Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
By: Seth Grahame-Smith

The novel is a fictional rewriting of Abraham Lincoln's life to include vampires - vampires vicitmizing various members of Abe's family, feeding on slaves, fighting in the civil war, vampires in politics and so on.

I have mixed feelings about this book.

First, what I didn't like.

When I picked up this book, I didn't realize it was written by the same author who wrote Pride Prejuidice and Zombies. If I had noticed, I might not have been interested at all. I don't dig the idea of literary mashups. Stealing mass amounts of someone else's work and changing it around a bit does not consitute writing.

I don't know how much of Vampire Hunter is lifted from other works.

I did notice some less than subtle cues taken from Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire.

We have a Lestat type vampire named Henry Sturges.

We have a vampire who contacts the author (in the story) about writing a novel about Abraham Lincoln’s vampire hunting. He provides the narrator with information. Sound familiar?

We have New Orleans as a hotspot for vampires.

I would be a little pissed off if I were Anne Rice. Please believe that if someone ripped off my story ideas in such an obvious way, I would have zero couth or diplomacy.

Now, what I liked about the novel.

Intriguing premise. Abraham Lincoln is an interesting real life character. You throw some vampires in there and the story gets even more exciting.

I also liked the appearences by famous, historic figures like Virginia Dare and Edgar Allan Poe. I know the stuff about vampires is fictional, but there was enough actual history mixed in that I looked up some of the names to see who some of the people were. Most of the lookups were Lincoln's friends like Ward Hill Lamon. Don't worry, I already knew that Poe and Virginia Dare were real.

The novel was reasonably good, despite the story dragging on a bit toward the end. I wouldn't buy the book (I checked it out from the library) but it was good for a read.

tomorrow: random updates plus a halloween illustration.

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