on March 5, 2010
When Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out I was skeptical, but I read and thoroughly enjoyed the book, I particularly liked the retelling and the concept in general appealed to me. I purchased Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for my kindle and liked it so much that I also got a hardcover edition. As with other reviewers, I agree that this book is a good read. It is an interesting concept that is flawlessly executed (pun intended).
The author clearly went the distance to create a plausible melding of vampire mayhem and history. It was well researched and the history was on target. I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this book was. In this case the title is accurate, this isn't a textbook account of President Lincoln's life, so take it for what it is: a fun read. As a an avid history and horror reader, I really enjoyed this work and I look forward to see what the next project that Seth Grahame-Smith is going to come up with.
Seth Grahame-Smith's second innovative alternative history horror novel is simply going to bowl you over and knock your socks off!! Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is an adventure into the faux biographical journals of our 16th United States President, Abe Lincoln. Seth's unswaying and unnerving talent to create a totally believable world of blood thirsty vampires in the mid 19th century, will have the reader's head spinning with wonder and fright as Abe swings his axe to slay the devils of the South reaping revenge for the death of his dear mother.
Presented in such an awe inspiring literary land of macabre, in addition to the cool photo edited sepia toned photographs that enhance the story's credibility, this book is a dynamite work of art. Not to be taken seriously in any shape or form other than Seth's talent to capture horror lovers and hold them spellbound from page one to the finish line, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is a winner.
Told through Abe's journals that began as a child the night he saw his mother die from the heinous acts of monsters he only dreamed of, he vowed that evening to devote his life to the killing of every vampire on American soil. Becoming a trained and skillful hunter, taught surprisingly from an ancient vampire that becomes Abe's lifelong friend, mentor and champion, Abraham will now rid the United States of vampires who deserve to be put to death for their unnecessary taking of the lives of innocent children. Lincoln becomes obsessed with keeping his chopping axe sharp and spends many years on his own private murderous manhunt.
Cleverly disguised Southern gentlemen in dark glasses and top hats, are harvesting Negro slaves to be corralled and bred for the pure purpose of quenching their thirst. Mentor vampire Henry Sturges, uses Abe's vindictive ambition to inform Abe that it is his job alone to avenge the needless deaths and to do so by fighting the battle against slavery. Thus leaves us readers with a new truth behind Lincoln's crusade of abolition and the falsehoods we were told about the true cause of the Civil War.
This book is told to us in a meticulously detailed biography format that encompasses Abraham Lincoln's tumultuous and melancholy life as he narrates his life story. His notebook writings start as a young boy who lost his mother to monsters, on to his teenage years chopping trees, building cabins, and on to his early career as a lawyer. Together Abe and Seth build Lincoln's story slowly of his advancement in societies inner social circles, leading right up to his brilliant approach to campaigning for state legislator, congress, and presidential candidacy. Detailed scenes on the battlefields of the Civil War with fanged foes and Abe's axe rolling heads, ending with a finale at Ford's Theater, the author recreates this alternative life of our Honest Abe with such amazing attention to detail you will almost find it authentic.
This book is certainly NOT for the light of heart or weak-kneed reader. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is horror fiction at it's very best. Gruesome, gory, bloody, and violent. However even with that alert, I will tell you that this novel is also full of wit and will have your lips from time to time turning up in a smile for this is nothing but fun! And the ending..well... I won't tell you for I hate to spoil your pleasure but I just loved how it all turned out. It's only March but I must say I foretell my own future in saying this might just be my favorite book of the year! I can also hope too that someone puts this book into Tim Burton's mailbox. STANDING OVATION FOR SETH GRAHAME-SMITH PLEASE!
on June 23, 2012
I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and had a few giggles, I however wasn't so impressed with that book, mainly because it seemed like Seth Grahame-Smith just tossed a few zombies and action into an otherwise flawless book. Maybe I was too bias, because I love the original so dearly. It is in my forever top 10. I'm on my 4th paperback version of Pride and Prejudice and I have it on Kindle too, just in case.
When I heard about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by the same author, I was at first a little apprehensive, but I still ordered it because I do like Seth Grahame-Smith style and sense of horror. Tongue in cheek and not to gory. Since Tim Burton is involved in the movie, reading the book became a must for me. I have to say I adore anything Tim Burton. But I digress.
The book starts with a little bit about the author and how he came to read the secret diaries of Abraham Lincoln's life and his vocation to rid America of vampires. I won't go into details as I don't want to spoil the readers enjoyment.
The book is well written, you get an insight to Abraham Lincoln and the times he lived in. You can see throughout the story how this remarkable man was shaped by loses, by meeting certain people, by events but most of by love for "his" country. As a non-American I have read some about the civil war, but Abraham Lincoln never really struck me as a person who was all that interesting. (being a politician and all). It took me no time to read this book, I found it a fascinating way of seeing history unfold through the eyes of Abraham Lincoln (as translated by Seth Grahame-Smith) I like that the author picked Abraham Lincoln as the Buffy the Vampire-slayer of the 1800's. Somehow it just fits. It works. And it works well.
Also the photos throughout the book are again fitting and fun.
I give it 5 stars, because when I was done reading it, I wanted to pick it up and read it again. Only good books make me feel that way.
I can't wait to see what Seth Grahame-Smith comes up with next.
on May 17, 2012
Honestly, I picked up this book because of the ridiculousness of the concept. I was immediately drawn into the story and couldn't put down the book. The author did a fantastic job of following Abraham Lincoln's actual life and making you believe that he could have actually been a vampire hunter! I loved this book and recommend it to everyone....my 18 year old cousin and 85 year old grandma both read and loved this story.
on May 18, 2012
When hearing about Abraham Lincoln being a vampire hunter, many people ask why? I know some that scoff at the idea, claiming people are running out of ideas. I admit that the idea did not create a positive vibe for me, but after reading some of the positive reviews, I gave it a chance, putting aside any expectations. I was surprised by how much effort Seth Grahame-Smith put into making this more than a simple story about a legendary figure with vampires thrown in. No, this book was not quickly or poorly put together. It has some very tantalizing moments, tying in the vampire world with many real life events through Abraham Lincoln's life. The result was a surprisingly fun, creative and thoroughly entertaining read.
I finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter satisfied, happy and somewhat giddy. The book does not contain anything ground breaking or monumental, but rather it tells an entertaining story that kept me rooting for more. It may not be for everyone and critiquing everything would simply ruin the fun. Loosen up, sit back, relax, enjoy the ride because Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a treat!
on April 1, 2010
I enjoyed "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" far more than I enjoyed Grahame-Smith's last book, "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". I think my enjoyment here can best be summed up in only 13 words:
"Absolutely not a single solitary word written by, or based upon, Jane Austen".
I was very tempted to let that be my entire review for this book. But upon further reflection, I decided that was just a little too easy and a little too snarky - even for me. I do have to admit though; I am very tired of vampires. I have an active desire NOT to read any of the "Twilight" books. I don't dislike "Tru Blood" on HBO - nor do I watch it on a regular basis. In fact, I'm eagerly awaiting the day that zombies can have their day in the spotlight, and the vampire craze goes the way of Tickle-Me-Elmo, button-fly jeans and black light posters. That being said, here it goes - a real review.
"Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" is promoted as being "written in the style of Doris Kearns Goodwin". I'll have to take that on faith, as I have not read Goodwin's much touted exploration of Lincoln - "Team of Rivals". I'm sure that it's a good read, but I've never been much impressed with Goodwin when I've seen her appear as a talking head on cable news. What the story did represent for me was a more original take on reworking history, versus the more technically impressive (although ultimately less satisfying) task of rewriting an existing work.
Grahame-Smith presents the "real" view of Lincoln's life and what drove him. In this telling, vampires have come to America; lured by the promise of easier and cheaper food in the form of slaves. When Lincoln's mother is killed at an early age by a vampire, he swears to kill every vampire in America. This decision, along with a fateful meeting with a "good" vampire, help put him on a course to being one of our nation's greatest presidents. The Civil War is in large part fought because the vampires in the South do not want to give up their livelihood and food source. Ultimately, Lincoln prevails, but is, in the end, killed by a vampire himself - John Wilkes Booth. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I won't ruin the end of the book for you, but it does try to provide an interesting twist on Lincoln's legacy.
I enjoyed this book, and found myself coming back to it eagerly to see what would happen next. I'm sure that it would have held even more allure for me where I more deeply versed in the details of Lincoln's life. That's something that I am looking to correct. It was a good idea, executed pretty well. It's worth checking out - even if it's about vampires.
on May 17, 2012
I bought this book at a target so not a Amazon purchase directly, however I wanted to just share that it was quite an enjoyable read and one of the first books I have finished willingly in a long while! :)
The author takes quite a bit of actual history from Lincolns life and creates an enjoyable backstory that involves vampires! I found it to be quite well done and entertaining. I do admit I didn't care much for the last 1/3rd of the book, not because of poor writing just because at that point you know what is coming and I secretly hoped that old "honest" Abe would make it! ;)
If you are looking for a relaxing easy read, this is definetly a good book for that!
I must hand it to Seth Grahame-Smith. He's not only managed to trick most of the current generation into reading classics by adding the word "zombies" to the title, but he's also managed to illuminate the actual upbringing of our 16th president by simply throwing in a few macroed scenes involving vampires, against a backdrop that actually works startlingly well.
The best part of this novel is the simple fact that it's completely based on fact. His scattershot upbringing, his law practice and political involvement, even the murder of his grandfather by an Indian raid, all flow seamlessly together while being gripping and entertaining. Only certain aspects are even distorted, such as he only disliked his father as opposed to loathed him.
Interspersed with what is for all intents and purposes is a presidential biography is the "true" history of Lincoln's upbringing. That his mother and grandfather were murdered by vampires, and that, after being tutored in the finer points of hunting them by Henry, a vampire and Lincoln's close friend, uses the various events of his life as a cover for trailing and killing monsters, all the while aware of a growing plot to expand slavery to the northern states, pushed by vampires, in order to give them a near limitless, and uncared for, food supply.
Overall, a fantastic story that's also a great read for a very light biography of his life. If only every other president could so easily be novelized, there would be far more presidential historians about.
on February 25, 2012
I was hesitant to make this purchase. But I read a sample and decided to plunge right in. This is a surprisingly good book, considering the subject matter; i.e., Abe Lincoln as a vampire hunter! However, the author sticks to a factual representation of Lincoln, as much as he can. He provides lots of tidbits of information about Lincoln and his times, as much as is possible without getting off-track and sending the reader into a state of ennui. Four things I look for in works of fiction: Theme, Plot, Characterization, and Style. Starting first with the last of these necessities, the writer is very good. I found almost no grammatical errors, albeit he took some literary license. The theme is the inherent evil in the state of slavery in America--although it's somewhat abstract in the novel. The plot is obvious.
One doesn't find many novels of this type that are good reading. This one is!
on May 16, 2012
Downloaded this book as a friend recommended it to me. I'm a fan of vampire stories in general, both on TV and in books, and this book does not dissapoint. From the very beginning it catches the reader and you find yourself reading page after page completely losing track of the time!