December Book Club: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter REview

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Seth Grahame-Smith




Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter ended up as a battle royale between the “meatheads” and the “literary snobs”.  There was wide dissension on whether on not the book is worth reading at all.  On one hand it was poorly written, on the other: its Abraham Freaking Lincoln killing vampires with an axe!

After reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, followed by an actual Abraham Lincoln biography, I can say that the two books were basically identical.  The one small exception would be the inclusion of vampires.  Grahame-Smith did a great job using actual events and people in Lincoln’s life in the mash-up.  No matter what, you’ll leave the book with a greater knowledge of Lincoln’s life than you had before.  Just make sure you omit the part with Vampires when trying to impress others with your Presidential knowledge, as its a bit controversial.

Check out our AL:VH preview for some more background on the book.

The book produced the widest range of ratings yet, creating quite the divide among our contributors.  Some hated it more than any book they’ve ever read, some thought it was an incredible tale of bravery and perseverance.  See the individual reviews for more.

Book Club Snap Shot

(Hover over names for ratings and recaps.)

What we liked:
  • Just plain entertaining.
  • Hilarious imagery.
  • Easy, quick read.
  • Actually pretty informative on Lincoln’s life.
What we didn’t like:
  • Depending on how much you pay attention to the actual writing of a book, this books ranges from almost unreadable to sketchy at best.  Not very well written at all.
  • A lot of us really didn’t like the very end.

The bottom line, is that this will be an entertaining, good not great read, for a majority of men.  Women: go ahead and chose another book…

AL:VH left me wondering what parts were true and what parts were totally made up. Obviously everything vampire-related was false, but I feel like the majority of this book (at least the major plot lines of Lincoln’s life) remains true to his actual upbringing. It was entertaining to see how Grahame-Smith interlaced vampire tales within Lincoln’s true bio, however, I still felt much to be desired from a creativity standpoint. Good idea, mediocre execution. With all the Lincoln conspiracies out there he could’ve done a brilliant job. Still, a fun and borderline-educational read.

Is this the best book ever written?  No.  Did it keep me entertained?  Umm, yes please.  It's fun, the concept is hilarious, and I was surprised at both the quality of writing and the depth and accuracy of (most of...) the biographical information presented.  Abraham Lincoln was actually a vampire hunter, people.  That's solid gold in my book.

This book could have been amazing... if I was more familiar with Lincolnian History. I'm not. So, I doubt I got the full impact of the clever manipulation of history and historical figures. At the same time, a lot of fun to read. Honest Abe chopping down cherry trees... and vampires. HEYYO!!

I am a huge Steinbeck fan overall, so this was a delight for me. It is not my favorite of his, but it is still very good. Steinbeck's portrayal of the ways a man will compromise himself for love and money is, as his writings always seem to be, brilliant, well thought out, and beautifully written.

if you want to see a "b" action movie, go see a "b" action movie. if you want to read a book, read a book. this failed on just about every level of what makes up a good book--and it took a whole lot longer to read than a movie too. can't deny the manliness aspect though, even though the vampire thing is done better many other places.
About zach

Staring out across the hazy mountain range on his latest summitting of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zach saw with a clearness he had not yet seen. "People should tremble at the very sound of my name", he thought. And it was so. "I should master the manly arts of the world, such as barehanded hunting and blacksmithing". And it was so. "People should call me Z$". And it was so.

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  1. I still contend that it was not quite a quick easy read and only really entertaining in the first 1/3rd of the book (minus the opening section). But I know I’m on the literary snob side of the scale so I’m not allowed to have an opinion about entertainment aspects.

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