Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, by Seth Graham-Smith

Suppose vampires were real. I am not talking about some sparkly, angsty foo foo vampires. I am talking about cunning, conniving, evil, stealing- children- from- their- beds kind of vampires. What is every missing person report was really a vampire victim? What if vampires came over with the Puritans to escape persecution in Europe? What if the Roanoke mystery could be chalked up to vampires? What if slavery was a way to breed not only free labor for plantation owners, but a food source for vampires in the South?

All these suppositions are put forth in this book. Basically, Seth Grahame-Smith takes your mind, and every fact it contains about Honest Abe and American history, and totally blows it right out of your head. This book is simply that amazing. The book is not at all what I expected it to be. In all reality, I walked into this book expecting a healthy dose of camp and dark humor, and feeling pretty o.k. about it. What I got in return was a dark tale, heartbreaking and beautiful, that had me believing for a few minutes, as I read through the night, that every word could be quite possibly true.

First off, Abe Lincoln is pretty awesome to begin with. But give him some Chuck Norris-like vampire butt kicking ability, and wow, G.I. Joe ain't got nothin on this real American Hero. This book is seamless, truly. So many facts are woven into the story, that is what makes it so believable. And Seth's ability as a story teller is poetic, something I have not seen in many modern male writers.

I would love to see more work like this. First off, it is just fun, and it makes reading, and history, fun for adults, and young adults alike. The violence in this book is not so gratuitous or graphic that it would prohibit a young adult from reading it. So if a high school kid reads this, and as a result gets more interested in the Civil War, how awesome is that. And if not, at least the kid was reading, not playing some mindless video game.

Secondly, I think this could open up some new genres of historical horror writing that could be astounding works of art. Imagine Napoleon in a Faust like situation. Not that much of a stretch, huh. I think there is room for some great writing to be done in this area.

Simply put, this book amazed me. It made me want to immediately learn more about Abraham Lincoln's life, so I will add all that to my reading list, which grows exponentially with every book I read. As for you, well, you should put this book at the top of your to read list.

CymLowell