That was the expletive that escaped my lips when I finished the last word, of the last line, of the last paragraph of this book. I was completely taken by surprise.
I had originally wanted to go see the movie at a local theater, but as I hate going to films by myself (the result of cultivating friends who don’t share my pre-disposition for vampires, werewolves, and other urban legendary things) I opted out and figured I’d just rent it when it came out on DVD.
Then, much to my surprise, I was cruising the fiction section at my local library and discovered that the movie was taken from Seth Grahame-Smith’s book. Excellent! I’d read it first, and if I didn’t like the book, I wouldn’t have to waste my time on the film.
I am not usually one for giving my approval to authors who take perfectly good classics and butcher them with gruesome tabloid style sensationalism. Like any good purest, I like my Jane Austen on the right shelf, my Jim Butcher on the left, and my biographies somewhere in the middle: all three hold a sacred place on the shelves of my library; all three know their place in the realms of fictional verisimilitude; seldom if ever do they cross the line.
So where in the world am I going to put “Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter”?
Not only has the author crossed the lines between history, fiction, and truth with vicissitude and style, but he’s done it so flawlessly, I can never look at Lincoln’s Memorial in quiet the same way again. Fact is, if more history was written with this kind of bent realism, we probably wouldn’t be having as many problems getting kids to stay in school and get descent SAT scores as we do. They’d be lining up to get a seat in every US and World History class – guaranteed.
On my readers scale of one to five, I’m giving “Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter”, four stars.