Monday, July 2, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter-Seth Grahame-Smith


Oh my peas and carrots! How can one not want to read a book with this title?



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.

I read Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the play on a classic. So when I saw the really cool cover and awesome title of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, how could I not want to read a book this book? I was expecting something a little campy told in a fictional way, full of action and adventure and the 16th president killing vampires. But what did I get? Nada. Nil. Zilch. And let me say…I fill slightly jilted. Just an FYI, there is a spoiler ahead as to how the book ends, but I really need to voice my dissatisfaction with the ending.

Here’s my main issue with this book: YAAAAWWWNNN! It was so boring. It read like a biography, which, yeah, I get. But for me, it’s hard to read biographies. It’s just not something that sparks my interest. And the author was trying so hard to write some kind of action into this faux biography but it fell flat and felt forced.  Also, the ending was kind of a cop-out I feel. It’s like Graham-Smith forgot until after the fact that Lincoln had been assassinated and then tried to pull some verbal ninja move and turn it around and make Lincoln a vampire. I mean, really? COME ON! Should have just let the man stay dead.

I can appreciate that Grahame-Smith was able to tweak and weave the idea of vampires into a fictional telling of the life of Abraham Lincoln. You can tell the Grahame-Smith took time picking all the correct words to make sure that the story he was trying to sale you, you would buy. Unfortunately, for me, I could not suspend reality and buy what the author was selling.

It's been a little over a month since I finished reading this book, and as I look back on it, I get a little more peeved that I allow myself to get caught up in the hype. I try so hard, and sometimes the hype is worth it, and sometimes it's not. And Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was not worth the hype. Maybe the movie will be better...but then again maybe not....

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