Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Riveting Reads: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Yup. You read that right. It says Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Now, I’m not an expert on American history or anything, but I do know that Abe Lincoln is known for far greater things than offing a few vamps. Ending slavery, for example. Holding the office of President, for another. What I did not know about “Honest Abe” was his personal history with fang-toothed night-dwellers. This chilling and widely debated wedge of the former president’s life (Wink. Wink.) was discovered by none other than Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

The tale begins with a frame story, one in which Grahame-Smith discovers several lost journals of Abe’s, documenting his secret quest to rid America of vampires. Then, as Grahame-Smith reads through the journals, he pieces together this dangerous and secret part of Lincoln’s past.

As a child, Lincoln is tall and lanky, though not too muscular. Indeed he doesn’t have much need for weight training until he discovers that a vampire is responsible for his dear mother’s death. Lincoln vows to avenge his mother’s death by destroying the enemy at every turn. To train for the inevitable battles to come, Lincoln takes to chopping wood until his muscles bulge like a steroids ad, and he learns to throw his axe until he can splinter a tree from twenty yards away. In addition to his physical regimen, Lincoln pours over any piece of literature he can find on vampires; journals, folklore, and myths, etc. Soon, Lincoln is ready to face a real vamp.

Lincoln gets lucky on his first kill. Then, on a hunt for what he wanted to be his second kill, Lincoln makes an unlikely friend; a noble vampire named Henry who is on a mission to save humanity from bloodthirsty, unethical vampires. (The Angel similarities aren’t lost on Buffy fans, I’m sure.) Then, they work together to hunt and destroy undeserving blood suckers; Henry discovers them and Lincoln kills them. The story continues with twists, turns, and a bizarre ending. Spoiler alert: John Wilkes Booth’s lust for blood has a metaphoric and literal meaning in this book.

Grahame-Smith mingles fact and fiction in this fun-filled concoction, and I can honestly say, I’ve never read anything like it. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a satire on the typical biography. It’s homage to our incredible founding father, while adding a darker side to his motives. This version of Lincoln starts out driven by revenge, fury, and self-discovery. He slowly grows into the man we Americans know and love. A man of substance, integrity, and political savvy. Only, here Grahame-Smith creates us a version of Lincoln that could remain standing in Thunder Dome.

Other quasi-biographies that I’d like to see Grahame-Smith invent are Ben Franklin and the Flesh-Eating Garden Gnomes (It’s a stretch, I know, but those little guys are from creepsville) and Audrey Hepburn: the Secret Ninja/Sasquatch Hunter. As if Audrey Hepburn could get any cooler. But, hey, that’s what I thought about Lincoln and clearly…he can. Thanks, Grahame-Smith. Keep ‘em coming.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I got called a dill hole today. It was by one of those kids straight out of Touching Spirit Bear or King Dork or Catcher in the Rye. Seriously. If I asked if he respected anyone, he’d probably say BAM. Funny thing is he's probably just ready for summer.

I only have 5 more weeks of school left and I am so glad. I can barely control the students anymore. They are acting like cattle right before a lightning storm, all anxious and wide-eyed. Not that I blame them. That’s how it is in the last few weeks between spring break and the summer.

Things I’m looking forward to this summer:

1. Flip flops. I am a shoe nerd, it’s true, but come summer, my flip flops reign in shoedom.

2. Disneyland! We are going to Disney for the first time as a family. I haven’t been since I was six or seven and Cole has never been. I am psyched.

3. Working on the novel. Geez, I have been so lazy in this area. I can’t wait to have the time to type again. Type until my fingers ache.

4. Trampolining –yes, I verbafied it.

5. Laying out on the trampoline

6. Eating my fresh veggies from the garden

7. Getting a back lawn…maybe.

8. Going to a conference in Park City. (shopping in Park City is on that agenda too.)

9. Buffy fest 2010

10. Gilmore Girls fest 2010

11. Listening to “I Can’t Stop Partying” (Weezer) in the car with the windows rolled down.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

broken dreams

I haven't updated this in a while b/c i broke my thumb drive. I'm going to do better though. promise.
Books I've reviewed, but haven't posted yet:

Abe Lincoln the vampire hunter --awesome.
Make Lemonade

You'll just have to look forward to these.


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