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

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5362002,380 (3.63)161
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)

Recently added byMadiBour, Pigletto, private library, AbbyTurner, Arkrayder, ssimon2000, melissagridley, sgraham66
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  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
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  14. 11
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  15. 00
    The Missing by Sarah Langan (ahstrick)
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» See also 161 mentions

English (192)  Spanish (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (200)
Showing 1-5 of 192 (next | show all)
Del Toro’s and Hogan’s novel—the first of a trilogy—is carefully crafted as an episodic and well-plotted narrative that focuses on an invasion of viral vampirism (the gory ugly kind, not the glittery adolescent kind). Using contemporary versions of stock characters, Del Toro and Hogan have created pure escapist horror fiction.

The good guys consist of Eph Goodweather (how’s that for a descriptive name?), a CDC epidemiologist, Nora Martinez (his multicultural colleague), Vasily Fet (an analytical exterminator—aren’t you loving the extended metaphors?), and Professor Setrakian, a Holocaust survivor who fills the Van Helsing role. The big bad guy is Sardu, aka The Master, a rogue vampire who’s determined to defy his vampire peers, create an army of malevolent vampires armed with stingers emanating from their throats (kind of like what would have happened had the alien lodged in John Hurt’s neck rather than bursting through his gut), destroy the timed-honored truce between the races, and take over the human race.

This first volume of the trilogy fulfills all the narrative requirements—complex characters are created, the vampire mythology is invented, gruesome episodes occur, and the plot builds to a suspenseful showdown…which is perfectly orchestrated to lead in to the sequel. It’s all pure fun, and if you enjoy vampire novels at all, you’ll be drawn in—as I was—to this fast-paced tale. ( )
  jimrgill | Jun 5, 2014 |
I really wanted to get into the story, because there were parts in which it seemed honestly interesting... but it was just so boring to read, I just had to give up. ( )
  AshuritaLove | May 20, 2014 |
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. ( )
1 vote khaalidah | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 192 (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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Important events
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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
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
Quotations
Nothing can unman you like an un-man.
Last words
(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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