11 May 2012

abraham lincoln was a what?!

This week I finally finished Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Synopsis from Amazon.com:
"Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation."

My review:
After seeing the trailer for the film (which comes out June 22), I had this on my must read list. I got on the waiting list through my library and it became available about a month later. I had high expectations for the book from the trailer. I know I shouldn't since books and movies are not usually one in the same. I also was under the impression (as is the case with most book/movie transformations) that the book would be better than the movie.

This is one time I hope I'm wrong and hope the movie is better than the book.

That's not to say the book was horrible. I definitely thought it was a good read and recommend it to others. It is the story of Lincoln's life as told by the author after reading through Lincoln's personal journals and letters from his birth to his death. The voice switches between the two throughout the book. There are also a number of photographs peppered throughout to give the vampire twist more authenticity.

I thought the book had a good start. I was intrigued enough to keep reading. The middle which is the main vampire hunting meat of the book was a little slow for me and lacked action. I can definitely see how they will beef this up for the movie. The ending section where he became president and (unnecessary spoiler alert!) then later died was a bit rushed for me, as if the editors told him to wrap it up and end the book already. I would have liked to see less of his younger years and more of the latter.

I definitely recommend it, especially if you are a fan of Lincoln, vampire stories, and/or historical type novels (yes I know it isn't real, but the author definitely makes you feel like it is).

I'm linking up with Heather and Katie for Book Club Friday.

Anyone else read this book? What did you think of it?

As a bonus, if you haven't seen the trailer....here you go:


Abbey S said...

I had no idea this was a book! Might have to check it out just because it's about what it's about. :)

Lori said...

i didn't read the book but i did see the trailer and i was intrigued. i was a little disappointed because it just seemed like "another vampire" movie, but i'm kind of excited to check it out.. we'll see

also, you have a great name!

new follower, please stop on by:

Heather said...

You'll have to let me know what you think of the movie!

Sarah E. said...

This is on my reading schedule for this month - I've had it and been meaning to read it for years now! I was obsessed with Lincoln when I was little - so I'm hoping that I'll be okay with the historical parts in the book! :)

Very excited for the movie!