book reviews

August 26, 2010

Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Julie Goodrich


‘The Strain’

By Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan




585 pp

In the first literary offering from well-loved film director, Guillermo Del Toro, “The Strain” delivers the kind of face-paced action and fantastical horror one expects from a Hollywood master. As so often, though, the written story goes much deeper than anything the silver screen can deliver. “The Strain” is an impressive feat with vivid scenes and smooth writing and is a great addition to the horror genre.

The first in a proposed trilogy, the story starts with a creepy Eastern European folk tale about a feeble man who disappears, only to return strong and healthy with no explanation. That tale quickly becomes much more haunting as the action begins in the present day and a plane landing at JFK turns into a national mystery as all the people on board are dead. Dr. Ephraim Goodweather of the CDC begins to investigate the incident, but soon it becomes clear the issue is not just limited to a few people on a plane. Soon Dr. Goodweather, with the help of Abraham Setrakian, a pawnshop owner and holocaust survivor, is drawn into an epic battle against a disease nightmare.

Written very much like an action movie script, but still retaining the extra depth of a novel, this book is full of brisk, sharp writing and snappy characters who quickly earn sympathy as they fight to save the world. Attention-grabbing from the first page, “The Strain” is difficult to put down and makes for a great vacation read, just not a plane! CV

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