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Unholy Night [Kindle Edition]

Seth Grahame-Smith
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $8.89
You Save: $6.10 (41%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, comes UNHOLY NIGHT, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.

They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

In Grahame-Smith's telling, the so-called "Three Wise Men" are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod's prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod's men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.

It's the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.

Editorial Reviews


"Akin to fusing Game of Thrones with the Gospel of St Luke" Entertainment Weekly "Grahame-Smith has forsaken neither graphic gore nor gleeful historical and religious revisionism ... Great fun " -- Elizabeth Hand Washington Post

About the Author

Seth Grahame-Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In addition to adapting the screenplay for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seth also wrote Tim Burton's latest film, Dark Shadows. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1087 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0446563099
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SCR5R6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,734 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Take on a Familiar Story. . . April 12, 2012
UNHOLY NIGHT is Seth Grahame-Smith doing what he does best: Taking that which we know and putting his own spin on it. Like he's done with Jane Austen (PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES) and Abe Lincoln (ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER), Grahame-Smith blends the classic with the supernatural, bringing freshness and excitement to stories that we've all heard many times.

The first thing to note is that this is the best-written of his books. With P&P&Z he was hemmed in by the boring prose of Jane Austen. With AL:VH, since it was written largely as Lincoln's journal, he was restricted to the more formal, anachronistically stilted writing style that our 16th President would have used in the mid-1800s. In fact, with the first two novels, I always enjoyed the concepts more than the actual execution of the novel. But with UNHOLY NIGHT, he's able to open up and write freely. He doesn't use any narrative tools or invoke anyone else's voice to tell the story. He's free to speak as he sees fit, even using modern-day words to describe situations.

The story surrounds the three wise men who are told to have visited Christ at his birth in the manger in Bethlehem. Smith isn't the first to tackle the topic of these three very famous, yet largely obscure, figures. Christopher Moore, in his laugh-out-loud Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, told of Jesus' missing years as he wandered the land searching out the three men from his birth to receive instruction and help him grow spiritually. The story is told from the perspective of Jesus best friend, the girl-chasing, swearing, troublemaking Biff.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Mieke
Not a book I expected to enjoy, especially given Grahame-Smith's previous books which I have not read and never plan to (even given how much I loved this one). I picked this book up from the library more due to my enjoyment of other Biblical parodies (Lamb, Life of Brian, these New Yorker articles-- [..] ) and thought this would fall into the same camp. I was wrong, but pleasantly so. Unholy Night has an earnestness and respect for the source material that I found surprising. Balthazar, the protagonist, begins confused by religion, particularly Mary and Joseph's story of divine conception and their continuous prayer, and develops into a seeker. If this was a book found on the shelves of a Christian book store (which honestly, I think it could be), there would be a scene where Balthazar got on his knees and accepted Christ as his Savior. But this isn't that book, and having grown up reading countless books like that, I appreciated that the possibility was left open but not explicitly drawn out-- closer to reality where we go in and out of each other's lives but don't always know their spiritual journeys.

I also really enjoyed the characters of Pilate and Herod. In these two characters, especially, I felt Grahame-Smith wrote within the structure of the gospels and respectfully expanded. Herod is just hideous, a fantastic villain who is absolutely disgusting. And I loved meeting a young Pilate. There is one line that mentions how he would see Jesus again, but Grahame-Smith definitely assumes that the reader will see the entire character of Pilate through the lens of his final scene with Jesus where he struggles with the decision of who this man is and what to do with him. In Grahame-Smith's story, this struggle begins early.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure of Biblical Proportions April 18, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're gonna go a-messin' with one of the holiest stories ever told, you'd better be respectful, or the wrath of the religious right will rain down upon thee like a plague of locusts.

I'd say the author of this book can relax. Only the most pious could find fault here and that will probably be for giving the virgin Mary a bit of spunk and some opinions of her own.

This tale mostly concerns the life and adventures of Balthazar, a wise guy and thief so skilled that his nickname, The Antioch Ghost, is practically a household word. You will learn how he meets two other thieves named Gaspar and Melchyor, and comes to be the chief protector of a young couple and their preternaturally calm infant - a child so unusual that even though he sups constantly at his mother's breast, never, never seems to sully a diaper. Whether fending off an army of the undead or arguing theology with Mary and Joseph, Balthazar never strays from his Inigo Montoyaish quest for vengeance. And even he has to admit - There's something about that baby.

The faint of heart should take care - this is a taut, action thriller with loads of violence, though from what I've heard, it's not quite as gory as The Holy Bible.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read April 17, 2012
By SeanD
The title and topic caught my attention. This was a fun read. Very different take on the birth narrative and yes the author takes some liberties with the material. I thought the book was well paced, the main characters nicely done and the denouement satisfying. Like another reviewer I wish the other "wise men" had been more fleshed out and involved with the story. This book is not trying to make any theological points and doesn't take itself too seriously. It's just a solid adventure set in a context most people are familiar with.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Seth went to my high school.
This is a retelling of the Christmas story...sort of. It's really a novel about Balthazar of the Three Wise Men. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Johnny Heering
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reimagining
This is the 2nd time I've read this book and I can honestly say I enjoyed it as much this time as last. It has everything you could want... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ross Clevenger
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The book was in beautiful condition.
Published 5 days ago by HermieFan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fun book
Published 5 days ago by lokopilot
5.0 out of 5 stars plot and details was all good.. even though you know what happens in...
Story, plot and details was all good.. even though you know what happens in the end, it was still all in the details. Left me crying in the end...small twist in the end.
Published 7 days ago by Gail
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, quick read - 3 wise men as ninjas!
this book is fun and a good, quick read. Much better, actually, than I thought it would be, since P&P&Z is basically inserting silly zombie-fighting into Jane Austen's text. Read more
Published 28 days ago by MTY in CO
5.0 out of 5 stars Good, fun read
I read "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter" and really enjoyed it, so I got this book and liked it even more. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book - too much fun !!
Published 1 month ago by ted taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked his other book then you'll love this one
If you liked his other book then you'll love this one. It takes an old story that everyone thinks they know and gives it a new spin to bring it into the hands of new readers that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by chelsea allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected!
I'm not sure what I expected, but I kind of didn't want this book to end. It was exciting, sad, gruesome, and moving at different turns.
Published 3 months ago by annielaurie
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More About the Author

Seth Grahame-Smith is the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," and "Unholy Night." In addition to adapting the screenplay for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," Seth also wrote Tim Burton's film "Dark Shadows." He lives in Los Angeles.

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