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The Strain [Hardcover]

Guillermo Del Toro , Chuck Hogan
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 2 2009 Strain Trilogy (Book 1)

“A high-tech vampire epic....Terrifying.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Part The Andromeda Strain, part Night of the Living Dead.”
—Salon.com

“Chuck Hogan is known for his taut thrillers, Guillermo del Toro for his surreal horror films…The Strain brings out the best of each.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in The Strain—the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy from one of Hollywood’s most inventive storytellers and a critically acclaimed thriller writer. Guillermo del Toro, the genius director of the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, and Hammett Award-winning author Chuck Hogan have joined forces to boldly reinvent the vampire novel. Brilliant, blood-chilling, and unputdownable, The Strain is a nightmare of the first order.


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From Amazon

Amazon Best of the Month, June 2009: Who better to reinvent the vampire genre than Guillermo Del Toro, the genius behind Pan's Labyrinth, and Chuck Hogan, master of character-driven thrillers like Prince of Thieves? The first of a trilogy, The Strain is everything you want from a horror novel--dark, bloody, and packed full of mayhem and mythology. But, be forewarned, these are not like any vampires you've met before--they're not sexy or star-crossed or "vegetarians"--they are hungry, they are connected, and they are multiplying. The vampire virus marches its way across New York, and all that stands between us and a grotesque end are a couple of scientists, an old man with a decades-old vendetta, and a young boy. This first installment moves fast and sets up the major players, counting down to the beginning of the end. Great summer reading. --Daphne Durham

Review

“[One of] the most original and powerful filmmakers working today.” (The Hollywood Reporter)

“His distinctive creatures and otherwordly parables use the realms of fantasy to explore fundamental human issues such as love, alienation, weakness and, of course, fear… [He is] a master of monsters.” (USA Today)

“A cinematic magician who has never lost his childlike sense of wonder.” (Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in Associated Press)

“[An] amazing writer and director. . . . Pan’s Labyrinth places Mr. del Toro in the first rank of world filmmakers.” (New York Times)

“He elevated gothic horror to art. . . . Bilingual, bicultural, multigenre, he has a voice that feels both fresh and ancient.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't let bad reviews keep you away... Sept. 28 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think one very important thing to know it that this it the first book in a trilogy. Many of the negative reviews are from people who don't seem to know this clearly pre established fact. I also don't like when people complain that Vampire books are to unrealistic or cliche. It is a story folks. You are supposed to lose yourself for a few minutes or hours in the landscape of the story. I loved the book. I thought it was awesome and have been waiting all year for the next book to keep it going! If you like vampire/armaggedon/outbreak type stuff you will enjoy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! July 22 2009
By Karoline TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book is a great mix of horror and action and does its job of making you feeling creeped out and keeping you interested in the plot so you don't put it down and continue reading page after page until you're either sleepy, or you're finished the entire story.

Action you ask? plenty of it! I like how this book just captures your attention immediately and best yet there are hardly any parts where the action stops. What I like about this book is, you get the sense of chaos about to errupt and you actually see it in development until things just hit the fan (so to speak) and by then it's too late to do anything.

There's plenty of unanswered questions and the ending leaves you with wanting a lot more. Unfortunately the second part of this trilogy is not to be released until 2010 (I'm not sure exactly when, they just gave out the year of its' future release on the backflap of the book). So obviously, I will probably have to reread this book again when the second one comes out. It's worth a second read though I think.

I'd have to say, this book does have certain similarities to Bram Stoker's Dracula (there I gave you a hint on what this book entails) (But it's not what you think!). You do have a Jonathan Harker, a Van Helsing type character, and even a Mina (not really though, sort of) which I found rather interesting and I wonder if the authors did that on purpose or it was just a creative fluke. The characters in the novels are all right and they are developing I think considering this is the first novel of a trilogy, perhaps you will see them develop more with the other two books. (I like Setrakian the most in my opinion).

I definitely do not recommend this book if you don't like blood and gore. There's a lot of it and it's very graphic. But if you don't mind, and if you like a good scare, this book does a great job of keeping you engrossed and making your skin crawl (in a good way).
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ages since we fed looking into living eyes June 6 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Everybody now knows of Guillermo del Toro, the genius filmmaker of things dark, grotesque and fantastical.

So it's no surprise that his first foray into fiction, "The Strain," is a masterpiece of horrific lyricism and ghastly atmosphere. Del Toro's talents mesh seamlessly with those of thriller/mystery author Chuck Hogan, slowly building up a suspenseful story of vampiric infection that threatens to engulf the entire human race. Half gut-clenching horror, half police procedural.

When Flight 753 lands at JFK, the entire plane goes dead -- and all but four passengers are found pale, bloodless and peacefully dead. And a giant cabinet is missing from the hold.

While a special disease unit tries to figure out the cause of death, Dr. Eph Goodwater starts investigating the mysterious disappearance of a cabinet from the hold. And strange physical changes begin occurring not only on the four survivors, but on the undecayed corpses in the morgue -- white blood, tracheal growths, enhanced senses, and a growing thirst for blood.

While ordinary people begin transforming into stinger-tongued horrors, Eph and his assistant Nora find Abraham Setrakian, an elderly pawnbroker who has fought the vampires since World War II. Fortunately he knows their weaknesses... and the ghastly Master who has broken an ancient truce. In just a few days, New York City is swarming with undead horrors, and

In some ways, "The Strain" initially seems like a 21st century version of "Dracula": a plane full of the dead, a coffin full of soil, and a little old man who knows way too much about vampires.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful horror! Aug. 3 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
No sparkly, sympathic creatures here! del Toro always has a fresh perspective on horror and the appcalyptic world he has fashioned here is no exception. The human characters are well moulded and the non human ones are creepier than anything I've seen in a long, long time.
There are no wasted words on these pages, the story is taut and fast paced- I can't wait to finish the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant Read!!! So exciting!!! June 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I read aloud to my husband and him and I were so tranced by this trilogy... We never read anything so "life like" in our lives!!! Thee best series I've ever read. Be prepared to be scared!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vampires are again as they should, pure evil! June 30 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I tried to read it the first time on an airplane; bad idea. This novel is so fast paced and doesn't give any concessions. This is a novel to be awed, scared and always, always wanting more. If you are tired of teenage vampires with a broken soul this is thenovel for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not a travel guide for New York City April 30 2014
By Chris
Format:Hardcover
It took a bit for the story to get off the tarmac (and there were a lot of investigative agencies to keep track of), but it did find flight about half way through. Ephraim was my favourite character, the conspiracy characters reminded me of "The X-Files," and the ending made me eager for the next part, "The Fall," and the television show coming soon.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but I wont be reading the others
The book was OK. I had high hopes for it, but I just didn't love anything about it. I will not be reading the other two, but if you like apocalypse-type books it is worth a look,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Joe
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Book arrived a little bit later then expected, but I would blame Canadian Customs for that.
The condition of the book was about 3.5/5
Published on Sept. 19 2011 by MK
4.0 out of 5 stars Real monsters; no sophisticates or teen-bait here
Guillermo Del Toro is best known as the director of dark and imaginative films, including Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone and both Hellboy movies. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2011 by Andre Farant
1.0 out of 5 stars a disappointment
I wanted to like this book because I had great expectations upon realizing who the authors were and how talented they were...having seen both The Town and Pan's Labyrinth. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2011 by brenda ough
5.0 out of 5 stars It's like watching a movie...
I couldn't put the book down! Simply amazing! Well written...i've read the 2nd book, now i can't wait for the 3rd one to come out!
Published on Jan. 5 2011 by Nanzzz
5.0 out of 5 stars Better then most movies
It has been a long time since I have bothered buying the second book in a trilogy - never mind the hardcover version (because I couldn't wait for the softcover to be released). Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2010 by Glen Thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars Stock Vampire Story, Mediocre at Best
As a fan of Del Toro's cinematic work and vampire novels, I picked up this novel with hopes of a nice change from the recent rash of sparkly, angst ridden vampires that seem to be... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2010 by Carly P.
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is really, really bad.
My wife bought this book based on the scores of very positive reviews contained inside the cover. I read it through because I finished my own novel and didn't have access to any... Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2010 by Amazon Customer
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