Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith: A Review


Abraham Lincoln Vampire HunterAbraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith writes what might be an alternative history of the life of Abraham Lincoln. Then again, maybe it's not.  Well, of course it is, but it's written well enough that it feels like it could be true, and isn't that one of the hallmarks of a great story?  Grahame-Smith challenges the reader with outlandish and incredible notions, like "vampires exist," but does so with such convincing language as to make the reader do repeated gut, and fact, checks, somewhere getting caught up in the willing suspension of disbelief until it becomes unwilling inability to feel certain of the novel's fictive nature.

I liked it.  I liked it as an historian. I liked it as fan of the vampire genre.  Grahame-Smith even made me like Abraham Lincoln, a historical character about whom I've never been able to feel enthusiastic. I highly recommend it, though I warn you, you'll likely be tempted to read a well researched historical biography about the man as soon as you put it down.

I've heard there is going to be a movie. This scares me, because there is a lot of room in there for a great, yet dark, adventure and tale of patriotism and purpose, but equally so, there is a lot of room for needless gore, which I am not in any way interested in seeing.  Blissfully, while there are atrocities described accurately, they are not described in lingering detail or sensationally.  Rather, atrocities and graphic descriptions are precisely as long and detailed as necessary to convey the situation, which I greatly appreciate.

If you like alternative history or vampire stories, this needs to be on your reading list.


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