The Strain


Authors: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Title: The Strain

Genre: Horror

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 401

Geographical Setting: New York City

Time Period: Present Day with a few flashbacks to the 1940s

Series: 1st book of the Strain Trilogy

Plot Summary: A plane lands in New York and immediately stops responding to air traffic control. Dr. Eph Goodweather of the Center for Disease Control is called to the scene to investigate. After boarding the plane he discovers that only four passengers are still alive and the rest have died under mysterious circumstances. The survivors do not remember what happened and are beginning to feel sick. Dr. Goodweather finds himself following a trail of bizarre clues, as the dead bodies do not display the normal characteristics of the dead, when all the bodies disappear. Soon he teams up with Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian, who has seen all of this before. They are the only ones who have realized that a vampiric virus is threatening to take over the entire city.

Subject Headings: Vampires –Fiction. Virus diseases — Fiction. Epidemics — New York (State) — New York — Fiction. New York (N.Y.) — Fiction.

Appeal: fast-paced, relentless, multiple points of view, action-oriented, cinematic, explicitly violent, flashbacks, investigative, plot twists, plot-centered, tragic, contemporary, urban, chilling, dangerous, darker, foreboding, menacing atmosphere, nightmare, suspenseful, jargon

3 Terms that best describe this book: cinematic, violent, suspenseful

3 Relevant Fiction Titles

Night Blood by James Thompson – A vampire disguises himself as a doctor as he attempts to cure his blood disease while his colleagues search for a killer who drains his victim’s blood. (another medical drama featuring doctors and vampires)

Fangland by John Marks – A television producer travels to Romania to investigate a story, and wakes up several months later in a Transylvanian monastery with no memory of what happened (a contemporary take on Dracula written by a former television producer which should appeal to readers who enjoyed the cinematic aspects of The Strain)

Hater by David Moody – A British man struggles to protect his family as people around him suddenly and inexplicably develop homicidal tendencies (another lone man fighting against a possible epidemic and Del Toro has bought the film rights)

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Titles

Stiff: the curious lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach – A funny history of the many ways cadavers have benefited the living (for readers intrigued by the morgue scenes)

Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan – A detailed history of rats in New York City (this title was recommended by Del Toro and Hogan and should appeal to readers intrigued by rat’s roles in crisis situations)

Subwayland: Adventures in the World beneath New York by Randy Kennedy – Stories of what actually goes on underground (for readers who wonder what the subway system is like when vampires aren’t using it for their lair)

Bonus Title

The Vampire Survival Guide: How to Fight, and Win, against the Undead by Scott Bowen – Let’s face it Del Toro and Hogan’s vampires are seriously scary and the epidemic will spread fast if we’re not prepared!

Name: Elizabeth


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