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Video review of The Strain & The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

My dear, dear friend Beth reviews a couple of books. The Strain and The Fall are the first two books in a trilogy about vampires written by Guillermo del Toro (director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies) and Chuck Hogan (writer of “The Prince of Thieves: a Novel” upon which the film “The Town” was based). Given the recent trend toward vampires as troubled (read: whiny), lovelorn creatures full of self-loathing and angst, readers may be hesitant to take a chance on the books, but when they do, they’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. The creatures in the stories, far from the sparkling, brooding fanged heartthrobs populating fictional high schools everywhere, are ancient parasites.

Rather than seeing humans as complex, emotional beings from whom they feel a saddening distance, they see us as a food source, and an occasional nuisance. The vampires are powerful, frightening, relentless and – frankly – gross, as they excrete a pungent-smelling ammonia-based waste while they feed. The books detail the struggles of CDC (Center for Disease Control) employee Ephraim Goodweather and his motley band of believers (including a wizened, arthritic Jewish holocaust survivor and pawnbroker named Abraham Setrakian) to first be heard and believed about the vampire threat, and then to contain the virus before the contagion spreads too far and all hope is lost.

Fans of Justin Cronin’s “The Passage”, Stephen King’s darker works, and suspense in general will enjoy these fast-paced, gripping stories

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