Jul 07 2012

Book Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by: Seth Grahame-Smith

Posted by Mathias in Book Reviews

Warning! May contain spoilers!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is one of those books that you just cannot help but give high marks for its ingenuity and concept. What it lacks up for in terms of historical accuracy can be mostly overlooked, although there are times that the historical narrative of Lincoln’s life is just too stretched. This does put a certain amount of strain on the plot that anyone with a strong understanding of Lincoln’s life will find hard to ignore.

In the book, we discover early on that Abraham Lincoln led a double life and that he was one of the foremost vampire hunters in America. This alternate career of Abe starts at a young age and we follow him through his encounters.

Lincoln befriends a vampire by the name of Henry Sturgess. Henry points Abe towards targets and exposes vampires for him to kill.

The tale spins the civil war into a battle between vampires (apparently mostly slave owners in the south who use blacks as chattel for their feeding) and “The Union” – a group of vampires determined to see an end to the gluttonous feeding of their brethren.

As far as the writing itself is concerned, yes, it is clumsy at times. Or so it seems. But since much of the story is told in the voice of Abraham Lincoln, and in a style of speaking that modern Americans are not used to, this can be mostly overlooked as a problem. The style the author gives to Lincoln’s speech and writing actually does more to lead to the authenticity to the story than detract from it. Although, yes, it can be hard to follow at times for people not used to reading more classical writing from centuries past.

My biggest problem with the story was suspending disbelief. Being fairly familiar with Lincoln’s life and having read many things about him, including his own letters and correspondence, it is obvious that the author pulls the threads of his life too thin at times to make the story work.

Yet, the story is still a good one. It is a fun little bit of escapism. I want to give the book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter a review of three and three quarter stars, but feel compelled to give it a boost to four stars just for the daringness of it. So four stars it is.

   

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