on April 17, 2010
I was a little apprehensive about reading this book, but am very glad that I did. It is very well written while being kind of creepy and hard to believe at the same time. I can't imagine that Abraham Lincoln was ever a vampire hunter, but after reading this book - who knows? Anything is possible! This is definitely a story worth reading - but maybe not right before going to sleep!
I've seen the various titles and covers and had avoided this mash up genre up til now. I think the cover of Seth Grahame-Smith's previous best seller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies scared me off.
But you know, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained! The premise is that Seth has stumbled upon the secret journals of Lincoln, not seen for 140 years. From these personal journals, Seth retells the true story of Lincoln's life.
I think this was the neat part. Historically the tale is factual. Lincoln's accomplishments, family and history are all there. It's the reason behind those achievements and drive that is the twist. Lincoln's mother was killed by a vampire and this is reason he has sworn to rid the country of this scourge. Armed with his trusty axe, Abe cuts a path through many vampires on his way to the presidency. (Reader and listener beware - there are some slightly graphic descriptions) Grahame-Smith is very creative in his retelling of this iconic American figure, exposing the real history behind the Civil War and the truth about John Wilkes Booth.
I listened to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in audio format. The reader, Scott Holst, was very good. He captured the sonorous tones of Lincoln and the oddly formal tones and language of the vampire Henry equally well. I was able to easily differentiate between the various characters.
I don't think I'll become a die hard fan of the mash up, but I did find it to be an entertaining listen.
on September 23, 2013
I read this book for my Toastmaster Book club. I don't think I would have read this book otherwise.
The author took the real life story of Abraham Lincoln and suggested that he was a vampire hunter. He took real events in Abe's life and in American history and used vamopires to explain them.
I always look at the character development in the novel. The author had the challenge that his main character was already well known. Or, at least we thought so. I think that the author did a good job of using his mood and quirks to bring vampires and thier actions into his life story.
Apparently there are some inside jokes in the book for those that are well versed in vampire lore. I am not, so these jokes were over my head. It was fun to read a book about vampires that did not involve a forbidden romance. Yes, there are many vampire books with that theme.
If anything, go out and read the offical history of Abraham Lincoln. He was a remarkable man and worthy of you to learn more about.
I did enjoy the book.
When I first saw "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" as a movie trailer, I was stunned by the title and immediately started laughing, it seemed so ridiculous. A few days later, I came across the book at a store, and again, the title made me laugh. I did, however, pick it up, noted that it was a bestseller, and perused it. Notwithstanding the outlandish premise, I was sufficiently intrigued so that I ended up buying it.
After reading it nonstop, as I was totally unable to put it down, all I can say is that it is pure genius. Presented in a pretty straightforward, serious tone, it is at times funny, intriguing, and surprisingly well-written. It rivets the reader with its melding of history and fiction, as well as with the accompanying photographs that lend an air of authenticity to the author's story.
As crazy as the premise may seem, it totally works in this author's very capable hands. It is simply brilliant and a very entertaining book to read. I highly enjoy historical fiction, as well as vampire stories, and this book cleverly covered both genres. I simply loved the book!
I finally got around to reading this popular novel. The author had previously published Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. There is no doubt that it is fresh and fun (if vampires and slavery can be fun). The unique premise carries the day even if the execution, plot, true history, and pace all have challenges. There were a great deal of choppy mistakes throughout but the idea that Abe took on such evil with his sage-like demeanour largely covers them up.
on May 15, 2013
i like this book and found good print quality and handy book,
I would recommend others if they would like to read
on July 31, 2010
I must admit that I didn't really know what to expect when my contact at Hachette sent this one my way. Like many, I had heard about this author via the noise made by the popularity of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. My gut kept telling me that this novel wasn't quite up my alley, but my curiosity was piqued in a way that prevented me from giving it a pass.
Since I needed light and entertaining stuff to keep me from opening my veins out of boredom during my 26 hours of transit to get to and from Southeast Asia, and during my long bus rides across Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, I decided to bring Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter with me.
Here's the blurb:
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.
Seth Grahame-Smith's rewriting of American history turned out to be a fun read. At times, the author stretches the limits of credibility while incorporating vampires in the great tapestry which forms the backdrop for what became the Land of the Free. And yet, if you can do with a little suspension of belief here and there, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter makes for an entertaining read. History buffs could likely take this book apart, sure. But truth suffers from too much analysis anyway. . .
The novel follows the steps that saw Abraham Lincoln go from a young man to the President of the United States of America. Though I know enough of American history, I'm not conversant enough on the topic to say whether or not the author did a great job in his portrayal of Lincoln and the events which led to his becoming president. Making vampires the driving force behind every significant event of that epoch is a bit much, mind you, yet people buying a book titled Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter are probably prepared to deal with a few fantasy elements.
The characterization is a bit crooked at times. Abraham Lincoln, although a great man whose deeds have echoed down the centuries, may not have been the most endearing of men. Hence, it's a good thing the narrative doesn't necessarily rely on him to carry the story on his shoulders, because he can be a bit on the lame and boring side. Henry Sturges, on the other hand, was a very interesting character. Sadly, we don't get to learn much about the man.
Readers know the outcome of this one, as everyone has heard of Lincoln's fate. You feel like you can see the ending coming from a mile away. And yet, the author throws an unanticipated curveball toward the end that took me completely off-guard, and which brings this novel to a satisfying close.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is a light and compelling read. Probably not a work that people will be talking about in years to come, but a fun read nonetheless.
Seth Grahame-Smith is well known for having turned Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" into a zombiefest, so what would he turn his gruesome imagination to next?
The answer: Abraham Lincoln, the iconic sixteenth president of the United States. Unfortunately, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" isn't Grahame-Smith at his best -- it's a slow, wangsty slog that never quite makes up its mind whether it's a novel or a fictionalized biography. While Grahame-Smith conjures some unique ideas, it's not really funny or witty.
According to Grahame-Smith, he was leading a mundane existence running a store when he was accosted by a customer of his -- who turned out to be a vampire, and who wanted him to adapt and reveal Abraham Lincoln's secret journals. Born into a tiny farm in the Indiana woodlands, Lincoln first learned of vampires after his mother's death, and began a lifelong crusade to destroy as many of his mother's killers as possible.
With the assistance of a couple of buddies -- and a friendly vampire named Henry -- Lincoln's quest continued, only for him to lose more loved ones and friends as he silently destroyed the undead. Even after marrying and being elected president, Lincoln's main focus was on vampires -- especially since the United States and its countless enslaved people are being threatened not just with slavery, but with a fate worse than undeath.
The whole idea of the great Abraham Lincoln fighting against the undead is a pretty quirky idea, and the idea of a fictionalized biography filled with presidential vampire-slaying is even cooler. Sadly, this book only taps a little of that potential -- and the worst part is that you KNOW the author can do better.
Grahame-Smith's writing is also very uneven, swinging randomly between the aloof tone of a memoir/biography, and the florid gore-splattered mood of a vampire novel. Even the author seems to forget what kind of book he's writing, since there are huge chunks (including the final scene) which couldn't possibly be in Lincoln's secret journals. And the first half of the book is painfully slow and repetitive, although it becomes more interesting in the second half.
There ARE some clever moments (Lincoln and Poe's conversation, and Poe's suspicious death shortly thereafter), and some intense musings on good and evil ("That belief -- thaat we live beyond the reach of darkness -- is one that vampires have worked tirelessly to instill through the centuries"). But these aren't enough to save the book.
And this vampire-slaying version of Lincoln is not very likable either -- he whines, moans and mopes constantly, and reacts to every personal tragedy or setback with suicidal melodrama. He doesn't seem to have the backbone to be a president, let alone a vampire hunter. He's Emo-ham Lincoln! The only interesting character is Henry, a "good" vampire who gives Lincoln information and little nudges in his silent crusade. Too bad we didn't hear more about him.
I was expecting some wit and clever historical twists in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," but instead Seth Grahame-Green drags us through a wildly uneven, melodramatic little historical novel.