Sunday, June 13, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Why I Picked It Up: 

I've recently found the mother-of-all challenges on Goodreads ;o). If you like reading challenges, The Seasonal Reading Challenge is definitely that -- a challenge! And, with 56 tasks to complete and over 75 books to read in 3 months, I have no hope in finishing it. But, oh, it's going to be fun to try!

So, why did I pick up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? I chose this book to complete a task called An Ode to Illinois. One of the books for this task had to be a book about Abraham Lincoln or his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. I was planning to just read a nonfiction bio of Abe Lincoln, but when others started talking about reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter for the task, I was intrigued. Here's a synopsis of the book:

From the Publisher:

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young 
Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a 
Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled uponThe Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the 
true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the rolevampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

My Thoughts:
This book just wasn't my thing. I didn't hate it, but by the time I was about half-way through it, I wished I'd just picked a nonfiction biography of Abraham or Mary Todd Lincoln. Their lives were actually really interesting, in a sad sort of way. I don't think their story needed to be embellished with a fictional fight against vampires. Oh, well... Now I know...

However, I'm not quite finished with this task for the reading challenge. An Ode to Illinois is a two book task. The other book must either be set in Chicago, have Chicago in the title, or be an Oprah book club pick. When I was looking through past Oprah winners, I realized that my book club's pick for August -- Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat -- will work so I'm planning to read that to finish up the task.

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