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July 6, 2009 / schulerbooks

Review: The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

I have followed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro since discovering his Spanish ghost film ‘The Devil’s Backbone,’ up through the massive success of ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and the ‘Hellboy’ films, so when I received a copy of his first book I was excited. When I realized it was a vampire novel, I was ecstatic.

True to his horror roots, Del Toro and his co-author — bestselling thriller writer  Chuck Hogan —  keep the vampires dark and nasty, reinventing both the classic Dracula-era vampire and the contemporary “Ooh, bite me on the neck, baby” variety.  In this first book of a promised trilogy, a plane lands in NYC and goes completely dark and nonresponsive on the tarmac. The subsequent investigations of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather of the CDC Canary Unit – sent in to explore possible biological threats – lend the horror tale a thriller slant along the lines of writer Robin Cook, but the pace is high-octane Hollywood all the way. The speed at which the drama ratchets up is intense, as are the vampires, so the bits of heavy-handed summer blockbuster action are easily forgiven.


Click here to read an interview with Chuck Hogan about writing The Strain with G. Del Toro from the “Confessions of an Idiosyncratic” Mind blog.


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