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The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy…

The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4062542,314 (3.62)179
Title:The Strain: Book One of The Strain Trilogy
Authors:Guillermo Del Toro
Other authors:Chuck Hogan
Info:William Morrow (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro (2009)

  1. 170
    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. 82
    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. 30
    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.
  5. 20
    Draculas by Jack Kilborn (Scottneumann)
  6. 21
    Children of the Night by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  7. 10
    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.
  8. 10
    They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  9. 10
    Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson (Scottneumann)
  10. 21
    Wizard And Glass by Stephen King (kraaivrouw)
  11. 11
    Feed by Mira Grant (trav)
  12. 00
    Uprising: Vampire Federation by Sean McCabe (mamaove)
    mamaove: Good versues evil theme with vampires
  13. 00
    The Missing by Sarah Langan (ahstrick)
  14. 00
    Live Girls by Ray Garton (dante414)
  15. 11
    Necroscope by Brian Lumley (leahsimone)
  16. 13
    The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (ShelfMonkey)

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» See also 179 mentions

English (249)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (260)
Showing 1-5 of 249 (next | show all)
This book is all kinds of dumb, but when it works, it really works. Some of the early scene-setting moments are fantastic, and the "getting the team together" moments crackle. The action feels so by-the-books, though, and the prose is...it's not bad, but it's sometimes too punchy. ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
All right...

I've been trying to figure how exactly to review this book. I've been reading more and more in the horror genre as of late, as it is what I primarily tend to write in. There are certain preconceived notions that people have regarding horror - that it is gory, that it is campy to a certain degree, that it lacks character development, etc. "Horror" for books tends to cause people to jump to the conclusion that they're a novelization of the "slasher" films. Generally, they are not the same thing. In the case of The Strain I felt that they pretty much were.

I gave Justin Cronin's The Passage a glowing review earlier on in this year, and talked about how it pretty much redefined the apocalyptic novel for me. Reading The Strain, I couldn't help but keep comparing it to The Passage. The Passage is beautifully written, the characters are developed so intricately that you feel you could estimate how they would respond to just about any situation - the book is like reading poetry. Hell, Toby Barlow's Sharp Teeth is poetry, and I still felt those characters were better developed than those in The Strain. Needless to say, I felt that the characterization was lacking.

Now, don't get me started on the writing.

The Strain read like a screenplay. Places were described, but the whole novel basically taking place in Manhattan, the reader is expected to have innate knowledge of what they are looking at. As opposed to developing the surroundings, minute details are given about rather confusing things. Reading this book, you learn about what color rat urine glows under UV lights and what townhouses in Tribeca used to house whiskey bootleggers, but you don't learn what the weather was like beyond the 'occultation' of the sun. Also, the word occultation was overused to the point that I wanted to headbutt a railway spike.

The good points of the novel, on the other hand, was that vampires once more got a makeover. Although there were obvious allusions to Stoker's Dracula within it - hello, Romanian professor - it paid a greater homage to Matheson's I Am Legend. The protagonist, Ephraim, works for a specialized section of the CDC and it predictably scientific in his relation to the vampires. Hell, they're even described as viruses incarnate. I appreciate the amount of detail given to the vampiric infection, transformation, etc. I just would have appreciated it more if it was incorporated more fluidly into the novel.

All in all, the book was all right. I would not be surprised if a film was made of it, and would actually quite prefer a movie of it. The bottom line is, I would not recommend this book. I would, instead, director readers to The Passage. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
This was certainly a page turner. It's a perfect answer to the annoying warm and fuzzy vampire nonsense from Stephanie Meyer. These are horrifying monsters, not potential boyfriends. I can't wait to read the next one in the series. ( )
  poppycock77 | May 26, 2018 |
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 7, 2018 |
A fun book, but it didn't blow my hair back. The twist on vampirism is pretty good, and welcome in a time of sexy, lovable vampires, and it has a great opening hook. Unfortunately there are some problems that kind of make it difficult to get excited about. This one is somewhere between two and three stars for me. Ultimately, the main characters are kind of forgettable, so that's why I settled on two stars.

Full review here: http://www.andrlik.org/blog/2010/nov/14/review-strain-guillermo-del-toro-chuck-h... ( )
  andrlik | Apr 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 249 (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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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.
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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