Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - A Brief Review



My current favorite subject lately has been 19th-century crime as I had recently acquired four volumes of Rick Geary's "Victorian Murder" series and finished The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America awhile back. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter fit in well with my obsession. I recall seeing the trailer for the movie adaptation and it looked like some ridiculous fun to have Honest Abe portrayed as a kung-fu version of van Helsing. Alas, the movie came and went before I got a chance to see it but I found the book at Goodwill for a buck and figured what the heck.

The writing moves along at a good pace, combining historical fact with the fiction, quoting from Lincoln's actual writings as well as fictionalized "secret" diary entries. It does rely a little too much on the new-Hollywood idea of the vampire hunter in a long, black coat filled with gadgets but that's just part of the fun. There are actually passages that have The Great Emancipator that bring the Hong Kong action movie feel of the adaptation's trailer to mind. What's most interesting to me how the author worked in the vampires' connection to the politics of the day in general and the Civil War in particular. In the context of the book it made perfect sense. The only problem I had with the book was the poorly photoshopped vintage photographs and engravings. Fortunately, they are used sparingly. All in all a pretty good read and I may even pick up a copy of the movie from Target when it's on sale for $5...

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