Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Abraham Lincoln: Vamire Hunter

Book review: 2010.13

Author: Seth Grahame-Smith

It's finally happened. I'm reporting on a book that I didn't like. I picked up this one for two reasons: I like Abraham Lincoln, and I really liked G-S's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That book is responsible for creating a whole new niche of horror fiction. Most of which is completely unimaginative and likely deplorable. I say that in a most uneducated fashion. I haven't read anything else in this niche besides these two. It's a kitzchy fad that hopefully will pass soon. Having proclaimed that, I need to read a few more works in this revisionist subgenre by other authors. There are sure to be some gems out there.

Anyway, the one thing I really didn't like about P&P&Z was the writing style. But, since I read the source material simultatneously, I could see that he was mimicking Jane Austen's style, which was appropriate for that book. Unfortunately, Grahame-Smith was channeling Austen again for this book. It is written in that same plodding, overly introspective narrative style. That might have been appropriate for a period work about a teenaged girl, but it just made this story languish.

Secondly, where this story could've portrayed Abe in a larger-than-life, even-more-heroic fashion, it instead reduces him to being a victim of his lot in life. It makes out Abe Lincoln to be nothing more than a reactive person whose every decision was done as a reaction to his fear of and desire for vengeance against vampires.

The one thing I did like was the author's take on vampires. His interpretation of the lore was modern and interesting. In some ways, it was similar to Anne Rice's vampires. Hmm. For that matter, he also used a similar story framing technique as she did in Interview with the Vampire.

In summation, I was bored all the way through this book. I kept waiting for the exposition to end and the real story to begin, but it never did. It was exposition all the way through. I think the story downplayed the protagonist's potentially heroic nature, and the writing style wasn't appropriate for the era. Edgar Allan Poe makes a guest appearance; it would've been more appropriate to write this in his style. Maybe this style is the author's true form; other than these two books, I haven't read any of his other works.

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