March 23, 2010

Abe the Vampire Slayer


Because of my endless fascination with our nation's 16th President, I instinctively picked up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter at the bookstore and started reading. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it's from the same guy who wrote the hilarious mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
His character of the same name works at a five and dime store in Rhinebeck (Hollah Dutchess County!) where a mysterious customer named Henry entrusts him with our greatest president's lost journal. He is tasked with writing about the Great Emancipator's secret life as the bane of blood-sucking fiends.

The result is a touching, violent but surprisingly emotional re-imagining of our nation's history. Young Abe sets out to rid the country of the undead after discovering that his beloved mother was killed by a vampire---as opposed to dying from "milk sickness" as we know. When not engaged in slaying mayhem, we see into the man's melancholy soul. Vampirism becomes a metaphor for the young nation's scourge---slavery. This was a fun, easy read. I particularly enjoyed the pseudo-historical photographs (Great Photoshopping!). And I'm always thrilled when the ending comes as a total surprise to me. The book, in my humble opinion, did not suck at all.

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