What Guillermo del Toro's Doing at Midnight

The mind behind Pan's Labyrinth brings The Strain -- a.k.a. the first installment of his vampire trilogy -- to Barnes & Noble tonight at 12AM.

Step aside, Stephenie Meyer. Back off, Twilighters. There's a new badass vampire on the bestseller block -- or at least that's what all the frenzy surrounding tomorrow's release of the apocalyptic fantasy novel The Strain would have us believe. Some of the hype, at least, is justified: The Strain comes from the demented imaginations of crime writer Chuck Hogan and director Guillermo del Toro, the man who gave us the eerie Pan's Laybrinth, who's working on the upcoming Hobbit movies, and who's been quoted as admitting "I have a sort of a fetish for insects, clockwork, monsters, dark places, and unborn things." (You don't say.)

Add in a vampiric virus set on wiping out Manhattan in one week and the country in one month, and you could see why the publishing world is eager to get readers hooked. The book officially goes on sale June 4, and Hogan and del Toro will be at the Park Slope Barnes & Noble tonight, ready to sign copies at the stroke of midnight. Meanwhile, visit The Strain's website for a peek into the book's murky underworld.

The Strain release event, 6/4 at 12AM at Barnes & Noble, 267 7th Avenue at 6th Street, Brooklyn; (718) 832-9066.

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