Abe Kicks Undead Ass

2 02 2010


Today’s mail brought a package I’ve been eagerly anticipating.  About a week ago, Miriam Parker of the Hachette Book Group sent me a note asking if I’d like to review their upcoming (March 2, 2010) release by Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  (I think the titles are self-explanatory, but if you don’t get it these books are based on the classic works and written in Jane Austen’s style, with macabre twists.)  Ms. Parker tried to sell me on the book by telling me that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is supporting the book with author events (see their press release), but I couldn’t say “YES!” to Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter fast enough.  The collection of essays on Thomas Jefferson’s founding of West Point that I’m currently reading is so dry it would make Gordon Ramsay use the F word, so this is a welcome break.  From the inside front cover of my uncorrected proof:

When Abraham Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died from an ailment called the “milk sickness.”  Only later did he learn that his mother’s affliction was actually caused by a local vampire, seeking to collect on Abe’s father’s unfortunate debts.

When the truth became known to the young Abraham Lincoln, he wrote in his journal, “Henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion.  I shall become learned in all things—a master of mind and body.  And this mastery shall have but one purpose.”

That purpose?  Elimination of all vampires.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for reuniting the North and the South and abolishing slavery in our country, no one has ever understood his valiant fight for what it really was.  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 one hundred and forty 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 story of our greatest president for the first time—while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Were Jack Armstrong and the Clary’s Grove Boys actually a coven of blood suckers?  Was the pathological sluggishness of George McClellan attributable to the fact that he only came out at night?  Did Jefferson Davis sleep in a casket (OK, that one’s obvious – just look at the guy!)?  I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

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5 responses

3 02 2010
Robert Moore

Ha! I was asked if I would like a copy as well, but I just don’t have the time to read it right now. Looking forward to your creative review…


3 02 2010
Chris Evans

Can’t wait for your review. I saw where Queen Victoria and The Beatles are getting similar books published this year too.


9 02 2010
Bjorn Skaptason

Dear Mr. Smeltzer,

I enjoy your site.

Here at Abraham Lincoln Book Shop we pride ourselves on maintaining a certain gravitas in the areas of Lincolniana and Lincoln scholarship. We are, after all the oldest antiquarian book shop in the world dealing in the topics of Lincoln, the Civil War, and the U. S. Presidency. That is why we booked Seth Grahame-Smith for our live online book signing program, Virtual Book Signing (VBS), just as soon as we heard the book was done. Although VBS has already featured such scholars as James McPherson, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Michael Burlingame, we feel that the undead perspective to Lincoln’s life and presidency has been too long ignored. Seth will be joining us for a live webcast on Friday, April 16th at 6:00 PM. I hope you and your readers will consider joining us for an evening of debate and discussion.

All the Best,

Bjorn Skaptason
Producer, Virtual Book Signing
Abraham Lincoln Book Shop, Inc.


17 02 2010
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter « Bull Runnings

[…] had to remind myself of that story frequently while reading Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.  This book requires the suspension of a whole lot of disbelief.  After the vampire-induced death […]


2 03 2010
Book Trailer – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter « Bull Runnings

[…] the Diet Mountain Dew commercial with a shirtless Abe.  The book comes out today.  I previewed it here, and reviewed it here.  I’m thinking a film may be […]


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