24 April 2010

Vampires and Presidents

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterI have always been a bit of a history geek. I say 'bit of' because it is only certain eras  or individuals in history that I am interested in.  For instance, I am fascinated with Amelia Earhart.  Also, I study WWI history, but only from an Arab perspective, and WWII from the Japanese perspective.

One historical character I have always had a deep, abiding love for is Abraham Lincoln.  In high school, one might even say that I was a little obsessed with him.  I even went so far as to have professional senior photos taken of me beside a small statue of this illustrious, historic figure.  Knowing this, you may have some idea of the odd mix of emotions I fest as I picked up Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

As I sat for the first time , holding Mr. Grahame-Smith's sophomore novel,  I was all at once filled with curiosity, excitement, and apprehension.  The peculiar mix of emotions did little to dissuade me from reading the book, however.  In fact, I began reading it almost immediately.

Some books -okay most books- take a few pages to get started, a few pages before one becomes fully entrenched in the tale. Mr. Grahame-Smith wasted no time, however, in spinning such a yarn that would come to demand hours of the reader, even outside of the pages themselves. I was so engrossed in the story that I found myself considering his alternate reality. When not reading, I daydreamed about hunting vampires with Abe, or becoming part of the "Union."

That Grahame-Smith was able to closely follow the events in the life of the Great Emancipator, while interweaving an epic vampire saga, and not change any of the major events of history, is a credit to his storytelling. I am not one to add spoilers to my reviews, so I won't go any further. Just know that the mythology in this novel is fantastic and easy to sink into. I found myself wishing it were all real, that vampires really were to blame for one of the darkest times in US history....


On a slightly different note,  and due to my absolute enjoyment of this novel, I believe that I shall have to explore the genre further.  The result is a book group.  We shall read the original literary works, and then their super extraordinary monster counter novel.  In addition, I have been throwing around a few of my one ideas:

- Love and Shapeshifters in the Time of Cholera
- Jane Eyre and the Succubus
- Crime and Punishment and Banshees
- Moby Dick and Captain Hook
- and.......


Anonymous said...

God never shuts one door but he opens another. ....................................................

Alexandra Tomeckova said...

Just give me a ring when you get that book group started I am still very interested.