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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: 08/28/12

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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith was recently released as a film. I haven't seen it but I might. I think the concept of vampires being behind the Civil War is an interesting one. The film might do a better job of showing the story as the book gets bogged down in endless, dry telling.

The framing story behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is of an author finding a secret Lincoln journal which covers his secret life as a vampire hunter. To keep the pretense of this book being the newly published journal going, long passages of the so called journal are presented in block text. It is a visually boring presentation and a fairly mind numbing read for something involving vampire hunting.

I got about half way through the book before I decided I'd had enough. These mash-ups aren't for me. It's not the juxtaposition of Lincoln and vampire hunting that I object to. It's the attempt to write in the style of another author or another era. It's an illusion that just can't be held for the entirety of the book (or even a chapter).

I prefer instead authors who write in their own voices even when dealing with historical figures.

Two stars

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 12:22:55


Our entire book club shared your low opinion. Also, it's not really a framing story since the author never returns to it -- the last pages just jump the story ahead in time to where something interesting could happen, and then stops.

Comment #2: Sunday, September 02, 2012 at 20:53:22


It's as much a framing story as that in The Princess Bride where we are supposed to believe that the author is transcribing his memory of the best parts of a much older novel. I did read the ending (roughly the first third and the last third of the book). If you don't want to call it a framing story, then call it the literary conceit of the book.

Comment #3: Monday, September 03, 2012 at 01:56:19


No, you are right. I guess I should say it's a poorly done framing story, since he sets up a fairly weak story for the guy transcribing it and then just abandons it. In The Princess Bride we actually finish the story of the guy revising the book for his son.

So among our other objections we listed the dangling frame.

Comment #4: Monday, September 03, 2012 at 11:19:15


You're right too. It is a poorly done framing story. I am though curious to see how it translates to film.

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