Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Strain

This is a non-review of a book I didn't even finish. So feel free to skip this because there's absolutely no point to even post this at all.

I was actually really excited to read this book, being a big fan of horror novels and the films of Guillermo Del Toro. He is one of my all time favorite filmmakers, and has proved to be a master of the vampire genre. Blade 2 was awesome, and Chronos was one of the creepiest, most original interpretations of vampires I've ever seen. He's just a brilliant guy who writes and directs great movies.

So when I heard he was going to team up with noted horror writer Chuck Hogan to write a trilogy of novels that would take the now-watered down vampire genre and return them to the horror genre where they truly belong, I was ecstatic. I love vampires, but only when written by men. I don't mean that to sound sexist, but it's true. Women see vampires as some kind of odd analogy to sex and relationships. Men see vampires as monsters that just want to drink blood and kill people. That's just much more fun than sparkly skin wussies who go to highschool or spend all of their time in villas in the French Alps.

But boy was this book boring.

Well, maybe that's not a fair critique since, as I said above, I never actually finished it. Maybe it picked up after the first hundred pages, which is about where I put it down and just never picked it back up. But it certainly got off to an agonizingly slow start, after a really cool set up where a plane lands at JFK airport in NYC and then just goes dark on the runway. But then we get people calling the plane. And then people looking at the plane. And then people talking about the plane. And then people touching the plane and running away. Then people poke sticks at the plane. Then other people in other locations here about the plane. They don't even open the plane until about 70 pages in. By that point, what was a cool opening became ponderous and annoying. I'm all for building suspense, but get on with it already! And add into that the fact that this was plotted as the first part of a trilogy, and you've got a book that I figured would go nowhere and have no real ending.

And since Del Toro just flew to New Zealand to film The Hobbit, I doubt the next two books will get written or published anytime soon. So maybe in a few years (or more) after they are all published and in paperback, I'll revisit them. The writing was quite good, and the scenes I read were very creepy and well done. But I just stopped caring.

No comments: