Sunday, July 1, 2012

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith is hands down one of the best historical fiction novels I've read. It portrays one of the greatest men in American history as a capable and agile vampire hunter. The premise of the novel sounds a bit "crazy" when you consider Abraham Lincoln as one of the most influential and sound men in our nations archives, but that is what makes the novel so great; the idea that a man such as Lincoln really could have been a part of ridding our society of deep dark secrets. (And a bonus in the book, Edgar Allan Poe makes a few appearances. I loved this detail in particular because I think many would believe Poe to be a vampire hunter, or even a vampire himself with how damaged and dismal his writing is, but alas, he's not. A friend and confidant of Lincoln's and fascinated with the vampirical activity of the time, but not a member of the clan.)

The book starts with the death of Lincoln's mother when he was nine years, a historically accurate detail. But her death is no longer the agony of human failings, but the work of a vampire. Avenging his mother's death is the foundation upon which drives Lincoln to continue his hunt. He trains to become a great hunter, and uses his political stance to further his goal of ridding American soil of vampires. One of the greatest details for me was the way Grahame-Seth handles the issue of slavery abolished under Lincoln's tutelage; why the North and South went to war takes on an entirely new meaning. While I understand this novel to be fiction, the details woven into the tapestry make each encounter and hurdle seem absolutely believable; depending on how much you believe in vampires.

The book reads in-between narrative and letters written by Lincoln's from his "journal." It is amazing how a "slight of hand" with literary information can paint the most mundane and simplistic ideas into a macabre of "man"slaughter.  Grahame-Smith did not overlook a single detail of Lincoln's journey from small-town country boy to the Ford's Theater famous killing. The authenticity of events will leave you questioning which story is real - your high school textbook or Grahame-Smith's world.

I read this book over a year ago, but I wrote this review entirely from memory. The story is just that good.  With the release of the film I thought it was good time to dig into my archives of books I hadn't shared with others.

This is a vampire story unlike any other you've read.

Seth Grahame-Smith is a New York Times best selling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Unholy Night. His work is well-known in thriller circles. You can read more about him and his writing at The Official Site of Author Seth Grahame-Smith.


  1. I always pass over this book when I'm looking for something new. First, I'm so tired of vampires and second, I have trouble seeing Honest Abe as a Vampire Hunter. Your review has made me reconsider. I might read this if I can find a copy at the library. Not sure I want to shell out any money for it.

  2. I love vampires, but more Anne Rice than Twilight. I just finished reading Interview with a Vampire - it'll be my next review :-)

  3. Okay, I started reading this one Thursday night and as soon as I got into groove, was interrupted. Dealt with the interruption, returned to reading, got into a groove and was interrupted again. After the THIRD round I gave up and set the book aside. What makes it even worse, is that I was home alone, a state I rarely experience these days. I started to think I shouldn't be reading it, but your recommendation and my refusal to be thwarted by demands for my attention have me even more anxious to finish. I plan to pick it up again this evening.