When Abraham Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died from an ailment called the “milk sickness.” Only later did he learn that his mother’s deadly affliction was actually the work of a local vampire, seeking to collect on Abe’s father’s unfortunate debts.
When the truth became known to the young Abraham Lincoln, he wrote in his journal: henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become learned in all things—a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose.”
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for reuniting the North with the South and abolishing slavery from our country, no one has ever understood his valiant fight for what it really was. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The 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 massive role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
Oddly enough this is a book that my boyfriend read and recommended to me, and seeing as he has a hard time finishing books I knew I had to check it out. After all if it could keep his attention for 336 pages then it might actually be worth the read. I had already read Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, so I knew something of Grahame-Smith’s style and I knew that I enjoyed it enough that this would at least be decent. Like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies he takes something already given, in this case the story of Abraham Lincoln, and puts a spin on it that most would never even think about. However unlike PP&Z this plot is almost entirely original minus direct quotes and recorded events. Seth manage to make sure that there is a nearly seamless line between true history and the fictional history, the quotes from real speeches and articles are a nice touch to making this seem more real and even the fake diary entries help to solidify it’s obviously fake claim. It is not written as a humorous and funny book but instead it’s written like a real biography, that being said it’s not one of those extremely dry bios either it’s really captivating in the sense that it’s something entirely new. There is a vast amount of real history incorporated into the book which most would not know unless they were very well read in this area of history, so that adds a nice touch. The book is darker and bloodier than PP&Z, so it’s not for those who are extremely squeamish because some of it is fairly detailed. The introduction even incorporates the author himself into the book to help set the premise for the book and it does put light to the fact that it’s fiction. The diary entries however are a small negative, they are in a different font and it can be hard on the eyes to read. I often found myself skimming them at times and I had to go back and fully read the entries when I realized it. I wasn’t quite sure about the ending because I didn’t agree with it fully but it didn’t take away from the bulk of the story so I suppose it’s fine. I found this to be a wonderful and original take on vampire fiction.
Also on another note the cover art is amazing, I laughed when I saw the back even though it is slightly gory. Here is the picture so you can see how cool it is.