I have to admit, when “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” came out, I scoffed at it and didn’t think of it again.
Until I saw the preview for the movie which opens today. So first, I must pick up the book — that’s how I always am.
Now I’m sure you’re already doubting reading some 300+ pages of the former president as a vampire hunter. But I don’t think you can take the book on with much seriousness. If you take it for what it is, it’s rather clever, and enjoyable.
I admit, I’m not a history buff and history was not one of my favorite or more successful subjects in school. If you want to know some of the inconsistencies between the movie and history, check out Evening Sun editor Marc Charisse’s blog .
For me, it’s all about the entertainment factor. And I am a fan of vampire books that AREN’T Twilight.
Seth Grahame-Smith opens the book with an intro saying he was given this secret diary of the former president and entrusted to write its contents. At first, he too, didn’t believe that Lincoln could have slayed vampires, but his mind was quickly changed.
What I found interesting was the use of what was portrayed as legitimate quotes from Lincoln at the beginning of each chapter, which you were to read in a different light “knowing” he was fighting a war against vampires as well as slavery. And Grahame-Smith includes real moments of Lincoln’s and America’s history entwined with his make-believe. I obviously didn’t research these quotes, so don’t hold me to that.
Once Lincoln finds out about vampires (they kill his mother), he writes “ I hereby resolve to kill every vampire in America.” Now things get in the way — a family, a political career, etc., but one vampire, Henry keeps sending him on missions. His fight against slavery stems from learning that some slave owners sell their slaves to vampires to be fed upon. He resolves: “So long as this country is cursed with slavery, so too will it be cursed with vampires.”
So there he goes, hunting vampires with an ax. Losing some of his own children, and sanity along the way. He lives without fear until he had those kids, and brings in “good” vampires to protect him. They want him to succeed politically to help get rid of the bad vampires.
And the obvious spolier? Maybe John Wilkes Booth had a reason for killing the president? One of revenge? And fear of being killed by the mighty vampire hunter.
While several hundred pages, I made it through the novel in about a week and found it interesting and full of laughs — if often at how preposterous the whole idea of it was. If you like vampires, and don’t mind about stretching history a smidgen, give it a try. The trailer for the movie looks good, too, and it’s out as of Friday, June 22.
Now, if there really are vampires and Lincoln did slay them, won’t we all feel foolish?