Friday, March 19, 2010

What We're Reading: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Some books you just have to read based on title or concept - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith is an obvious choice. One of our most beloved presidents wielding an ax to kill the creatures of the night? Brilliant. Grahame-Smith was the author who added zombies and sea monsters to two of Jane Austen's novels.

To be honest, I was expecting something a little more zany, but it was actually fairly sober. It was written as a convincing work of nonfiction, drawing heavily upon Abe's personal diary (obviously fictitious...or is it?!) Rewriting history by coloring it with a sinister vampire influence was interesting. Maybe I was too obsessed with Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire in my teens, or perhaps the frequent wit and levity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer led me to believe that there could be some comedy, even in the darkness. (I guess IwtV wasn't meant to be funny, but I would imagine the film adaptation to be unintentionally so if I were to watch it again.) However, this novel was very sad and serious. This isn't a complaint, but something to be aware of if you make the same assumption I did. Expect something that reads like a Lincoln bio or Civil War history. I suspect history buffs may actually get a lot of it.

Hey, and there's a Poe cameo!

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