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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He was Legend"
Basically this is a mixture of fiction and biography. The style reads more like a biography for much of the book and as wikipedia would reveal there is a lot of accurate biographical detail. Seth Grahame Smith has taken Abraham Lincoln's life and added vampires to the mix in a similar way to his addition of Zombies to Pride & Prejudice (although this is darker than Pride...
Published on 19 Aug 2010 by Bob Marlowe

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Twisted History
OK so this isnt a literary masterpiece and is as scary as a deflated souffle but it is fun. The author has cleverly twisted real history and events in Abe Lincoln's life with elements of vampire myth. So much so, in fact, that there were times when I started to ask myself if an incident he described really did happen or if he invented it to keep the story going...
Published on 7 July 2010 by Thomas Hand


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Twisted History, 7 July 2010
By 
Thomas Hand (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
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OK so this isnt a literary masterpiece and is as scary as a deflated souffle but it is fun. The author has cleverly twisted real history and events in Abe Lincoln's life with elements of vampire myth. So much so, in fact, that there were times when I started to ask myself if an incident he described really did happen or if he invented it to keep the story going.
Written for the 'Twilight' generation, this book does what it says on the tin - it delivers a rollicking romp through an alternative American history and it is the perfect beach accessory for that lazy sun-kissed fortnight in Greece. If an enjoyable easy read is what you are looking for, you could do worse.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He was Legend", 19 Aug 2010
Basically this is a mixture of fiction and biography. The style reads more like a biography for much of the book and as wikipedia would reveal there is a lot of accurate biographical detail. Seth Grahame Smith has taken Abraham Lincoln's life and added vampires to the mix in a similar way to his addition of Zombies to Pride & Prejudice (although this is darker than Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and possibly would have benefitted from some more humour)
As an example Abe's mother died of "milk fever", when he was still quite young but in the novel he later learns that this is a cover for her death at the hands of a vampire his father owed money to. This starts his pledge to rid the world of vampires.
He has helpers most of them friends but also there is an ambbigous figure in his vampire mentor Henry. By the end of the book you may still be pondering the motivations of Henry who challenges Lincoln's prejudices toward vampires and tempts him with the possibility of resurrecting loved ones (a feature of Smith's vampires is the short window after death for them to revive someone as a vampire).
Despite the help he comes across as a rather tragic loner, not unlike Robert Neville in the wonderful vampire novel I am Legend by Richard Matheson. He is also exceptionally bloodthirsty when it comes to despatching vampires, although the carnage of the Civil War greatly saddens him.
There are several points where the vampire story takes a backseat to the real life of Lincoln and these are as enjoyable as the rest of the book.
There is an introduction of the "How I found the secret documents which are genuine honest gov" variety and I'm afraid I always find these cheesy, but it does lead to a few notes in the text explaining what Abe is referring to a little like in the Flashman novels.

What may be a sticking point for some people is the connection of vampires to slavery. They did not cause it but support and encourage it for their own ends. I think this was necessary to prevent it losing importance as a driving force in Lincoln's life but some may find it tasteless to add the fantasy element to such an important part of American history. I think that Smith has covered this by having Abe against slavery before learning the connection to vampires and by leaving many of his original sentiments intact.

If you do not like the idea of changing a justly important Historical figure as Abraham Lincoln, then this is not for you but if you are happy provided something of the real man remains and enjoy dark vampire novels, then I recommend it. I know I learned a bit about the real man alongside the adventure.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Honest vampire-hunting Abe, 17 May 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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Seth Grahame-Smith is well known for having turned Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" into a zombiefest, so what would he turn his gruesome imagination to next?

The answer: Abraham Lincoln, the iconic sixteenth president of the United States. Unfortunately, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" isn't Grahame-Smith at his best -- it's a slow, wangsty slog that never quite makes up its mind whether it's a novel or a fictionalized biography. While Grahame-Smith conjures some unique ideas, it's not really funny or witty.

According to Grahame-Smith, he was leading a mundane existence running a store when he was accosted by a customer of his -- who turned out to be a vampire, and who wanted him to adapt and reveal Abraham Lincoln's secret journals. Born into a tiny farm in the Indiana woodlands, Lincoln first learned of vampires after his mother's death, and began a lifelong crusade to destroy as many of his mother's killers as possible.

With the assistance of a couple of buddies -- and a friendly vampire named Henry -- Lincoln's quest continued, only for him to lose more loved ones and friends as he silently destroyed the undead. Even after marrying and being elected president, Lincoln's main focus was on vampires -- especially since the United States and its countless enslaved people are being threatened not just with slavery, but with a fate worse than undeath.

The whole idea of the great Abraham Lincoln fighting against the undead is a pretty quirky idea, and the idea of a fictionalized biography filled with presidential vampire-slaying is even cooler. Sadly, this book only taps a little of that potential -- and the worst part is that you KNOW the author can do better.

Grahame-Smith's writing is also very uneven, swinging randomly between the aloof tone of a memoir/biography, and the florid gore-splattered mood of a vampire novel. Even the author seems to forget what kind of book he's writing, since there are huge chunks (including the final scene) which couldn't possibly be in Lincoln's secret journals. And the first half of the book is painfully slow and repetitive, although it becomes more interesting in the second half.

There ARE some clever moments (Lincoln and Poe's conversation, and Poe's suspicious death shortly thereafter), and some intense musings on good and evil ("That belief -- thaat we live beyond the reach of darkness -- is one that vampires have worked tirelessly to instill through the centuries"). But these aren't enough to save the book.

And this vampire-slaying version of Lincoln is not very likable either -- he whines, moans and mopes constantly, and reacts to every personal tragedy or setback with suicidal melodrama. He doesn't seem to have the backbone to be a president, let alone a vampire hunter. He's Emo-ham Lincoln! The only interesting character is Henry, a "good" vampire who gives Lincoln information and little nudges in his silent crusade. Too bad we didn't hear more about him.

I was expecting some wit and clever historical twists in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," but instead Seth Grahame-Green drags us through a wildly uneven, melodramatic little historical novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting twist on biography, 29 July 2011
By 
Natalie "murf1983" (CHORLEY, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I have loved the vampire genre for years, but 'Twilight' seems to have changed the genre and not for the better. As an adult I do not care to read about a 15 year old being obsessed with a 100 year old vamp.
It has been wonderful to find a book that bucks that tread and is aimed at adults rather than teenagers.
This is a great twist on a biography, and has been so well thought out and reseached. I loved the way that vampires were blamed for the American Civil war and how they fitted so well into the history of the country. I am not American so I don't know a huge amount about American History, so I cannot comment on the accuracy anyway, which I supposed helped me immerse into the story well.
I think it explained about Mr Lincoln's childhood and showed what an impressive man he became in real life. He came from such a modest family and achieved so much. It is inspiring to hear what an uneducated man can achieve.
I read the free sample on my kindle and I loved it from the start and I was so happy to see it went to only 99p when I finished the sample, as I was desperate to get on in the book. It outlines his youth, which in itself was interesting, and then when the vampire angle was added, it just got much more exciting, and I struggled to put my kindle down!
I would seriously recommend this to any fans of vampires / zombies etc, that are infuriated by all of the teenage 'Twilight' copies out there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 22 Sep 2013
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So I watched this film and then I saw it was a book- got very excited. So anyway I read it. And it was brilliant, I've read hundreds of books, fantasy being my favourite genre, I was not disappointed. !do not compare this to its film- they are nothing alike! They just have the same idea, recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK, just not for me, 9 July 2013
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3.5
I have to confess. This book was significantly better, or more serious, than I expected. I really thought it was just going to be a silly gore-fest. It wasn't at all. It was an artful blending of history and fiction. I wish I had enjoyed it more. It is written as a retelling of Abe's life after someone studies his personal diaries, interviews people, etc. I had a really hard time engaging in this narrative style. I'm not suggesting it was done anything by masterfully. In fact the book is quite well written (though I didn't think the pictures contributed anything). I just couldn't loose myself in it, I'm sorry to say.

I did feel incredibly sorry for Abe and his losses, could appreciate the position he found himself in and enjoyed his tenuous relationship with Henry. However, I absolutely cannot accept Henry's final decision concerning Abe and can't believe Abe would have accepted it. I thought that last little tidbit was a a complete cop-out on the authors part. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty predictable, but I could have done without. I also would have liked to know a bit more about Mr. Smith. I liked him in the beginning, but he never resurfaced.

I'm glad to have read it, but I'm also a little happy to be finished. If you know what I mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I combined the book and movie review, really enjoyed both., 13 Feb 2013
This review is from: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Paperback)
I'm keeping this a fairly short review, or at least I intend too because to me the title itself is very self explanatory and well it does what it says on the cover! I picked this book up knowing very little about Abraham Lincoln so I think one of the worries I had for it was that I wouldn't understand much if it referred to something he did and I would just be sat there holding the book like a clueless Brit. However, this book doesn't drop in at the deep end, it is very much a biography of Abe's life from start to end, and a little further, it grabs your attention in every way possible and I'm not a fan of biographies at all yet I managed to stick with this - maybe the promise of Vampires helped? - by the time the Vampires were brought in on a large scale you're at the point of believe absolutely anything the author throws at you. Heck, if you ask me now to answer anything regarding Abe and his life as far as I'm concerned he did go about wielding an Axe to slay Vampires, he did have in-depth discussions with Poe about said Vampires and well Vampires are indeed real. Completely real. No doubt about it.

So when I was about half way through this book my Dad and I sat down to watch the movie too, I was a little iffy about this knowing I hadn't yet read the book but surprisingly I enjoyed every moment. The moive presented itself slightly different to the book, focusing a lot more on the Vampire and slaying side of things and definitely made it a lot more action packed towards the end and when I picked up the book afterwards I started panicking that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it as much (an incident like this happened with The Shining a few years back) but I was pleasantly surprised because the book kept to how it started out and didn't go all flamboyant on the action at the end which I really liked because lets face it that last scene was a little unbelievable with his age, so for me the book was a lot better off though I wouldn't dismiss the movie - it simply adapted to fit the target audience and it did it well.

All in all I highly recommend both, at times I got a little dragged down by the lack of Vampire action in the book but the movie makes up for it. Happy reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read., 23 Jun 2012
This review is from: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Paperback)
On more than one occasion I had to stop and tell myself that this was fiction but there was still that little questioning voice inside my head asking "what if?". Made Abraham Lincoln an even more interesting historical figure and I actually learned a bit about the American Civil War as well. I liked that the vampires, or majority of them, were described as evil bloodthirsty creatures with no aim but to feed and better themselves at whatever cost. I really loved this book and am now considering getting the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Pure fantasy......or is it?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!, 22 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (Paperback)
I bought and read this novel awhile ago and just loved it. I was quite curious as to how the author would present such an influential historic figure in such an unusual way, and I wasn't disappointed. The clever interweaving of both fact and fiction is done so believeably that I actually finished the book wondering whether vampires actually did exist and whether Lincoln himself was a vampire hunter - ridiculous, I know.
If you enjoy books like The Historian (by Elizabeth Kostova) or mystery/drama novels then you'll love this. I'm quite an eclectic reader myself so I'm up for almost any novel you send my way: be it classic or fantasy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly good, 16 Feb 2012
Back when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies came out, I remember that the reviews on Amazon were very mixed and people tended to either give it one star or five; people either hated it or love it, there wasn't a lot who fell in between. I was one of the people who really hated it.
Therefore it was without much enthusiasm that I picked up this book - and by now you've properly guessed where my review got its title ... But first, a disclaimer: It is a bit of a generalization, but the people who hated P&P&Z the most seemed to be the ones, who knew and loved the original, so with Grahame-Smith's books, there might be a correlation between how well you know the source-material and how much you hate what he does to it. So I should perhaps clarify, that I don't know anything about Lincoln or the civil war, except what I've picked up on the Simpsons. If you are a history buff, you might hate this book. With that out of the way, on to the review!

The main-character is very human with all his emotions and brooding. In the beginning, his quest to kill all vampires is simply about avenging his mother; a noble quest, but a bit self-absorbed. But this changes when he learns that not all vampires are monsters, and also finds out about the connection between slavers and vampires and that he has to fight both. Suddenly, it becomes about something greater than him and his personal vengeance and that's when the story really got me hooked.
The conspiracy with the slavery and the vampires is a great idea. It is both plausible and adds horror to the slave trade, without trivializing the real-life atrocities. In P&P&Z Grahame-Smith tried to add not only zombies but also ninjas to regency England and the whole thing ended up a mess. Here, the plot is clear cut and dead serious (if you'll excuse the lame puns). It simply works.
I also liked the idea of mixing extracts from Lincoln's diaries, with the text. There's something very telling about how on some days he only wrote a single word to sum up his feelings. It is a narrative gimmick, but I think it works very nicely.

The only thing I really disliked was another narrative gimmick; the framing device with an author being incited to read the diaries and write the book. For one thing, as other reviewers have already pointed out, the book is filled with details that he couldn't possibly have known and must have made up. Made up is fine, but it breaks the suspension of disbelief a bit, when you're thinking `hey, the author in the beginning couldn't have know this' rather than just having it all be in the voice of Grahame-Smith himself. Also, the subplot with the author really went nowhere. He got the diaries, the real book began, we never heard from him again.

But that is a minor detail. All in all, I'll recommend this book. It not a masterpiece of the `you'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll change your life' type, but it is solid entertainment, with a good plot and some interesting characters, and it has made me actually look forward to his next book.
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Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (Paperback - 21 April 2011)
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