AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith

Released: March 2, 2010 (Hachette Audio)
Source: Purchased

Genre: Historical Supernatural Drama

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Audiobook Notes:
Narrator: Scott Holst
Length: 10 hrs 18 min

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 upon The 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 role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Why I Read Listened To This Book

Do you even need to ask? Abraham Lincoln + Vampire Hunter (should) = AWESOME, right? Actually, when I was in the bookstore when I bought this book, I was unaware of all the books like this one that were floating around. I just thought it wounded cool. I really liked the cover, too.

My Thoughts

There are very few books that I have high expectations for. This book is one of those books. I had bought it quite some time ago because I thought it looked like a great read — I mean, Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter?!?! Count me in!

Of course, once I saw that it was being made into a movie — with me not yet reading the book — I knew I had to read it right away! And then I saw the previews — and knew, again, I just had to read it! The trailer looked amazing, so I knew the book was going to rock!

Unfortunately, all of those exclamation points did not lead to me loving the book. 

I wanted to love it and I wanted it to be one of those fun reads that I would go back to time after time. But, to me, the book was just a little too … blah. Grahame-Smith writes the story in a way that mixes history with fiction, following Lincoln’s real life, but mixed with a made-up life of being a vampire hunter. The premise sounds really good, but when read it, the whole thing comes across like a textbook, with the only really exciting parts being the ones where he’s hunting vampires.

In fact, the vampire hunting part of the book was quite fascinating and well-written — lots of gore and blood, weapons and fighting. It was awesome. But then it would drift back into the same ol’ textbook style, complete with footnotes. Listening to the narration, it was most exciting when the vampires were hunted, but other than that, Holst’s narration was monotonous and drab — it really didn’t keep my attention and I found I kept putting it down, putting it down, only finishing the book because I have a thing with finishing what I started.

My realization towards my feelings of this book, I think, come from the fact that I’m not too keen on U.S. History — or history, in general. I’m a Canadian and barely know a lot of my own history, let alone that of another country. Personally, I expected a lot less telling of history and a lot more action and adventure.

One thing I really did like about the audiobook version, though, was the addition of music. There were parts when Abe would be vampire hunting and the scene would start to get really intense and all of a sudden dark music would come up to add to the scene. It was quite effective and I hope to read more audiobooks that incorporate music into the reading.

I think if you’re an Abraham Lincoln buff, or a history buff with a love of vampires, then you’ll really enjoy this book, but it really wasn’t for me.

Who Should Read This Book

Well, obviously, if you’re an Abraham Lincoln fan, or maybe even a fan of U.S. history, you might enjoy this one. Or, better yet, if you’re a fan of Abraham Lincoln, VAMPIRES, and U.S. history — is there such a combo? It leans heavily on the history part, so if you’re just looking for a good vampire story, I’d say try something else.

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


6 thoughts on “AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith

  1. Pingback: Clock Rewinders (2) | Reading In Winter

  2. Pingback: FEATURE: My Favourite Vampire Books (So Far) — And My Least Favourite | Reading In Winter

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