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They Thirst

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,589 ratings  ·  351 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 bloodthirst
...more
Hardcover, 412 pages
Published June 1991 by Dark Harvest (first published January 1st 1981)
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Menion Easy!! I think it's out of print, but there are plenty of copies for under $10 on abebooks.com, it's a website dedicated to used books. Just set up a…moreEasy!! I think it's out of print, but there are plenty of copies for under $10 on abebooks.com, it's a website dedicated to used books. Just set up a free account on the site and search for it. I just checked the stock, there are at least 5 copies for under $10.(less)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,589 ratings  ·  351 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Jun 10, 2017 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 being
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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 dirt at/>Scattered
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Edward Lorn
Last time I negatively reviewed a McCammon book, I lost a long-time acquaintance due to my opinion, so I thought long and hard about something today, and I realized that...

I'm willing to put money on the fact cole slaw is a type of salad, and that hotdogs are, indeed, sandwiches. That's my final answer.

It would seem that, for the first few years of his career, Robert McCammon was doing everything he could to be the best mimic in the horror business. Perhaps this is why he
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Peter
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
What a novel, this is 80s horror at its very best. A serial killer terrorizes L.A.. Who is the man the press calls Roach and what is his motivation? What about his mental contact to a master? Is there more in this story than a psychopath? Much more. Prince Vulkan found his way from Hungary across the Pond. He adores Alexander the Great and wants to establish a Kingdom of Vampires? The whole town of LA is to be turned into a town of vampires. What about mysterious biker Kobra (love that character ...more
Karl
Oct 01, 2017 added it
Shelves: dark_harvest-own
This is copy 123 of 500 editions signed by Robert McCammon.
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 wan
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Latasha
Nov 08, 2013 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!
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 24, 2010 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
Gregor Xane
Apr 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
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)
Kenneth McKinley
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Kasia
Mar 03, 2012 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 rated it really liked it
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.
Bri | bribooks
Because I was under the impression this novel is little more than a riff on Stephen King’s ’Salem’s Lot, I avoided it for a long time. However, in the last year or two I’ve really become a major Robert McCammon fan and decided to finally give this 1981 epic horror novel a chance. Was I impressed!

Let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, this novel has a few slight similarities to King’s vampire novel. Amongst this novel’s wide and varied cast of characters is a Catholic priest and an eleven-year
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Anthony
3.5 stars. I wanted to make this a four-star read, and believe me, I TRIED to like this a lot more than I did... if that makes sense. I was too excited to start reading this, and I wanted to love it, but the first (more than) half of the book, I felt like I was only forcing myself to read it, and I kept thinking of other books that I'd rather be reading. Oh, I was bummed out, wondering 'why don't I like this??' It's an early Robert McCammon novel, it's a horror, I began reading it the day befor ...more
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 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
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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 swa
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Nick
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a more 'classic' vampire story or at least it starts off that way. The old country cop who remembers a vampire attack, the mysterious foreign prince moving to the castle on the hill and so many of what i'd consider a more classic vampire story with the creepiness factor being built up slowly at first.

But very quickly it changes and gives you a swift kick in the gut as vampires start appearing everywhere by the hundreds and the unknown creatures suddenly come out in
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Charles
Jul 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
11811 (Eleven)
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
I always enjoy McCammon's writing but this story was incredibly ordinary for vampire fiction. I almost hated it.
Gary
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Great read. It is definitely a product of the 80s. It’s old school horror with apocalyptic vampires. The author didn’t want this released because he didn’t like it. His writing did mature after this, but this is more fun than his later stuff.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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Obsidian
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I did not finish this at 10 percent. I got nothing to say besides the writing hurt my head. I either love Robert R. McCammon or I don't. This is definitely one of the ones I don't love. There is too much thrown out and none of it makes much sense. This is a shame though because the prologue was so freaking good. And then when it moves to LA I just started to feel overwhelmed. Since I only got up to 10 percent I can say that the characters are too many and the book should have just been vampires. ...more
Bill
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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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
...more
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
Phil
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I discovered this as a result of Reddit comment which said that The Strain owed a lot to this. I enjoyed it. It's dated a bit, a lot of the references and characters feel a bit rusty, but the core story is still pretty gripping, as vampires take over LA. The antagonist isn't very scary, but it's still a pivotal book in horror literature and well worth a read.
Melissa
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, favorites
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.
Diane
Apr 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
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.
Aaron Nash
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A very strong 3 stars here.

I can honestly say that in my life i have read three vampire novels. This, Salems lot which i can hardly remember now, and let the right one in which is one of my all time favourites. The fact that i have read so little about them perhaps made me enjoy this book a lot more than i should have. I was buddy reading this with one of my good friends and numerous times he pointed out how unoriginal this novel is. Even when we finally both thought we had come acro
...more
Tobin Elliott
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fiction, horror
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 li
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Bloody Good Horror: September 2019 - They Thirst 7 23 Feb 21, 2019 04:11AM  
Gore and More: They Thirst - Robert McCammon 20 32 Feb 09, 2017 05:49AM  
Gore and More: They Thirst - Robert McCammon 1 7 Dec 02, 2016 06:49PM  
Headmaster 4 42 Jan 20, 2013 01:56PM  

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3,377 followers
Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. Among his many popular novels were the classics Boy's Life and Swan Song. 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.

His next novel, a standalone book called The
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“Right." He smiled bitterly. "Well, look around. Just look. Have you ever considered the possibility that God might be insane?” 13 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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