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Book Review: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Updated on August 3, 2016
Cover of the book
Cover of the book | Source

The Cover

Looking at the cover, the reader can tell immediately this book will be bloody. We see Abraham Lincoln standing, facing the reader. Among him we see bloody hand prints and behind, we see he is holding an ax which has blood on the blade. An image many of us are familiar with when thinking of Lincoln? Not at all. But we can tell that the ax is going to play a crucial role in the story, as his choice of weapon when hunting vampires. And from the amount of blood we see on the cover, it is known that Lincoln never failed when it came to killing the vampires he was assigned to hunt.


In the beginning, Lincoln's mother dies a mysterious death. While others claim it's milk-sickness that claimed her life, Lincoln knows there's more to the story. And he intends to get to the bottom of it. After searching for the truth, he discovers his mother was actually killed by a vampire. It is then Lincoln decides he wants to avenge his mother's death. From the moment he decides to find and kill the vampire that killed his mother, Lincoln starts a journal to document his hunting of vampires, a job he gets when he meets Henry Sturges, a vampire himself who wants to take out the bad vampires.

My Thoughts

Rated 2 Stars:

When I read online that Grahame-Smith used the idea of finding a secret journal (Where he had to claim there was no real journal) as the basis to write this book, I thought well this may be interesting to read. But then he said to hope this idea would trick people into believing this journal was real. That was when I started to feel iffy about reading the book, but I did anyway. Why? Because Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president and always has been since I was 5 (for what reason, I don't know still to this day). Now, I didn't like the idea that Grahame-Smith wanted people to think this was a real side to Lincoln and yet I continued to read it. In fact I had to force myself to finish the book and I even skimmed through most of it. There just wasn't anything fascinating to it. I think that if Grahame-Smith had written it as a regular novel, not from making it come from a journal, it would've been a much better read. Still, I carried on reading it.

At times, they way the book was written got confusing. You would have a part with dialogue, making you feel that you were reading an actual novel. Then parts of this "journal" would be thrown in randomly, making you feel like you were reading a history book rather than a fun to read novel. That part really bothered me.

The photographs used in the book were a horrible way to go as well. Grahame-Smith used them and had them altered to look like vampires were really among us. How could you do that to history? I get it, it's a fake journal and he wants us to believe it's real. Who would actually believe this was a real journal in the first place? But then to alter pictures that are a part of history? Come on, that is completely wrong.

I guess in the end, to me being such an admirer of Lincoln it was hard to get through this book, even if it was fiction. I feel that Grahame-Smith could've done a much better job writing this as a fun novel to read, rather than making it feel like a history lesson.

I will admit to one thing, I did watch this movie before reading the book. Mostly for the reason that I love Benjamin Walker. While watching the movie, I couldn't stand it at times and hoped that the book would be better. In fact I was told that the book was better than the movie, which is why I read it in the first place. But unfortunately, this was a case when the movie was better than the book (then again the eye candy of Benjamin Walker helped with that). I wanted to like this book, really I did. But in the end, I could only give it two stars. And the only reason it got that extra star was because it involved Lincoln.

Another cover

Different Edition
Different Edition | Source

Let me just point out that I do like this cover better than the copy I had of the book because it is taken from the movie and is Benjamin Walker (a favorite actor of mine) portraying Lincoln. Pretty much the only reason I watched this movie in the first place.

Edition #3

Cover of Edition #3
Cover of Edition #3 | Source

Similar to the cover of the book I read, this one adds even more traces of blood to point out this book was a best-seller.

Would you read this book?

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My next book review will be on American Psycho by Easton Ellis


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