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The Strain  By  cover art

The Strain

By: Guillermo Del Toro,Chuck Hogan
Narrated by: Ron Perlman
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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

Featured Article: The 25 Best Vampire Audiobooks to Suck You In


Vampire stories have fascinated people across cultures for generations. From gothic Transylvania to early-aughts Washington, it seems like vampires have taken every form in every culture and every country around the world. From all of these options, we’ve selected 25 of the best audiobooks from the pack—those with the most captivating characters, creepiest settings, and, perhaps most importantly, the best vocal performances available.

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What listeners say about The Strain

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,281
  • 4 Stars
    2,020
  • 3 Stars
    881
  • 2 Stars
    216
  • 1 Stars
    107
Performance
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    3,005
  • 4 Stars
    1,295
  • 3 Stars
    559
  • 2 Stars
    167
  • 1 Stars
    90
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2,765
  • 4 Stars
    1,468
  • 3 Stars
    668
  • 2 Stars
    149
  • 1 Stars
    73

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • 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.

49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow Start

The book has a very slow start, but picks up in the middle and towards the end. I read the hard cover when it came out and enjoyed it. I was looking forward to listening to it. The narrator pretty much ruined it. His slow monotone voice makes you want to chew nails. I suggest get the hard cover but if you get the audio, put it on 2x. It is fun to have a vampire story in the United States, in Modern Times and it not be a romance.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Painful to get through

I'll start off by saying Ron Perlman is an enjoyable and greatly versatile actor who can bring about wit like none can. As a narrator however, it took sheer willpower to get through the book. The monotone, lack of audible inflections, and annoying music snippets did not create an enjoyable listen.
The story itself had potential but, as fellow listeners noted, it quickly lost any depth and intrigue; becoming a run of the mill story with predictable directions.

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this 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.

25 people found this helpful

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

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.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Expected a lot more

I bought this because of the reference to Pans Labyrinth which was pure genius from start to finish. The Strain is far from it. The narration was really irritating and, as others have said, monotone. No sense of excitement or emotion in the reading. The writing did not live up to expectations. Too many examples of people dying at the vampires hands followed a set pattern and became formulaic. I was saying to myself, 'Yes, yes, get on with it. Boring.' The music at each chapter was exactly the same and I have never been so irritated by a piece before. I was getting relieved to get near the end when low and behold it's a triology. Very disappointing and if it had been half the story that Pans Labyrinth had been it would have been 10 times better than this effort. I was also thinking that this has pretty much been done/said before and was a bit cliched. Nothing really new and surprising. The point when they are fighting the Vampire Boss, and what happens at that point is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard/read even in this story.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-28-21

Awesome book

The book is good, the voice of the narrator is pleasant, but his performance is sort of bland. It does not ruin the experience, but it could have been better. I recommend it.