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Book review: ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Yes, that is the real title of a real book that came out in 2010 and, this June, will be a major Hollywood movie produced by Tim Burton. I recently watched the movie trailer, which got me thinking about the book, which I absolutely hated when I read it immediately upon its publication two years ago.

However, recently I re-read the book and, while I still do not think it a good book in any sense of the word, it was not as bad as I at first thought.

The trouble with “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is that it is so much wasted potential. It could have been a great book in the proper hands. It certainly was a brilliant idea to combine the most popular and written about president with the outrageously popular vampire genre. But let’s not jump ahead.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is, quite obviously, the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life from frontier childhood to White House assassination with the added twist that Lincoln secretly is a hunter and killer of the black-eyed, long-fanged monsters against whom he has a personal vendetta.

The author, Seth Grahame-Smith, is the author of the bestselling novel, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” and the originator of the mythic-monster-meets-classic-fiction-and-history book genre which has spawned countless imitators.

In “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” Grahame-Smith has not reworked a classic of literature, but a classic biography of history. It is based on Grahame-Smith’s “discovery” of 10 leather-bound books that turned out to be the journals of Abraham Lincoln. The journals reveal not only the existence of vampires, but the fact that Abraham Lincoln, the civil war president, the Great Emancipator, was, in his youth, a vampire hunter.

History records that Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died of milk sickness when Abe was only nine years-old. The truth, as the journals reveal, was that she was in fact killed by a vampire.

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