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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Paperback – April 19, 2011
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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..
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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Following the success of his bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies with another mélange of history and horror, Grahame-Smith inserts a grandiose and gratuitous struggle with vampires into Abraham Lincoln's life. Lincoln learns at an early age that his mother was killed by a supernatural predator. This provokes his bloody but curiously undocumented lifelong vendetta against vampires and their slave-owning allies. The author's decision to reduce slavery to a mere contrivance of the vampires is unfortunate bordering on repellent, but at least it does distract the reader from the central question of why the president never saw fit to inform the public of the supernatural menace. Grahame-Smith stitches hand-to-hand vampire combat into Lincoln's documented life with competent prose that never quite manages to convince. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Basically if you don't already know, this book follows the story or Abraham Lincoln from the time where he was a little boy up until the point in which he was assassinated. However during this story telling, there is an "untold" story in which Lincoln became a seasoned vampire hunter. His first encounter with a vampire was when he witnessed his father's landlord murder his mother while she slept. From this time Lincoln vowed to kill every vampire he crossed paths with. Though inexperienced at first with the help of Henry, who incidentally is a vampire himself, Lincoln became an expert hunter, and while he was campaigning for President and latter leading the Union in the Civil War he was also slaying vampires behind the scenes.
I know this sounds like a bad Hollywood movie (which ironically is what it end up being), but the book was very well written with historical accuracy. Grahame-Smith does a brilliant job intertwining the vampire story to Lincoln's real life. There are some historical inaccuracies, such as Lincoln being good friends with Edgar Allen Poe when in actuality, the two never met. However for the most part, most of the things written about Lincoln were true (minus the vampire parts of course).
I finished this book in a week which is pretty fast for me considering how crunched I am for time on a daily basis. I really enjoyed the the story and was quite pleasantly surprised.
However I couldn't leave well enough alone and decided to see the movie which was a huge mistake. The movie was absolutely terrible and was NOTHING like the book other than the very first scene. What's even more disturbing as the author of this book was also one of the directors of the movie. I just don't understand how a story that was so well written turned into a movie so bad. There was plenty of material to take from the book and put it into the movie, but it looks like they decided to start from scratch and it turned out to be a disaster. In a way the movie ruined the book for me. However this review is about the book and not the movie, so enough of my ranting.
I have also been fond of following the presidents and just history in general so naturally this book caught my attention and with the vampire twist I had to check it out. If you are not into vampire or history then this book may not be your thing, but if you are a fan of either it may be worth it to check out.
A little word of caution, if you haven't read the book, or seen the movie then I strongly suggest you read the book and leave it at that. Don't ruin the book by watching the movie afterwards; and don't watch the movie first because chances are you will be so disappointed that you will not even want to read the book.
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.