Reviews of Guillermo Del Toro's Book, The Strain

Guillermo Del Toro's Vampire Book Is Out! But Is It Any Good?


There's no question Guillermo Del Toro is one of the current masters of bringing nightmarish (and fascinating) creatures to life on the big screen. If you've seen any of his movies (Pan's Labyrinth, the Hellboy movies) you know that he is serious about scary stuff. So it didn't come as a surprise to me that he is not happy about the way vampires are currently being embraced as romantic symbols, and he's taken these matters into his own hands.

Today he has released the first installment of The Strain, a vampire trilogy. Collaborating with novelist Chuck Hogan, Del Toro's vampires live among us and are viewed as monsters who spread their "virus" and threaten all of humanity. The book's description makes the vibe out to be very apocalyptic.

I've been wondering if this book could be a decent reading alternative for vampire fans who prefer their undead without the sparkle. After the jump, I've rounded up some reviews of the book. To find out if the buzz is good, read more.

Here's what the critics have to say:

  • "Del Toro and Hogan pay tribute to Stoker's classic, while presenting a more primal depiction of the undead as figures of repugnance and terror. . . . The cinematic quality really comes though, making the book feel more like a action blockbuster than a thought-provoking horror novel." — io9
  • "The Strain . . . doesn't have the Old World moodiness of Elizabeth Kostova's 2005 bestseller, The Historian, but what it lacks in misty Carpathian landscapes and haunted libraries it makes up for in apocalyptic action and supersize portions of gore." — Salon
  • "Fans of sexy boy vampires such as Edward Cullen, the heartthrob in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, won't want to date the vampires in The Strain." — USA Today
  • "This story will redefine how you look at vampires; del Toro mixes science and mythology like some mad chemist." — Collider.

What do you think? Sound pretty good? Are you going to give this eerie trilogy a shot?

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