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They Thirst

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  8,932 Ratings  ·  262 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, 565 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Pocket (first published January 1st 1981)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 10, 2017 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, hungarians
”Death smiled---a boyish smile---through an old man’s eyes.

‘Welcome,’ he said.”

When you live in those Middle European countries like Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Serbia, you grow up hearing stories of monsters. The very air, the darkness, the looming mountains, and the shrieks... at the very heart of the night... that stirs people from a sound sleep with terror blooming in the midst of their waking nightmares, convinces even the most cynical of minds to believe that evil beings lu
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
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)
Oct 24, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
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
Nov 08, 2013 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
Apr 24, 2011 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)
Ken McKinley
Dec 02, 2016 Ken McKinley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how this one slipped through my fingers. I could've sworn that I'd read They Thirst many, many years ago, but for some odd reason I couldn't remember much at all about it. So, I figured it was time for a re-read. Well, now I know why I don't remember much about it - I never read the damn thing, in the first place! And oh what a treat this has been. Imagine discovering a new book by your favorite author written smack dab in the time period of when they did their best writing. That's ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Kasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Adam Light
Nov 24, 2011 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
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 24, 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.
May 15, 2012 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
Jul 31, 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.
Cindy Newton
I decided to try this as an audiobook, and I feel it was a really good choice. The narrator is excellent, and I think he had excellent material to work with. The vampires are wonderfully evil, with nary a sparkly emo bloodsucker in sight! There's also a serial killer with mommy issues, lots of 80's-style partying, leather-clad biker gangs, sassy barrio kids, and a genuine old-world vampire slayer in the form of a Hungarian police detective.

I was immediately drawn into the story, and it never le
Will Errickson
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
Tobin Elliott
Aug 04, 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-
Jan 20, 2009 Alannah rated it really liked it
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 06, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 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
Oct 09, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2016
Robert McCammon is definitely one of the masters of horror. This audio book was long, but never boring. Between the author and the narrator and because the book is set here in Los Angeles, I was able to mentally picture everything that was going on. I listened for hours at a stretch. 4.5 stars because I felt that there were a lot of minor characters to keep track of along the way, and this can be a bit of a pain when listening vs. reading. Otherwise, rather excellent.
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.
Nov 06, 2016 Alondra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
4 Stars.

I took too long to read that.

Another great read from Robert McCammon; with vampires and would-be Van Helsings, trying to conquer. In the end I had no idea who would win this war, and still don't. Read it to find out.

Good ending
Brandon Petry
4.5. There were just a couple of things that kept this from being a full 5. I really enjoyed it, perhaps even more than 'Salem's Lot. I was obsessed with McCammon, King, Straub and other popular horror authors from the 80's growing up and McCammon is by far the most pleasurable to revisit.
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.
Mar 28, 2017 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Old school vampire lovers
I remember reading this for the first time and finding myself totally involved in the story. It was a vampire story that I could understand with people who did predictable and sometimes stupid things but the human thing to do. The vampires that are created are in a lot of instances the worst kind of people who can be found to begin. I like that time is taken to develop each of the main characters and it even gives a nice accounting for the side characters. This was even better for me because I l ...more
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Gore and More: They Thirst - Robert McCammon 20 27 Feb 09, 2017 05:49AM  
Gore and More: They Thirst - Robert McCammon 1 4 Dec 02, 2016 06:49PM  
Headmaster 4 41 Jan 20, 2013 01:56PM  
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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.

The sixth book in his Matthew Corbett historical fiction series, Freedom of the Mask, was published in May 2016.

The second book in the Trevor Lawson I Travel by Night series, Last Train from Perdition, will be published in October 20
More about Robert McCammon...

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“Right." He smiled bitterly. "Well, look around. Just look. Have you ever considered the possibility that God might be insane?” 12 likes
“We?” Vulkan shook free of the Headmaster’s grip. “We? Didn’t you hear them shouting? Whose name did they call? Mine! Prince Conrad Vulkan, King of the Vampires! They call me Master. They recognize me as the highest power!” “I have given you and your kind life. I have taught you the secrets of power, the sorcery of Aba-aner, Nectanebus, and Solomon. I have taught you what it means to be a king. But you’re not invincible, Conrad.…” Vulkan” 0 likes
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