Book: “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter”

This afternoon I finished “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter,” by Seth Grahame-Smith, the same guy who brought us “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” I read it entirely at Barnes & Noble over the past two months, taking advantage of the ability to read a book for an hour on my Nook when in the store. Had 60 pages left today.

This was a fun, harmless read. The book was published in March 2010. Grahame-Smith takes real-life events and injects a world in which vampires exist. Lincoln learns about the existence of vampires as a child, and with his trusty axe becomes a proficient vampire slayer. He is befriended by a vampire named Henry (there are “good” vampires”) who regularly feeds him the names and locations of vampires, who live as regular people with ordinary jobs. Lincoln then picks up his axe and heads to that town, dispatching vampire after vampire.

Most of the book takes place during Lincoln’s early life. We travel with him to Louisiana, where he finds vampires living somewhat openly. He discovers that many slaveholders are vampires, using slaves as fresh food. We follow Lincoln’s life through his business enterprises, his family life, and his budding interest in politics.

Lincoln runs for office in Illinois, but continues his vampire-hunting on the side, sometimes squeezing in a kill between speeches. Then, finally, he becomes president.

The Civil War is, to a large extent, a war against the vampires who, behind the scenes, rule the south. This part of the book doesn’t last all that long, but it’s quite fascinating since the events (especially battles) are far better known (to me) than the rest of Lincoln’s life. I enjoyed watching how Graham-Smith wove his vampires into the Civil War.

Then, of course, we come to John Wilkes Booth and the assassination of Lincoln. I thoroughly enjoyed how the author brought his book to a close.

Overall, not a deep book, obviously, and I’m sure Grahame-Smith played loose with historical facts. But hey, it was a fun read.

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