Saturday, May 12, 2012

Abraham Linconln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Book Summary (from

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

My Review

So...yeah, I read it.  As I mentioned on The Help review, I try to read the books before watching the movie, and I know I will go and see this one with my boyfriend. And he read the book and liked it, so I said why not.

The story is presented in three acts: The Boy, parts of Lincoln as a boy, and teenager, the struggle of this family, and off course, first encounters with vampires; The Vampire Hunter, Lincolns as an adult, changing jobs, falling in love, being heart broken...and trying to kill every vampire in America; and President, the road to the White house, Civil War, detractors and off course assassination.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes, is an easy read, and the parts that are non-fiction are (apparently, I checked some of the facts, not everything) well researched. I even stumble upon this blog with a nice entry of fact versus fiction in the book. 

Another thing that I liked is the way the author intertwined the vampire side of the story with the facts. When you are reading the “excerpts” of Lincoln’s journal, sometimes he will be talking about daily life, the love of his life, his kids...and then just like changing to talk about the weather, you see a sentence talking about vampires. 

I found it interesting how the author manage to present the Civil War as not just the Southern States against the Union, but actually parties of vampires taking sides, promoting or blocking abolition. Also the way he manages to explain the deaths of several of the characters by “vampire poisoning” instead of typhoid fever or tuberculosis, which are off course the real reasons. 

I also liked the type of vampires of this book; they are not all the same, even though they all feed the same. They are not all pretty boys, they are not all zombie liked. They are, as one of the characters puts it: like another species, closer to human, and hence should not be judge all equally (I paraphrased here, I didn’t mark my page, and I don’t feel like looking for the exact quote.
However, it was not a book that made me urge to read it. Even though the flow of the book is good and the story is well told, there is no WOW factor or moment that forces you to keep reading through the night. 

I realized that this is not the first book of the author, but I don’t feel like giving Pride, Prejudice and Zombies a try (none of the 2 versions, since apparently, 1 wasn’t enough). I think this new “genre” is just not for me. I mean, I cannot see the allure in a book called Jane Slayer (Jane Eerie)
So, that’s it for this book, not great but not awful, and entertaining read in all.

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