Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

62%

31 Critic Reviews

While I found this book incredibly interesting, I failed to connect emotionally with the characters. It was like I was almost there--poised right on the brink--but never actually fell over the edge.
-Diary of a Bibliophile

Synopsis

Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call "Milk Sickness."

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.

Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.

When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. 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 140 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 life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
 

About Seth Grahame-Smith

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Seth Grahame-Smith is a film and television writer/producer, semi-frequent blogger, and bestselling author. His first novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. Since its release in April 2009, it's sold over a million copies and been translated into 20 languages. Seth is also the Co-Creator/Executive Producer of the upcoming MTV comedy series, The Hard Times of RJ Berger. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
 
Published February 16, 2010 by Grand Central Publishing. 340 pages
Genres: History, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 01 2012
icon17
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter
All: 31 | Positive: 19 | Negative: 12

Kirkus

Excellent
Feb 15 2010

a mimicked, formal study of the late president in the vein of Doris Kearns-Goodwin, infused with a macabre dose of gore.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Gina McIntyre on Mar 04 2010

Grahame-Smith's ability to serve up such moments of real poignancy within a B-horror movie context just might make him something of a Joss Whedon for the niche literary set.

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Entertainment Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Lisa Schwarzbaum on Feb 24 2010

But that still leaves us with a trivial book, clinging to a fad past its prime — a labored send-up that refracts the life story of one of the most important, famous, and minutely analyzed figures in all of American history through a cockeyed and ultimately foolish lens.

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Dallas News

Below average
Reviewed by Cary Darling on Mar 21 2010

Still, it's unlikely that this novel will erase the word "gimmick" from being associated with the author.

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About.com Bestsellers

Below average
Reviewed by Mike Sullivan

...he does Lincoln justice in the gravity of how seriously he reflects on Lincoln’s trials as well as some of the true history...But that’s what can make the book all the more revolting.

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PopMatters

Below average
Reviewed by Andrew Gilstrap on Mar 25 2010

It’s disappointing, though, that the story uses vampires as the default reason for practically every evil, every mystery, every historical shift in the world.

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Wired

Excellent
Reviewed by Brad Moon on Feb 08 2010

Grahame-Smith does an excellent job of...mixing historically accurate anecdotes with entries from Lincoln’s fictional secret journal, weaving the vampire elements into the story in a manner that’s quite believable.

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io9

Excellent
Reviewed by Meredith Woerner on Mar 19 2010

All and all it's an engaging and entertaining read. Seth Grahame-Smith knows how to adapt his writing specifically to a time, place and tone.

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Buffalo Rising

Excellent
Reviewed by Becky Pieszala on Aug 08 2010

This mix of horror and history is absolutely riveting.

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Time Magazine

Below average
Reviewed by Lev Grossman on Mar 08 2010

One could imagine a richer, subtler treatment of the subject...Then again, if one were seeking richness and subtlety, one wouldn't be reading a book called Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

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Team Hellions

Below average
May 18 2012

At 65% way through the book I wondered when the plot would actually begin. At the end I realized it never would.

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Sour Grapes Winery

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Ferguson on Mar 30 2012

... this book is exceptionally well-written and very engaging... an interesting blend of first person insights from Lincoln’s fictional lost diaries, and third person intrigue...

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Word of the Nerd

Excellent
Reviewed by Nicole Rivera on May 30 2012

...an emotionally fueled protagonist, epic and bloody battles, a fight to save the world (or at least a society) and an ending that hints at a lifetime of stories still untold.

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Fangs For The Fantasy

Below average
Reviewed by Sparky on May 28 2012

It wasn’t hard to follow but it wasn’t a style I enjoyed nor do I think it made it easier to read. Ultimately, I think this story rests on gimmickery.

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Booking in Heels

Good
Reviewed by Hanna on Jun 05 2012

Honestly, I'd have been more than happy with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter even if it didn't bother with the vampires...an accessible yet complete biography of the 16th President of the United States.

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Having Said That

Below average
Reviewed by Heather on May 30 2012

...I can’t say that it particularly impressed me.  The writing was often rather dry and at times slow moving.

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Angela's Anxious Life

Below average
Reviewed by Angela on Mar 03 2012

Sometimes the book fell flat for me though. There were times where the book got a little boring...

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A Novel Menagerie

Good
Reviewed by Sheri on Mar 17 2010

Grahame-Smith does a great job weaving a story of fact and fiction.  He made it plausible...

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All-Consuming Media

Good
Reviewed by Tiger Holland on May 13 2012

One big upside of the book is that it does take a long look at the ugliness of slavery...

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Chasing Empty Pavements

Good
Reviewed by Jade on May 22 2012

If I didn't know the truth (or so we think) that Vampire's don't exist, I would think this story was true. It sucked me in from the first chapter.

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Book Hollow

Excellent
on Mar 26 2014

I had no qualms about giving Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter F-I-V-E stars. As a matter of fact, it quickly became of my favorite books (and the only book I've read by this author). I absolutely recommend this book!

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Lady Blue Jay

Good
Reviewed by Jayla on May 21 2012

...a good novel for historical/biographical novels and vampire fiction fans alike. It’s got the best of both worlds.

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One Writer's Blotter

Good
Reviewed by Theresa Glover on Apr 15 2012

My opinion is that Seth Grahame-Smith is the magician of the mash-up, and an alchemist of the alternative history.

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The Writer's Journey

Good
Reviewed by J.T. on Apr 03 2012

It is an action-packed read, and highly recommended to those who are fans of Lincoln, Civil War history, or vampires.

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Paisley and Pretties

Good
Mar 14 2012

I liked it as an historian. I liked it as fan of the vampire genre.

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S.M. Boyce

Good
Reviewed by S.M. Boyce on Jun 01 2012

While its title makes you want to laugh and scoff and roll your eyes, this book is refreshing, original, and exciting.

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Diary of a Bibliophile

Below average
Reviewed by Jesi Lea Ryan on May 21 2012

While I found this book incredibly interesting, I failed to connect emotionally with the characters. It was like I was almost there--poised right on the brink--but never actually fell over the edge.

Read Full Review of Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

I Adore Books and Film

Good
Reviewed by Noe, Suz on Apr 10 2012

What a clever, clever way to create a fantasy world, embedded in our rich history. Think Forest Gump.

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Movie Moxie

Below average
Reviewed by Shannon on Apr 08 2012

I often felt disoriented not knowing whose perspective we were reading from or if it was a memory, story, or current action.

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The Nook

Below average
Reviewed by Robin Moran on Mar 26 2012

Overall, it was an interesting attempt at mixing history with fiction but the layout could have been more creative and fun.

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I'm Reading It

Good
Reviewed by Bunny Cates on Jan 06 2011

Grahame-Smith was completely successful in (re)creating a world where human and vampire coexist. His portrayal of is not only plausible, but “believable”.

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Reader Rating for Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter
84%

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