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They Thirst Paperback – October 1, 1988

176 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 1, 1988
$45.00 $2.59
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Prince Vulkan, master of the vampires, has loosed his army of the undead on Los Angeles in this seamlessly written horror novel by the author of Mine. Vulkan's plan is to replace humankind, city by city, with the living dead. Four people stand in his way. Homicide detective Andy Palatazin, a Hungarian immigrant who fled this scourge as a child, is determined to stop it now. Young Tommy Chandler, whose parents were killed before his eyes, wants revenge. TV star Wes Richer hopes to save his beloved by tracking Vulkan to his lair. Father Silvera, a dying priest, believes that God has chosen him to destroy the vampire prince. Wreaking death and carnage, Vulkan proceeds to a final confrontation between the forces of good and evil. McCammon delivers terror with skillful ferocity as he pays tribute to masters of the genre and raises the standards for the craft a notch or two.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

First hardcover edition of an early (1981) mass-market paperback by the increasingly popular and accomplished McCammon (see Boy's Life, reviewed above). An epic tale of an army of vampires bent on world dominion, the adrenalized, splatter-happy narrative, set in Los Angeles, reflects McCammon's pulp-horror roots even as, in its richness of character and subplot, it presages his latter work (and the influence of Stephen King). Suspenseful, exciting, and visceral--Prince Vulkan of the vampires makes a particularly nasty impression--and a treat for new-found McCammon fans. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket (October 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671735632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671735630
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert McCammon is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including the award-winning BOY'S LIFE and SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD. There are more than four million copies of his books in print. His latest novel, THE RIVER OF SOULS, is the fifth book in the Matthew Corbett series. It is available now from Subterranean Press in both trade hardcover and Kindle formats.

His next novel, THE BORDER, is SF/horror. It will be published in May 2015 by Subterranean Press. Later in 2015: a limited edition of BLUE WORLD and trade paperback editions of BLUE WORLD, THEY THIRST, and THE HUNTER FROM THE WOODS, as well as I TRAVEL BY NIGHT 2: LAST TRAIN FROM PERDITION.

Visit his websites: www.robertmccammon.com and www.matthewcorbettsworld.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A. Sandoc on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Robert McCammon's 1981 vampire novel, They Thirst, has to be considered one of the best of its kind in horror literature. Most vampire novels take on either the Victorian-era guise with velvet coats and silk fipperies, or they take the more monstrous route with the vampires less a literary analogy for repressed-sexuality and more the undead monsters that they are. In They Thirst McCammon takes the concept of the vampire as an evil plague that slowly acts like an epidemic, consuming all in its path until none are left and only the primogenitor of its evil left to rule over the wasteland.

McCammon's vampire tale is a massive one which takes on a very epic scope from the beginning of the story all the way to its apocalyptic ending. Similar in tone to Stephen King's Salem's Lot, They Thirst posits the question of how would a place such as Los Angeles do when confronted with one of mankind's oldest evils. With Salem's Lot the same premise is used but in a smaller, intimate setting of a quaint New England town where everyone knows everyone. McCammon does King exponentially better by setting They Thirst in one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world. The vampire lord in question is Prince Vulkan, a Hungarian prince from the 13th-century whose plan to create a vampiric empire molded in his image begins in the City of Angels.

The story begins simple enough with grave-robbings and an inordinate amount of mysterious disappearances. They Thirst still follows the so-called vampire rules laid down by Stoker in Dracula which he in turn had taken from Eastern European folklore. There's even a subplot concerning one rich executive whose business of mass-producing coffins catches the gaze of Vulkan and his minions.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Crypt on May 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
...or someone should consider it soon. This is one of the few books I've read that would translate almost perfectly to the screen. This is no literary triumph. It seems to have been forgotten as well. What we have here is a wonderful, interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable vampire story. The author offers a version of the vampire myth that is both familiar and original. One thing I liked was the main villain, the vampire king. Not exactly who you'd expect to be the king of the undead, but it works quite well. The heros of the story are somewhat unlikely too... but this adds an element of realism to the story.
It's interesting that the author seems to make numerous blatant references to classic vampire literature such as Dracula, Carmilla, and even King's Salem's Lot, as well as films like Nosferatu. These references seem to be put there for hardcore vampire fans to notice and make the reading even more enjoyable. There is also a deep religious message in the story. It's a book dealing with the battle between Good and Evil.
Overall, this book was a very pleasant read. I could go as far as to say that this book could give Salem's Lot some competition. Unfortunately it seems to have been overlooked through the years. Someone adapt this book for film!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Forget Anne Rice and her wimpy "Interview With a Vampire" series, here is a REAL vampire saga. The undead horde is loose in L.A. and Hellbent on taking over the entire city. And when an epic dust storm enshrouds the city, their time has come. McCammon has created a fast-paced nerve tingling story that along with Stephen King's "Night Shift" and Skipp and Spector's "The Light at the End" is among the best of the modern graphic vampire stories. But be forewarned, this stuff isn't for the faint of heart.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Robert McCammon really outdid himself this time ! I rate this one up there with "Salem's Lot" by Stephen King. In fact, I think it may be a tie. This is one book I would love to see made into a movie. Could be really scary !
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matt C. Stedman on August 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
Robert R. McCammon is compared to Stephen King a lot. Many say he rips off King. The similarities between The Stand and Swan Song are obvious. And so are the similarities between Salem's Lot and They Thirst. You have an ancient vampire taking over and conquering a specific area and then a band of fearless vampire hunters who join together to stop them (including an adolescent boy and a preist in both books).
Stephen King has a talent for making his stories and characters seem real. In that sense it is much better than They Thirst. But Robert R. McCammon has a talent for taking an idea and going to the extreme. In Salem's Lot the vampires conquer a small New England town. In They Thirst they conquer L.A. It's the largest scale vampire story I know of since Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. Salem's Lot also has a pretty weak climax, but the final confrontation from They Thirst is huge and brilliant. It's actually reminicent of The Stand's finale but even better than that!
Overall its not as well-written or as scary as Salem's Lot (The same can be said in comparing The Stand and Swan Song). There's always been a kind of immaturity to McCammon's writing, especially his early novels like this one, that keeps him from being really scary. But, like all of McCammon's books, They Thirst is one heck of ride. And McCammon still has more depth than Koontz's or Saul's novels although he is not quite on King's level in my opinion.
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