I purchased The Strain when it first hit the bookshelves. Like many of you, I was drawn to the book because of Guillermo del Toro. Yes, the story sounded interesting, but it was del Torro’s name on the cover that drew me to the book.
I’ve been a fan of del Torro since I first saw The Devil’s Backbone. There hasn’t been too much del Toro has been involved with that I have not enjoyed. So, I was expecting something more than the book delivered. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good. The Strain, as my esteemed colleague Mike Hart would say, was “Meh.”
When it comes to books I can be, as Mike Hart can attest to, a snob. I don’t have time to read bad books. I refuse to settle on mediocrity. So, yes, I will re-read Suttree before I read this month’s popular young adult novel.
In my opinion there are two categories of novels on the bookshelves today. There’s books the author has clearly written the book for the big screen (anything by John Grisham) and then there are those books that get made into movies even if that was not the author’s original intent (The Road, anything else by Cormac). Clearly, The Strain falls into the latter category. Which would beg the question if del Torro was attached to the book why not just go straight into production of a movie or series?
To that I don’t have an answer. Unlike the unknown authors James Patterson has teamed up with Chuck Hogan had some credits to his name. Sure, teaming up with a famous director would get him more exposure and increase his books sales, but I don’t think that’s why the team up occurred. Perhaps, they really felt this was a story that needed to be told or, even worse, it was a passion project. Although I may not have enjoyed the book I can’t wait for The Strain to hit FX this summer. Yes, it may sound odd that I didn’t enjoy the book, but can’t wait for the series to start. When you stop to think a moment it makes perfect sense. It’s a vampire story, with a spin, directed by del Toro and based on a book he co-wrote. In addition, the cast looks awesome. Kevin Durand (Robin Hood, Lost) Corey Stoll (House of Cards) David Bradley (He’s English so he was in the Harry Potter movies) are just a few of the actors which should make the series fun to watch. Behind Guillermo del Toro is Carlton Cuse. Cuse has produced three of my favorite shows: Lost, Bates Motel, and The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. Yeah, it would be safe to say The Strain is on my must watch list this summer. Check out the trailer below: