Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Narrator: Scott Holst
Length of Audiobook: 11 hours, 1 minute
First Released: 2010
Synopsis (Courtesy of Joseph-Beth Booksellers): “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.”
Comments and Critique: This was my very first audiobook. I downloaded it to my iPod on a whim, figuring it would be something to listen to while sitting at the numerous soccer practices each week. I found, to my surprise, that I could not wait to find out what happened next and started listening while at work. At first, I was concerned that I would not be able to concentrate on either, but I was happy to find that not only could I concentrate on both my work and the book, it helped fill the day a bit better than music. It was great!
It definitely helped that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was a thoroughly enjoyable, engrossing novel. Mr. Holst did a decent job narrating the story, differentiating between the various voices. It is a long book with many different characters; I do not envy the job he had to make sure a reader could distinguish between them all. To be sure, there were times that the accents bled into the descriptions or were missing all together. For the most part, I feel that Mr. Holst had the right type of voice to tell this story.
And what a story! At first, the premise is ridiculous, but once past the first few chapters, the reader becomes instantly hooked on how Mr. Grahame-Smith would tell the tale. It turns out that he did an outstanding job researching and meshing history with fiction. In his hands, the premise becomes entirely plausible. Not only that, but Mr. Grahame-Smith treats Lincoln with reverence and the respect due to someone of his caliber, even if the material itself is irreverent. It is an amusing but fascinating combination.
I am not a fan of the mash-up phenomenon that seems to be taking over bookstores these days, but I would not define Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in that same vein. For, it is not taking a classic, beloved novel and amending it to include vampires or zombies or werewolves. Rather, it is a hypothetical scenario of what could have occurred in the blank spots that are Lincoln’s life. It far exceeded my expectations in every aspect, and for that I would have to recommend it to any who loves history and the paranormal and is not adverse to seeing the two combined.
FTC people – I purchased this with my own money.