Monday, November 22, 2010

'The Strain' by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

This book was the slowest, fastest book I’ve read in quite a while. Written by two guys; one an author the other a screenwriter, you really feel both strengths in this book. Since they started out writing this a trilogy they paced themselves. I call is “slow” because it takes them forever for this vampire plague to get its bloody appendage in the city of New York. I call it “fast” because there is very little down time in getting there. If I’m not making sense… I would partially agree with you. It’s almost like writing a story about crossing a street in your neighborhood. Shouldn’t take you long and should be uneventful right? But what if you were to witness a murder, get hit by a car, and break your leg in the gutter in your quest to cross the street? That’s what this book was like. Going from Point A to Point B takes on a whole new bloody slaughterous meaning.

The way things are now with vampires every author takes extreme liberty in the myth, the truth, and the legend of vampires. This one is no different. They introduce two totally disgusting and skin squirming appendages. There are your traditional vampires, your sexy vampires, your funny vampires, and THESE vampires. If you are easily nauseated then you don’t need to read this book. We get graphic detail on Nazi atrocities, organ-decimating viruses, and the repulsive feeding habits of these New York vampires. Oh wait… did I mention the rats? Big, nasty f-ers too! I love my vampire reads gory, fast, bloody, mean, and gross. ‘The Strain’ is all that. And more; because this is only book one in the trilogy. “End of the world” novels are my thing too and this one seems to be shaping up to be just that. I was just hoping that the end would come a bit faster.

This book is fun. It’s not a classic. English literary classes won’t use it for their curriculum. IT’S FUN. Kanye West won’t read it (but that fool doesn’t read anything), but his fans will. Critic will bash it (already have), but the average Joe (me) will stop writing this review now and go buy book #2.


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