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The Strain Book 1: not worth your time

The Strain Book 1: not worth your time published on 1 Comment on The Strain Book 1: not worth your time

As I mentioned earlier, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have started a vampire trilogy with The Strain, first of three books about vampire-as-virus infesting New York City and the Holocaust survivor and public health official who beat back the plague.

In two words: don’t bother. The thoroughly pedestrian prose takes way too long to get into the story. [Why NO, we don’t need 50 pages about the strange airplane full of exsanguinated dead people; just tell us that it was creepy, but they’re dead, exsanguinated, filled with white stuff instead of blood, and there was a weird coffin onboard that disappeared. You can do that in 20 pages, 15 even, and ramp up the tension even more.]

The cast is so large and fleshed out only so far as stereotypes allow that it’s impossible to give a flying fuck about any of them. Their voices aren’t very well differentiated, and, like I guessed earlier, there aren’t any female characters worth blowing one’s nose at.

Not even the innovative reinterpretation of vampirism as a cancerous sort of virus that is motivated by blood-hungry worms in one’s veins can compete with the crashing bore of this book. del Toro’s vivid, cinematic, disgusting and memorable imagination apparently doesn’t translate well out of the filmic genre, even with the help of a ghostwriter. Stick to movies, Guillermo.

Verdict: Don’t catch this disease.

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