Mswas’ CBR-III Review #9 – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter02/06/2011
I’d heard some buzz about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (AL:VH), along with the other classics that had been given supernatural treatment, but only recently got around to getting it from the library. After reading it, I will say that I understand the buzz, but I thought it wasn’t really anything to buzz about, at least that much.
Author Seth Grahame-Smith’s premise is the existence of a secret set of journals by Lincoln which tell us that not only are vampires real, but the 16th president was one of the country’s foremost vampire hunters.
A brief introduction by the author recounts the tale of his receiving the journals, along with incontrovertible proof that vampires exist. The rest of the book consists of photographs, journal entries, and other material that tell Lincoln’s unknown biography: his entire life was intertwined with vampires. In fact, many people from Lincoln’s life and also America’s history are shown to have had vampire involvement – the death of Lincoln’s mother, aunt and uncle to begin with, his hatred for slavery (slaves are shown to be vampire food), the members of the Roanoke Colony in Virginia, and the death of Lincoln’s first love, Ann Rutledge.
I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews about this, and many say it was a “fun, light” read. I’d say right on both counts, but I would say that “light” was a negative here. There was detail but something about it still seemed flimsy. I must say that I spent a good deal of time examining the photos for Photoshopping, and also thinking about the real facts behind the book.
I’m not a Lincoln scholar by any means, but in 2009, I read the wonderful biography, A. Lincoln where the author used Lincoln’s own writing to very good effect – as this book did, with pull out quotes, but also inline within the text. It made for a very conversational tone. Maybe I was still looking for that quality in AL:VH
I did google to find some facts about AL:VH vs. reality, and found this great little post at abrahamlincolnblog.blogspot.com where the author talks about fact vs. fiction in this book. (Spoiler alert for certain, and a blog I will read again.)
In her review (which also got posted on Pajiba) dammitjanet said that the second part of the book dragged for her. I completely agree, it seemed rote – the author seemed to have run out of steam. If the second half was as engrossing as the first, I wouldn’t have found myself wondering about the photos or facts, and maybe I would have had a more ringing review. As it is, I would say it was just fluff, Presidential fluff.