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The Strain | [Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan]

The Strain

The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event.
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Publisher's Summary

The visionary creator of the Academy Award-winning Pan's Labyrinth and a Hammett Award-winning author bring their imaginations to this bold, epic novel about a horrifying battle between man and vampire that threatens all humanity. It is the first installment in a thrilling trilogy and an extraordinary international publishing event.

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.

©2009 Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (2813 )
5 star
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4 star
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4.1 (1716 )
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Story
4.1 (1705 )
5 star
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3 star
 (244)
2 star
 (83)
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 (45)
Performance
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  •  
    Stacy CLAYTON, NC, United States 03-20-12
    Stacy CLAYTON, NC, United States 03-20-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Okay...not for everyone...but I like it"

    This trilogy is definately not for everyone. And the narration is a little dry. But I admit it...I love this stuff. I'm a end-of-the world, conspiracy theory, epic disaster junkie. What are you gonna do? I grew up in the 70's with Towering Inferno, Earthquake and all the Airport movies.

    Anyway, this series is a bit on the far-fetched side of the vampire stuff, but I like the main characters a lot. They are just regular people that get to save the world. They don't have any special powers, and they lose people that they love in the process, which makes it more real.

    And the vampires aren't flying around like bats and sparkling in the daylight, although they have this gross stinger thing that shoots out to "drink your blood."

    If you are squeamish at all I would opt for lighter vampire fare, like the popular Twilight series or something equally YA, but if you like more hardcore apocalyptic stuff, give this trilogy a go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RBR 03-05-12
    RBR 03-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    20
    8
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    Story
    "Awsome listen!"
    What did you love best about The Strain?

    Interesting twist on the Vampire origin.


    What did you like best about this story?

    You really get involved with the characters.


    Which character – as performed by Ron Perlman – was your favorite?

    Eff Goodweather


    If you could rename The Strain, what would you call it?

    the current title is perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn 02-22-12
    Dawn 02-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    284
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "Kept me wanting to listen"
    Any additional comments?

    Story kept me interested to the end. Ron Perlman added a gravitas to the reading, making it stand out from other books. From looking at other reviews, you love him or hate him as the narrator. I give it two thumbs up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Plano, TX, United States 02-16-12
    Arthur Plano, TX, United States 02-16-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    11
    5
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    "Started strong, ended with a flop"

    I really loved the beginning of this book. I like that the take on vampires is more scientific and less mythical. Alas, that doesn't last very long. Although one of the main characters regularly derides folklore remedies, there are still weirdly unexplainable events. Why can't vampires cross bodies of moving water? Why are they hurt more by silver than other metals? What is the deal with them having no reflection in silver mirrors? What the heck was the deal with the plane?

    As the book progresses it gets less and less interesting and turns into a vampire slayer novel. There are some good parts, but mostly it loses steam as it gains momentum.

    Would not read again.

    (Perlman was a great reader though :-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 02-16-12
    Jennifer 02-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    51
    8
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    "Excellent performance."
    If you could sum up The Strain in three words, what would they be?

    Thrilling, powerful, and captivating


    What did you like best about this story?

    The chilling narration made the story even better.


    Which character – as performed by Ron Perlman – was your favorite?

    The narration in general was excellent. It created the perfect mood, terrifying but oh so real. I'd love to hear more by Perlman. Makes me wonder why he didn't do the rest of the books in the trilogy....


    Any additional comments?

    Refreshing. Don't come here for trashy vampire harlequin romances. This is a tale that brings back the original horror and blood lust.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D Las Vegas, NV, United States 12-15-11
    D Las Vegas, NV, United States 12-15-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    2
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    Story
    "Great story with lackluster reading"

    Great story you will enjoy. Ron Perlman is a great actor but probably wasn't the best choice as a narrator. Books two and three replace him with another narrator who does a really good job.

    The story is good and the characters are deep enough to keep you interested at first growing deeper as their backstories are revealed through out the books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon SOUTH ORANGE, NJ, United States 12-01-11
    Amazon SOUTH ORANGE, NJ, United States 12-01-11 Member Since 2010

    Third Smartest Man In The World

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    9
    7
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Weird One"

    I wonder if I would have thought about this book differently if I didn't know and like Del Toro's movies. On some level this is a straightforward horror story - but there are scenes of horror that don't really move the plot forward - emotional and evocative scenes that really shouldn't be there if this is just an adventure/genre story. I liked it - but it didn't completely work for me.

    I like Ron Perlman's gravelly voice and he delivers the horror with a "just the facts" restraint that enhances the material

    I didn't realize til I was done that this was book 1 of 3. I'll probably come back to it later - but I can't go right into book 2 - it's just too dark and wretched.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-27-11
    Anne Pittsburgh, PA, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    3
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    "for adults only..."

    For those who preferred 30 Days of Nights to Twilight or True Blood....a well done tale of the classic vampire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hassan 11-22-11
    Hassan 11-22-11 Member Since 2015

    5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "best in the trilogy, and best beginning"

    i think this book had an amazing start, but it went a bit down hill for one reason only, how the author keeps on saying they are vampiers, although all (almost all) what they do and how they spread are exactly like zombies... thats the only bad part in this book, if they made it into zombies, or made them more like knows vamps then that would be understandable.

    but ya its a bit confusing.... but over all its a good book, and a good trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Redwood City, CA, United States 11-02-11
    Thomas Redwood City, CA, United States 11-02-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    19
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    "Formulaic, Predictable, Hollywood Blockbuster"

    I finished listening to this book out of some nonsensical feeling of obligation. Maybe after listening to the first 7 hours, I felt reluctantly committed to listening to final ~6.5 remaining hours.

    So, employing my ipods 2x speed function, I gritted my teeth through to the finale. I did not enjoy it. This book is so riddled with Hollywood cliches, one-dimensional archetypal characters (the flawed but courageous protagonist, the precocious child, the hardened, elderly sage, etc. etc.) and trite chapter-ending one-liners such as "it has begun," that I found myself wishing my ipod had 3 or 4x speed.

    If you're sick and tired of modern mainstream cinema "storytelling" like me, trust me...skip it. However, if you're looking for some fun vampire escapism, and you don't mind all the Hollywood tropes and hackneyed dialogue (and there's nothing wrong with that, really), then you might dig it.

    Perlman does a great job narrating. Just don't expect to be on the edge of your seat or deeply moved or even frightened. You can always wait for the inevitable movie trilogy and/or televised mini-series, as well as the video game that will inevitably score 3/10 on IGN.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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