I am an oozing, drooling undead groupie for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I rushed out to buy Seth Grahame-Smith’s latest mashup, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. The premise is deliciously dumb: In addition to his other accomplishments, Honest Abe is a hunter of vampires, who are depicted in “historic” photos throughout the book in their trademark dark glasses. There’s an atmospheric beginning, a compelling and even a thought-provoking reason the vampires are among us, but the book as a whole seemed as thin as the blood of a mortal on Coumadin. When I tired of zombies in P&P&Z, there was always Jane Austen’s original text to savor; when vampires pale (sorry!) Grahame-Smith’s writing just doesn’t grab me by the throat.
Perhaps I’m just tired of vampires; perhaps I wanted a bit more history to bridge the battles between men and vampires; perhaps there weren’t enough girls. There have been a zillion high-concept monster/classic books rushed out lately, and though this is a relatively noble effort, and gets props for being published on the heels of the million-selling P&P&Z, sustaining the conceit seems to wear the writer out as much as this reader.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
By Seth Grahame-Smith ($21.99). Available at Vroman’s, Apostrophe Books, Flintridge Bookstore and other local booksellers.