Saturday, May 8, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

On my way home from class today, I finished listening to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith on CD.  I'm so sad that it's over!  This book was so good that it just swallowed me whole.  I would find myself sitting in my car just a little bit longer once I reached my destination, so I could continue listening.  I know the idea of Abe Lincoln fighting vampires is kind of far fetched, but it was a really great story.

Cover:  I really liked the cover of the book.  It combines the Abe Lincoln everyone knows with this new fictional side of him. 

Characters:  To be honest, I don't know a lot about Abe Lincoln.  When I began listening to the book, I was a little worried that I might not understand some parts because of my lack of Lincoln knowledge.  Soon after getting into the story, however, I realized that wouldn't be a problem.  The author did a great job of incorporating the factual information about Lincoln and describing the qualities that made him human.  I felt like I knew Lincoln so much better by the end of the book.  I also loved the qualities that were brought out in him through the stories of his vamp hunts.

Writing:  Some people may be cautious about reading a book like this.  I was curious about how the author would incorporate the vampire stuff, but I found that he did an amazing job at it.  It was so fascinating to see how he tied the vampire stories into the factual events and people of Lincoln's life.  His writing led me to find myself completely believing that Lincoln fought vampires, and vampires have had a huge impact on the events in our world.  It was obvious that Smith spent a great deal of time researching his characters and that period of time.

Plot:  I found the plot to be linear, which I liked.  The author began with Lincoln as a child and explained how he became a vampire hunter and the importance behind it.  This was important to me, because it provided the background information for the rest of the story.  I really liked how the author focused on Lincoln before and during his presidency.  I expected the story to only be about Lincoln fighting vampires before his presidency and was happy to find this was not the case.  I also enjoyed the significance the author placed on vampires in history.  There was this idea that they were behind some of the great periods of suffering.  I thought, "Wouldn't that make people feel so much better?  It makes much more sense to be able to blame bad things on evil." 

Overall:  5/5  I gave this book the highest rating possible, because I found myself sad when it ended.  I wanted more.  I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't read the book, but I loved it so much.  It was such a clever twist, and I would love to see another book that carries on from that point.  Despite the fact that this book was a work of fiction, I found myself being intrigued enough to want to learn more about Abe Lincoln.  The author painted such a fascinating and human picture of him that I no longer just think of him as a dead president.  I would love to learn more about who he was as a man.

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