Saturday Slice #2 The Strain Trilogy: Reviewed

Welcome back kiddies to the Saturday Night Slice! This evening we’ll start our three part in depth review of Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain Trilogy. I chose these books to set off our little blog-time-together because of their contemporary relevance, exploration of the horror genre at large and well…they’re a hell of a great scare! So without further ado!

The Strain…

Back in ole 2009 acclaimed film maker Guillermo Del Toro teamed up with writer Chuck Hogan to create a tale of a vampire invasion on a global scale. The story centers on Dr. Ephraim Goodweather, an expert at the CDC (Center of Disease Control), when he’s called to investigate a Boeing 777 that has gone dead as it touches down at JFK.  Upon entry of the plane, Eph and his partner Nora, discover a disturbing scene neither their medical backgrounds nor modern rationale can explain.

Meanwhile, an elderly pawn shop owner, with a mysterious past, named Abraham Setrakian, has read the ancient signs and knows what is coming. His only hope is to reach Dr. Goodweather before the vampyric contagion can spread, first in New York… tomorrow the world…

Now you got the gist, so what about the book?!  

First, if you haven’t seen one of Guillermo Del Toro’s “great films” do yourself a service and check em’ out. Skip Mimic and sink your teeth into something like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, or a classic like Chronos (Guillermo’s first feature length which coincidentally is also his take on the vampire mythos). What you’ll find in these films is the same as what you’ll read in this book, a story-teller with a penchant for scary folklore, medical autopsies, and creepy bugs.

Lace that with the literary prowess of Chuck Hogan (a man most recently noted for the adaptation of his book Prince of Thieves  into the 2010 summer blockbuster The Town) and you got one booted-up-thriller-that’ll-kick-your-a$$.

But on a personal note…

What I think is interesting about The Strain are the places Del Toro and Hogan choose to explore in the genre. As the Boeing 777 touches down at JFK and the sense of fear and danger rise for the characters (and hey, let’s not forget us, the little-old-helpless readers!), the territory the story delves into reveals not just our love for a good scare in horror but our grown affection for its history and the parallels we see in these fairy-tale monsters in biology and ultimately in our societies as a whole.