Sunday, December 23, 2012

Book Review - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Title: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 336.
Genre: Mash up, Historical Fiction, Vampires.
Blurb: Here.

I bought this book from Walmart, the main and the only reason being I was curious. The 16th President of United States, a vampire hunter?! Interesting.. hmm.. Plus R wanted me to give him an insight before he could bother to watch the movie. He was all hyped that it was a Tim Burton movie. People do make mistakes, don't they? No, I'm not writing off the book. :|| Patience, you guys! :P

My Thoughts:
There has been this recent fad- the mashup genre. Some important person from the history, a dash of supernatural, lot of blurring between what is real and what is fiction, at the end all wells that ends well- the historian prevails or his legacy continues. This so called genre has been doing its rounds and I gave in eventually.
Forgive my ignorance, I didn't  really know about Abraham Lincoln's personal life, about his wife and about the death of his son. All that I knew was what I learnt sleepily in my history class years back. :|
The first few pages of the book left me impressed by the creativity. A struggling author is approached by a mysterious man offering him the rumored 'lost journals' of  Abraham Lincoln requesting him to write a book. To bring the truth out. The plot starts with young Abe, living with his parents and sister. His mother's untimely death which is later understood by young Abe that it was the work of the black eyed, fanged monsters. Thus starts the crusade for vengeance
He trains himself in wielding the axe. Gathers all information he needs to know about the vampires only to be saved at the last moment from the fangs of a 'bad' vampire by yet another 'good' vampire, Henry Struges. So, now we know the fanged guys are all  not bad. Cliched? Hell yeah!

The book reaches a meh period and stays that way  as Abe wanders around working in a shop and by night killing off the vampires. There is no real explanation about how he gets interested in politics. All those sections felt murky and plain rushed over. There was a point when Abe meets the dark gloomy author Edgar Allen Poe. I still don't get why that was needed in the plot :|| 

There are mentions about his first love, dead- obvious winners - vampires! So more vengeance.  

I should say, that the author did mange to leave the readers questioning some scenes in the book. Some of the instances did seem quite real. I found it amusing how the author inserted the role of vampires in events that actually took place in history. For instance, Abe wanted to abolish slavery. The slave owners here are the vampires. Boom - The Civil War! See..get the flow? Another factor which I liked about the book was the narration. It switches between the what the author writes and what Abraham Lincoln wrote in his journals. SG-S did entertain the readers by adding photographs of the vampires and other interesting ' is-it-for-real?' photographs.
I felt the book had potential, however the ending was without any fizz. I expected something more to happen. I expected an after note from the author about another meeting with the mysterious pale dark glasses guy who gave him the journals in the first place. That would have been creepy. Nothing of that sort happened. The ending was plain disappointing. No grand finale. Just a flimsy attempt to tie up the loose ends.

The movie - is so easily forgettable. The book and the movie are poles apart. There was almost no similarities. 

My rating:

For the introduction,creativity and the clever photgraphs.

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