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They Thirst

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  6,482 ratings  ·  171 reviews
A MASS MURDER.
A DISAPPEARANCE.
A CEMETERY RANSACKED.
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
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Paperback, 531 pages
Published May 1st 1981 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1981)
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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
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Gabrielle
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
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Mike (the Paladin)
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
Kasia S.
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
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Nancy Oakes
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
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Charles
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.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
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
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Bill
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
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Alannah
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!
Kristen
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
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Jeff B
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.
Lou
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
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Chris
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
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John Weathers
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
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
Diane
I can't finish this. Some books are long and you just want more because it's so good. This one could have done with some serious editing. After trying to struggle through to see what happens I have to give up because it's painful. I guess this means I'll be skipping Swan Song by this author.
Nat
i read this book a long time ago because my brother told me it was good, and it was. i will say this is one if only a few scary books that kind of had me a little bit scared, i might have even gotten up to make sure my doors were locked.
Kylie
It is a real treat to come across a more traditionally styled vampire novel that actually makes you realise what it is that is so horrible about them, that they are the legends they are.

McCammon weaves together the stories of a number of different people in LA, bringing them together to both join and fight the evil brought to the city by the vampires. There is also a serial killer in the mix, a Hungarian now American police detective who had wiped from his memory his early homeland vampire exper
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Amber
I have read this book several times now and each time something else strikes me and catches my attention and I dont want to put it down. Great Vampire novel.
Azariphale
Completely un-typical vamp book, which is the total appeal. Main baddies have good character development and the whole thing moves at a decent pace.
Rusty Lundgren
Great book. But not 5 stars. Highly recommended!!
Jim
Disappointingly Mediocre and Cliched

I have been a fan of Robert R. McCammon since I first read SWAN SONG shortly after its publication in 1987. It was his seventh novel and the first to appear on the NY Times Best Seller list. It was an awesome, epic piece of work. Since then I have read a number of other RRM novels including BOYS LIFE and, most recently, THE FIVE. All slightly different, all clearly written by a master craftsman.

So when I ordered THEY THIRST for the Kindle, based on reading a n
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Trace
Wow another great book about old-style, mankind against the truly evil creatures whose shadows spook us from dark corners of our mind? or are these hideous spawns of Satan really stalking us after the sun goes down?
This book was a really great read albeit a bit long. I must admit I don't like to read books over the 400 page mark unless I read really and I mean really great reviews. This book was one of them I decided to read based on such glowing reviews.
The storyline kept me captivated until t
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Devonta
‘They Thirst’ is the tale of an already tarnished city being marked and tarnished by the forces of darkness. Life in LA is already brutal enough as it is, now things are about to get a lot worse. McCammon builds up tension and expectations through a series of ‘otherworldly incidents’ (the ransacking of a cemetery and mass disappearances amongst others) and it’s anyone’s guess as to whether something will happen or if the anticipation will be agonisingly dragged out just that little bit more.

When
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Damond
As many of you know, I love horror novels. If anyone were to ask me who my favorite horror author ever is, most would expect me to say King or Barker or Poe. They'd be wrong. That honor belongs to Robert R. McCammon. Ever since high school, when I first picked up a copy of the incomparable The Wolf's Hour at a local drugstore and continued with the addicting Usher's Passing, he is one of the few authors whose books I've read more than once. More than twice, even. He has a considerably smaller ca ...more
Joe
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
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Leina Bektassova
I don't really like vampire books. There are some exceptions like Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice or, of course, Dracula by Bram Stoker. And They Thirst made in my fave books list to the top! I've read it in Russian with a pretty good translation like maybe 20 times and knew the lines by memory. Now I am definitely going to read it in English.

I love that there are not sleazy cheesy love stories between vampires and humans in this book. I love that vampires want to destroy people, make the
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Drew
As a horror novel They Thirst must rank up there with classic vampire novels such as Stephen King's Salem's Lot, Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and Stoker's own Dracula. They Thirst poses the question of how would a place such as Los Angeles do when confronted with one of mankind's oldest evils. 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. Like a dam just barely keeping the overflow from breaching ...more
Gordon
Really my favorite vampire book and I've read Salem's Lot and Dracula. This romance takes place in modern Los Angeles and brings the Peter Pan values of vampirism to the youth culture of LA. McCammon is a professional script writer, so it isn't to be wondered at that the understanding of Los Angeles and its people is deep and humorous. The book takes itself seriously. It's a great read, filled with little turns and interesting characters, central of which is dark prince himself. It's really wort ...more
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The Headmaster and Swan Song 1 24 Oct 05, 2013 02:55PM  
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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
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More about Robert McCammon...
Swan Song Boy's Life The Wolf's Hour Mine Speaks the Nightbird (Matthew Corbett, #1)

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“Right." He smiled bitterly. "Well, look around. Just look. Have you ever considered the possibility that God might be insane?” 9 likes
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