstrick)

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» See also 158 mentions

English (194)  Spanish (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
Modern twist on the vampire story. a nice, escapism read ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
An airplane makes a routine landing at JFK International Airport, but after touchdown the plan unexplainably goes black. The shades are all drawn, the lights are off and no one, passenger nor crew, can be contacted. Ephraim Goodweather from the CDC is called in and is shocked to find only four survivors. A deadly viral strain was unleashed on this plane that transformed the once human forms to parasitic entities that crave only two things: reproduction and blood. The Strain provides a unique spin on the overplayed Vampire genre by adding a biological yet horrific explanation to the phenomenon. ( )
  JechtShot | Mar 16, 2014 |
I loved this incarnation of the vampire. In this tale they resemble the vampires of 30 Days of Night. These vampires aren't cute and sparkly and they will stop at nothing to get you.
I love the characters. Ef, his son, the pawn shop owner and the exterminator are all great and unique. They all have unique voices, complicated relationships, strengths and weaknesses. I am disappointed in the women. There are two, Nora, Ef's partner and his ex-wife Kelly. Its not that their characterizations are necessarily bad, but they do fall a bit short and flat. The males are strongly drawn and show up in my mind's eye clearly. The women? The two are a muddled mess in my head. No definition or strength.
I'm listening to this. Its being read by Ron Perlman and he is fantastic. Right accent, right timber. An awesome listening experience.
The story unfolds well, and feels believable. Imagine that for a vampire tale. This isn't a pretty story. This is a gritty, properly frightening tale of the attempted takeover of New York then the world by vampires.
Not sure if these hero's can stop it, but I'm moving on to the next book to find out. ( )
  khaalidah | Mar 14, 2014 |
Guillermo del Toro's The Strain is absolutely fantastic. This is the first book in the series, and I cannot wait to read the rest. These are vampires that do not sparkle, but are true to the traditional vampire lore in that they are creatures to be feared and fought. In Toro's book they are a plague upon this earth, terrifying to behold, and cannot be easily destroyed. The motley vampire-hunting team of Abraham Setrakian, Ephraim Goodweather, Nora Martinez, and Vasiliy Fet might be New York's only chance of defeating the Dark One even as his "turned" hordes grow exponentially. Although the book reads like a horror film, there are no cheesy one-liners, no unrealistic hero with divine weapons or powers, no hope for survival save for what humanity's basic instincts can provide. Honestly, the zombie apocalypse would be preferable to the one del Toro describes, the odds are that grim indeed. But not only does this book have an intense plot, but the characters are brave, vulnerable, desperate, intelligent, all from different walks of life, and the reader can't help but become attached to every single one of them. This is the perfect read for someone who enjoys great horror literature, and doesn't want to stoop to teenage drama novels or cliche gore-filled comic books to find it. ( )
  asukamaxwell | Mar 11, 2014 |
Another variation on the vampire legend

Instead of the pretty boys, hot sexuality and six-packs that you find in many vampire stories, Guillermo Del Toro goes for the viral approach in the strain. His vampires are neither pretty, sexual or witty, and their bodies are not perfected in any way. This is more a story of a virus introduced and starting to run amok, with the CDC virologists, Ephraim and Nora doing everything possible with their Canary team to stop the spread. The action and pacing in this book is non-stop. It is literally like an express train; you get on at page one and you are still on that train after you read the last page, because you are still thing about the book and everything in it. Setrakian was my favorite character. He is a little boy at the beginning of the book, having soup with his grandmother while she tells him a scary but true story. Later, he is escaping from the Nazis with his family. He also is a prisoner at Treblinka, where he meets his first vampire. He later becomes a University Professor, a Vampire Hunter and a Pawn Broker as well as a specialized arms dealer. By the time the book ends he is an old man, but still hunting vampires. He gets together with the folks from the CDC to try and stop the plague of vampires. You see, someone in the U. S. purposefully brought the strain into the country. Someone with much wealth and influence.

The next book should be quite exciting. The only downside that there was to the story is that many of the characters don't have a lot of depth, not only emotionally, but from a sheer sense of backstory. Even the main characters have limited backstory with the exception of Setrakian. I don't know if this is the cinematic influence or not, but I was surprised that Nora, Zack, Kelly,Matt, Vaz and Ephraim have little to no backstory. There were tidbits of Zack, Kelly and Ephraim but these were more like tiny sound bites. All we know about Matt is his job and that he is average and fearful. The book would have reached another level if readers could have really connected deeply with the characters. It would have made this book a classic if the action had been teamed with world-class characterization - then it would have been truly world changing. This is why I gave it 4 stars, the characters, outside of Setrakian felt rather flat to me. I have to say I enjoyed the novel immensely and was riveted to my seat the entire six hours it took me to read the book. I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for good action novel, a Vampire novel, or just a good thumping read, with the caveat that some of the characters are a little thin - though that doesn't get in the way of the story, if you don't let it.
  Molecular | Feb 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Guillermo Del Toroprimary 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 the English one.
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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
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."
Der var engang en kæmpe
Nothing can unman you like an un-man.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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)

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