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

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Author: Seth Grahame-Smith

Published: March 2, 2010 by Grand Central Pub.

Number of Pages: 352

Rating: 4/5

Quote:

I have come to believe that the only peace in this life is the end of it. Let me wake from this nightmare…this brief, meaningless nightmare of loss and struggle.”

Review:

First of all, I apologize for being such a lame blogger this week. I did so well last week and hoped that my driven-ness would slide over to this week as well, but it didn’t. Anyway, here’s a post, and I hope next week will be better. Also: Holy crow! You’re running out of time to enter to win one of five copies of Matthew Quick’s [Interview] fabulous Sorta Like a Rock Star [Review]! The giveaway ends May eleventh. If you’d like to enter, click. (Rereading this paragraph gives me whiplash. I went from apologetic to hopeful to freakishly excited. Whew!)

I was absolutely fascinated by this book, and quite honestly, even more surprised. I did not intend to finish this book with any sort of admiration for Seth Grahame-Smith, no offense to him personally, but, really, he wrote a book called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I still haven’t mustered up the courage to read that book.

But I would be lying if I didn’t say that this book will challenge everything you think you know. Grahame-Smith has you nearly convinced that the government is conspiring to ensure that the American public does not realize that vampires do, indeed, exist. The factual approach to the fiction is remarkable. I was totally in awe when I finished.

Although the book felt like non-fiction, it definitely read like fiction – as in you were incredibly engrossed in every word and were turning the pages so quickly that you were lucky you avoided a paper cut. My dad read about two chapters when he was sitting with me in my room one day (I believe I was writing), and he’s planning on reading the book as well (as soon as he finishes The Bourne Identity…).

I was caught up in the very idea from the start, and the style in which Grahame-Smith wrote captivated me. I enjoyed alternating cleanly between the first-person journal entries and narrative. You get an insider’s view and the advantage of knowing more than the protagonist.

Speaking of a protagonist…

Abraham Lincoln’s mother died of milk sickness when he was young. Or so he was told. In reality, she was killed by vampires. Lincoln first learns of vampires’ existence from his father. As a very young man, he resolves to rid the world of as many vampires as possible.

Along the way, he learns of the vampire’s key role in the Civil War and slave trade, of their influence on the powerful men of America, and he learns that not every vampire is a blood-sucking bundle of Hell. But most of them are. Henry, a vampire that Lincoln gets to know very well, said something wonderfully interesting, which I’ll quote, because I know you want to read it:

Judge us not equally, Abraham. We all may deserve hell, but some of us sooner than others”

Lincoln was a strong character, one who you learn to admire and sympathize with. He’s extremely motivated, clearly, and he’s just as human as the rest of us, not idolized. Of course, part of his character was fictionalized, because I don’t believe the author was close friends with the man in question, but all the same, he was a character you could happily cheer on, which is what I believe every reader is looking for.

Grahame-Smith did a fabulous job of blending fiction with the non. The historical fact was expertly woven into the story, again creating the sense of reality to the entire book. I loved the fact that I couldn’t differentiate between fact and fiction at times. I sat with the book in my lap, staring at my bedroom wall, and simply mulled over the idea, the impossibilities that, for a moment, seemed possible.

Quite honestly, I don’t have anything even semibad to say about this novel. It’s enjoyable, informative, well-written, fascinating, and beautifully controversial. Grahame-Smith took a leap of faith, just as he did with his previous and even more controversial book, and he landed firmly on both feet. I’d most definitely recommend this book and believe it would make for a fabulous book club discussion.

Alright, that was a short review for me at not quite 600 words. How was it? I’m beginning to realize that I really cannot take an hour and half to write 800-word long reviews any longer. Was there something missing? I’m just trying to figure out how much time I can spend writing a blog post while still satisfying anybody who reads my review. I’d appreciate input!

Have a wonderful weekend! I’m going to work a bit on my idea for The Lemonites (working title), which is the novel with the pestering main character, Pepto. Also, my LA (Language Arts) teacher gave me the assignment of compiling as much research as possible on the Nook, Kindle, and iPad (e-reader wise) by Monday. If you have anything to say in regards to any of those, please say it!

One Commentto “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith; Review”

  1. Hey Madeleine,

    Great review. I confess I've been unable to get through Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which made me hesitant to pick this book up. After reading your review, I think I will have to give it a try!

    I don't think your review was too short in any way. In fact, I often find reviews that are too long give too much away which kills the book for me. I liked the inclusion of quotes from the book, it gave me a feel for the writing style.

    In terms of Kindle, Nook & iPad, I don't have any of them. The one thing I am intrigued about with iPad is that since it displays colour, it opens up the market to picture books and art books. My wife is a photographer, so this opens a whole new market she could het her work out to. Just my 2 cents.

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