No one talks about Abraham Lincoln’s days as a vampire hunter. Perhaps they don’t believe it could be true. Perhaps they are afraid to raise the subject in polite company. Perhaps they are just afraid. Such is the premise of the new novel by Seth Grahame-Smith.
I must admit this book is rather more bizarre than any of the other books I have read on Abraham Lincoln. Grahame-Smith takes the well-known icon of history and weaves a story that almost seems plausible at times. Not surprising from a man who also is the best-selling author of a book called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” I first heard of this book on February 12th (Abe’s birthday) from Sophie S. I must admit it is a rarity for me to read a novel, especially a contemporary one, but I now have a first edition inscribed and signed to me by the author.
I won’t give away too much of the book. Suffice to say that the title accurately describes the premise. It turns out that the death of Lincoln’s mother when he is nine years old, previously thought to be “milk sickness,” was really at the hands of a vampire to whom Lincoln’s father owed money. Which, of course, explains why Lincoln didn’t get along too well with his father for the rest of his life. What follows is a visit from “Henry” and a lifetime pursuing vampires while also flat-boating down the Mississippi, serving in the Illinois state legislature and the US House of Representatives, building a law career, and eventually becoming President of the United States. The book seems a lot like the movie Forrest Gump in the sense that vampires seem to appear alongside well-known events and people as Lincoln moves through his life. And death.
The book probably won’t be as spell-binding as the latest Michael Connelly or Stephen King thrillers unless you are an Abraham Lincoln fan. But it is well worth the read in my opinion.
More book reviews at Abraham Lincoln Quote of the Day