Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “They Thirst” as Want to Read:
They Thirst
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

They Thirst

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,880 Ratings  ·  222 Reviews
It looked like another ordinary day in Los Angeles
Then night came....
Evil as old as the centuries has descended upon the City of Angels---it comes as a kiss from the terrifying but seductive immortals. Slowly at first, then by the legions, the ravenous undead choke Los Angeles with bloodthirsty determination---and the hord
Paperback, 531 pages
Published May 1st 1981 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1981)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about They Thirst, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about They Thirst

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dirk Grobbelaar
Tonight there were demons in the hearth.

The prose in this novel is electrifying. McCammon has a way of capturing his reader’s attention from the very first. After all, who can forget the opening lines of Gone South?

Night had filled up the barrio like black rainwater in a bomb crater, and what stirred in its depths was unnameable.

So. Vampires. Before they were the laughing stock of the literary world they were actually pretty damn scary. Don’t believe me? Then read this book.

Scattered in the dir
Sep 13, 2011 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
Best vampire book ever!!!
I am so sick and tired of soulful, guilt ridden vampires. Whatever happened to evil vampires? The ones who want to rid the earth of humanity? The ones that make you wake up in the middle of the night scared that you might not live to see the sun rise? Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Anne Rice fan (Lestat is one of the all time best characters) and Buffy (although that is a movie/tv show), but vampires are suppose to strike fear into people’s hearts not make you want them
Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 02, 2016 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I read this one long ago and (frankly) had forgotten it. It's a "not bad" read that approaches "really good" at times. Every vampire book these days seems to have it's own version of the vampire myth and this (while it's not all that recent) does to, slightly. It stays pretty close to the traditional vampire persona, but as in some other books it owes more to the movie tradition than the actual folklore or "Stoker-esk" or "Dracula-esk" vampire. Here the author, using the "everyone who gets bitte ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Latasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think I would like this book as much as I didn't! Omg, it was awesome! Think swan song but with vampires!
Gregor Xane
May 07, 2016 Gregor Xane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I could barely make it through this book, and found myself skimming large amounts of text just to get to the end of the thing. I almost gave up on it numerous times, and still don't know why I finished it. No new twist on the vampire legend here (even for a book from the late 80's). The writing was weak, with metaphors that were groan-inducing. The end (view spoiler)
Adam Light
Sep 14, 2015 Adam Light rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another well written, apocaplyptic horror-fest by a true master. McCammon assembles a huge cast of diverse and mostly interesting characters and throws them into a gathering hellstorm of vampires. There was nothing terribly original here, but it made for exciting, pure eighties horror joy for this reader. It did take a long time for me to get into this one, but after about 40%, it took off and didn't slow down. Fojr solid stars.
Nancy Oakes
Jan 18, 2009 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
brief synopsis:

The story begins in Hungary, where a boy's father has gone off on a dangerous mission. He tells the son to take care of his mother in case anything happens to him. But shortly after he leaves, he returns, and he has changed. The mother runs off with the boy and heads for sanctuary. Years later, that boy (Andre Palatazin) is now a police detective in Los Angeles, his mother now dead. One morning he is awakened by what appears to be his mother, sitting in her favorite rocking chair
Sep 17, 2012 Kasia rated it really liked it
I’m both excited and appalled; excited because I picked such a good McCammon to read and appalled that it took me this long to finally read one of his books! I’m a huge horror fan but even I get side tracked by the myriad of available new reads pouring out all the time from beneath gifted pens, but this is 80’s horror which is one of my favorites and it didn’t fail to be as good as it should have. The story reads almost like a movie because it’s so colorful, crazy and picturesque, it starts off ...more
Andrew Lennon
This book started off pretty well and I really enjoyed two previous books from this author so I thought I was going to love it!
Sadly that wasn't the case, the first 200 pages or so we're good, but from then I found it a struggle. It became a bit slow moving at times and there seemed to be chapters here and there that didn't really need to be in the story at all.

I'll definit be checking more out by McCammon because like I said I enjoyed the previous two I read (boys life and swan song) so it's hi
11811 (Eleven)
I always enjoy McCammon's writing but this story was incredibly ordinary for vampire fiction. I almost hated it.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Sep 07, 2011 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is epic horror that you don't see so much of any more. It's 1981, L.A. the "land of eternal youth," where, as McCammon writes in his afterward, "just off the Sunset Strip there is a dark basement where men do terrible things."

I really enjoyed reading this novel. It's the kind of book that reinforces my love for the genre. McCammon throws together a wide cast of characters, both good and bad, and puts them through hell. The vampires are as evil as they're supposed to be, and the early 1980's
Jul 16, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is the kind of vampire novel I really like. The vamps are bad, really bad. And nasty. Nothing romantic about these undead. Probably one of my favorite vampire novels of all time.
Nov 11, 2014 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this one on audio and the narration was very good and the story was paced evenly throughout. It’s not fair to say that the character Palatazin reminded me of the guy in the Strain, but he really did. Ok, I get it that They Thirst was written almost 30 years before The Strain, but I couldn’t help it, especially with the heavy accent on the narration.

They Thirst is a good time 80’s horror romp, as the King of Vampires plots to take over the entire city of Los Angeles and then the res
Will Errickson
May 17, 2016 Will Errickson rated it did not like it
I feel a bit bad when my reaction to THEY THIRST is indifference, even impatience, same as to the other McCammon works I've read. This novel is lots of telling, telling, telling—over 500 pages of telling—and no showing. On a line-to-line basis McCammon's not a bad writer, he's just bland and pedestrian, with little snap, wit, or insight in his prose. It's a sprawling vampire epic set in the glittering midnight environs of the City of Angels, Hollywood USA. Characters, while plentiful, are stock ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of the best vampire books of all time. Though not well known to many readers; Robert McCammon has taken fear to a whole new level in this novel.
The vampires are the best part of the story and are no longer the regal vampires we grew up with. They are frightening and evil which is refreshing to read about.
Tobin Elliott
Aug 10, 2015 Tobin Elliott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, horror, fiction
So this is the first book that McCammon was confident enough to not have pulled. And it's his first "epic" novel, that is, one with a very large cast and a reasonably complex pacing to it.

Does it work? Yeah, most of the time, it's an excellent ride. There's occasionally some apparent waffling on the part of McCammon to get some supernatural stuff in there. Spirits. Ghosts. Mediums. Don't really know if it's needed, because his vampires were very well done. And bonus points for the line, "I fang-
This book might be a little harder to find because it is out of print but don't let that keep you from reading it because it is a GREAT book!

This is definitely one of my favourite vampire books. These are not wimpy vampires that sparkle and fall in love, they are the good old evil blood thirsty horror vampires.

The reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 stars is because I thought the end was a bit silly and disappointing. The book was impossible to put down. Another great McCammon book!
Jun 09, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I really enjoyed this book, enough to put it up there in the ranking of top 5 vampire books I have read. I thought the plot was interesting (though not new) the characters were very real, the vampires monstrous, and the outlook bleak.

Short Summary: LA is having a rough time: hoodlums are coming in from all over, a serial killer named "The Roach" is on the loose, someone has been robbing cemeteries of their caskets, and people are disappearing left and right. Some are muttering under their breat
David Holdredge
A mediocre book about vicious vampires and the struggling souls bent on defending themselves and loved ones against the onslaught of the dead. There were a few problems with this novel. 1. It takes 200 + pages to actually get interesting. 2. Too much detail given towards the setting. Easilly, 100 pages or more could have been edited out. 3. (Perhaps the largest problem) Every character is completely forgettable. I didn't care about any of the characters and found them all very cliche and dull. I ...more
Audrey Hacker
wow!!!!!!!!! this book was amazing!!!!!! i don't know why he has the book not to be published any more because it is extraordinary. this book is about the tough creepy vampires who wake up at night and suck your blood. needless to say i had nightmares! and i loved it! great book all around definitely recommend it.
Aug 07, 2012 J W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book back when vampires were still evil. Vampires didn't have a moral compass or feelings of guilt. Vampires did bad things humans didn't fall in love with them or want to become one. Humans feared and tried to kill them. Vampires were found in the horror section not the romance isle.
Jeff B
Jun 05, 2009 Jeff B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the best vampire novel I've ever read. Some huge vampire fans have told me it was too intense for them. Real, gory vampires. Not the pansy type so prevalent today.
Jacob O'connor
When I was a boy I read Robert McCammon's Swan Song. I loved it. About a year ago I recommended it to a friend, and I was shocked when he didn't like it. I started to question everything I believe in and hold to be true. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it did make me wonder if it was my boyish preformed mind that latched onto the book rather than any brilliance on McCammon's part. They Thirst only continued my confusion. It just wasn't very good.

On the plus side:
-The story moves quickly and there
Nov 10, 2012 Lou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert McCammon has set the stage, L.A is the setting, vampires are the dark element in this story. His vampires are not that of a teen romance urban fantasy kind but traditional in the sense that they use coffins, summon by mind control, you will find the traditional garlic and crosses as their weakness.
This is longer than your usual 300 page novel but it is in no way felt long due to McCammon's great ability to keep you hooked and with the characters involved. Many of his novels are in depth a
Dec 11, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
Let me start out by saying that this book is FUN. You will enjoy it for what it is---a good vampire tale told by a talented author.

One of the two great old school vampire take over novels. The other being Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Although they deal with the same concept they are very different.

Where King's masterpiece sets the action in a small town and makes the threat more confined and intimate (and scarier), McCammon's vampires attempt to take over Los Angeles with dreams of turning the w
John Weathers
Nov 01, 2010 John Weathers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful vampire novel that ranks up there with Salem's Lot and Dracula at the top of my list. Like Salem's Lot, this book is filled with truly creepy imagery, compelling characters, and a great premise. It starts off with an excellent, atmospheric prologue that gets under the skin and then takes off from there. Robert McCammon writes brilliantly and truly brings his settings and characters to life. He also has a great sense of unsettling imagery that he puts to terrific use here. I' ...more
Dec 26, 2013 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vampires in Los Angeles? Yeah, it sounds like the cheap plot of a B class movie, but McCammon does not disappoint in revisiting the legend of the classic vampire, real vampires, pure badasses with an urge to hunt, drink, and conquer.

My needle hovered between a 4 and a 5. If it were possible, I'd give it a 4.5, because as much as I loved the fresh perspective on vampires, the ending let me down a little. It was a little messy, a little haphazard, but not once did I regret picking it up.

The charac
Mar 18, 2016 MightyA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have the audiobook format with superb performance by Ray Porter (one of my favorite narrators). I enjoyed the writing style and the way the story is told from many characters point of views, and everything ties nicely towards the ending. And, it make sense why this story has to take place in Los Angeles.

As many reviewers had mentioned, this is the "old school" vampire format, like the one in Dracula by Bram Stoker (which is another great book, especially in audiobook format). Definitely a mus
Jeff Jellets
Jul 01, 2015 Jeff Jellets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Classic vampire horror fiction that turns the City of Angels into a City of the Damned

Robert R. McCammon is one of my favorite horror writers from the early 1980s and 90s, and books like Stinger and Swan Song still hold treasured space on my bookshelves. But – partially because it was out-of-print for years – I missed reading They Thirst -- McCammon’s epic tale of vampires versus the city of Los Angles – for decades. So … when I chanced upon a tattered paperback copy in an out-of-the-way thrift
At points terrifying and hilarious, this old-school vampire story felt almost cinematic, somehow capturing the feel of a high budget 1980s horror film.

Even if the carefully constructed imagery reminded me of Kubrick's rendition of The Shining, the writing was leagues beyond King's workmanlike prose.

I often found myself pausing to enjoy the balance the author struck with the language, finding a point where the writing is vivid, beautiful, clever, and well paced. Imagery and wordplay abound, and
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Headmaster 4 40 Jan 20, 2013 01:56PM  
  • Children of the Night
  • Midnight Mass
  • Vampyrrhic
  • The Light at the End
  • The Stake
  • Live Girls
  • Dweller
  • The Last Aerie
  • All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By
  • Bad Moon Rising (Pine Deep, #3)
  • The Hungry Moon
  • Burden Kansas
  • Family Portrait
  • The Ceremonies
  • The Mailman
  • Floating Dragon
  • Vampire$
  • The Wolfen
Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

A new contemporary novel, The Five, was published in May 2011 by Subterranean Press.

The fifth book in the Matthew Corbett historical fiction series is The River of Souls. It was published by Subterranean Press in trade, limited, and
More about Robert McCammon...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Right." He smiled bitterly. "Well, look around. Just look. Have you ever considered the possibility that God might be insane?” 10 likes
More quotes…