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Unholy Night Hardcover – April 10, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
My main complaint with the book is that it is poorly written. I thought that it was going to be an interesting spin on an old story, but really the fact that it is the story of the 3 Magi is irrelevant. Mary, Joseph, and 'the infant' could have been replaced by any no-name characters and the book would have lost almost nothing. Additionally, there is no subtlety in the writing. If there is some metaphorical meaning, or theme running with the text, or an attempt at a biblical reference, a reference to another point in the book, the author is sure to point it out to the audience, often with something as obvious as italics.
If you come to this book looking for anything religious--either the growth of your faith if you are a Christian, or a scathing inditement of religion if you are a New Atheist--you will be disappointed, as it provides neither.
Overall, I would only recommend this book to people who are fans of Grahame-Smith, or gory pop-literature, but if you are looking for a well written interesting twist on an old story, this book is not for you.
Grahame-Smith brings to us vivid, imaginative details of Herod, Pontius Pilot, Joseph, Mary and the Babe. Some scenes are fantastical, others surreal. We are but bystanders to a vast, ancient stage that displays the gory glory of Roman rule. Men slay their fellow men propelled by power, greed and revenge.... Balthazar among them until he is thrust into the presence of Joseph, Mary and the Babe, and thus into history.
If you're opposed to age old tortures, swords and all, there are parts of this story you will not like. Still, it is set in the early days of Christ, so parts may be unsettling, but the story is worth it. And, with Grahame-Smith's imaginative gift (Zombies, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) one really shouldn't be too surprised. With the lack of facts about the Magi, Unholy Night provides an almost plausible, but certainly entertaining story.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The true story of the Wise Men (not!)
Very silly and a great deal of fun. You don't have to wait until Christmas to enjoy it.
I am a fan of Seth Grahame-Smith, particularly of his book, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer. SGS has an amazing ability to capitalize on an imagination that seems to have no... Read morePublished 3 months ago by BellaChica
As a former catholic and current non-believer, I LOVE THIS BOOK. My dad, a devout catholic and current believer, also loved it. RECOMMEND!Published 4 months ago by Kim
One too high I I I imagine that the same thing is happening in my life . Lift your spirits and the same thing with all these years later this morning at the well of my soulPublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
I read this book at Christmas time, since that seemed most appropriate. It's a really fun adventure with a twist on a well known story. It wasn't the most unpredictable read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Meet Balthazar, a thieve, occasional murderer, and con artist. From a young age, he has used his wits and flexible morals to keep himself fed and alive. Read morePublished 5 months ago by DabOfDarkness
This is the author's first attempt at an original story. It was a quick read, but fell short of being both really interesting and cool. Not as fun as AL Vampire slayer.Published 5 months ago by Rockstar
From the first page “Unholy Night” is a rip roaring adventure tale that will pull you in. Although it is purely the author’s imagination it creates a scenario about part of the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by B. Wilfong