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The Strain

Narrated by: Ron Perlman
Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5,072 ratings)
Regular price: $15.96
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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,298
  • 4 Stars
    1,730
  • 3 Stars
    760
  • 2 Stars
    188
  • 1 Stars
    96

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,064
  • 4 Stars
    1,063
  • 3 Stars
    477
  • 2 Stars
    140
  • 1 Stars
    74

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,862
  • 4 Stars
    1,206
  • 3 Stars
    565
  • 2 Stars
    121
  • 1 Stars
    67
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Methuen, Morocco
  • 08-17-09

Could be better but still a worthy vampire yarn

Yes, Ron Perlman was not the best choice of narrator, but I've heard much worse. He does not excel at voice characterizations (except he does a good job with the old Romanian vampire hunter), and he speaks in a bit of a monotone (but not completely). For all that, I got used to his performance and was able to enjoy the book. As to the story itself, it's a bit formulaic, but the idea of a plague of vampires in New York City is novel enough to me that I was carried along by it. If you like the vampire and/or zombie genre, give this a try. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • Reynella, Australia
  • 05-07-12

Scary!

This is not for bed-time. Genuinely creepy and suspenseful vampire story that reminded me of a modern version of "I Am Legend". Some interesting mythology that I hope continues to be developed, and very suspenseful at times. Ron Perlman gives a suitably scary performance. I feel a film version in the future.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Hokey But Fun

Most of the reviews I've read have been fair--there are some elements of this story which some people may find hard to swallow; the creatures aren't properly zombies and they aren't properly vampires; the authorities take too long to wake up; Ron Pearlman isn't the most exciting narrator.

Still, this story is good fun. It dragged in a couple parts, but largely kept me interested and eager for more. I'll check out the sequels.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good Not Great

I picked this book up because of Guillermo Del Toro.
I was expecting something fresh and new but ended up with a mix of Dracula meets CSI meets Blade, which was not bad.
The story is well written but at times becomes a bit much with all of the detailed explanations.
On the whole the story flows and does not alienate the reader.

Ron Perlman did a fantastic job reading.

I will definitely be picking up the next installment of the trilogy.

46 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

one of my favorite's

Would you consider the audio edition of The Strain to be better than the print version?

Yes, you've heard this story before (a bit exactly as before...) but this version works! It is very believable, logical and freaky....I downloaded the rest of the trilogy before I even finished - just in case the world ended and I lost the internet before I had a chance to head the end!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • hermanous
  • Frederick, MD, United States
  • 07-15-09

Gripping Story, intense narration.

Really enjoyed this book. I was surprised by how quickly I went through this, given its length. I've seen other criticisms of Ron Perlman's narration, but I thought his reading and cadence were dead-on for the subject matter. The story's very cinematic, but what would you expect when of the authors is del Toro. Can't wait for Part 2.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

How often can you say, "Are you kidding me?"

Or, "Why are they doing that?" Or, "Duh."

It's a shame because the story starts out fairly well. These guys come up with a new, science-ish idea for vampires and establish it pretty well. About forty percent through the book it all falls apart into a mess of annoying illogic and boring 'action'.

The problem is that they want to include 'mythology', ie, a bunch of supernatural mumbo-jumbo. Suddenly the vampires go from interesting to telepathic, from beasts to creatures, no logic for which ones, are super smart and dangerous. There is no internal consistency.

That kills the story. With no logic to fall back on, the authors are left to just make up stuff and, since one of them is a movie guy, it's all about the action. There are endless chase scenes and even more endless (and senseless) fights.

I could go on about how annoying the non-sequitoes, the occasions where people do things that violate any sense of human logic, the plot elements that are emphasized and forgotten. It would be boring. You don't need to know.

Just don't read this book. You will start out thinking I'm wrong but you will find yourself angry that you want to find out how it ends and are wasting all this time thinking, "Come on! Nobody would do that." again and again. And, when you get to the ending, you will hate that even more. To call it flaccid and predictable flatters it.

Simply awful.

(ps, The narration is pretty good.)

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • a
  • 04-28-11

Actually scared me

I loved this!!! The narrator was great, the details were awesome, this audiobook sucked me in completely. I was actually scared by the end of it, and avoided the second one until I went through some lighter stuff first. It has been a while since something like that has happened!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clydene
  • San Diego, California
  • 06-12-09

Excellent Story Telling of a New Vampire Series

Everyone interested in the Vampiric Genre should read Bram Stokers "Dracula", don't see the movie but read the book; also read "Vikram and the Vampire" by Sir Richard Burton. If you are really interested in Vampires; then read these books and learn the ancient and real story. Learn more about the legends of the vampire, beyond that of books like "Twilight" and "Interview with a Vampire", and other books like "Salem's Lot" and "I Am Legend". These books have their place in the genre, but "The Strain" is something altogether different.

"The Strain" the rebirth of the original genre brought to life by the original story by Stoker. It is Dark and Foreboding. Scary and yet like a box of chocolates, you want to see what is next, cream, nuts or chewy.

I did not get the book based on Guillermo Del Toro, but because I downloaded the free excerpt and in the first 10 minutes I was hooked on the story telling, and bought the full version of the book.

Along with De Toro's obvious visual story telling is the weaving of the tale is by veteran writer Chuck Hogan, who makes this story so accessable to all readers.

Yes, it is a combination of CSI and Dracula, but there is so much more in this story and how it is being told. It was delicious and wonderful.

Ron Perlman does an Excellent job telling the story. I wonder if he will be in the movie.

My only fault with the audiobook is the SUPER ANNOYING MUSIC that Harper Collins Audio uses in ALL their audiobooks. The story is well written and read and does not need the music to build suspense.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 06-04-09

Very Exciting Vampire Story

Exciting new thriller where the vampires are not pretty, sensuous, romantic, or talkative.

I would not classify this book as horror. It is more like the excitement of the type found in the movie Jurassic Park.

The production of the audio is excellent. It has both music and great narration.

This is the first book of a trilogy. The book ended with a completeness (as opposed to trilogies which really should be only a single book but is stretch purely for a financial gain).

The book is not totally a 5 star book, but it is much better than being ranked 4. This book is definitely book-to-movie material.

28 of 33 people found this review helpful