Alt-history by the creator of that trend of adding monsters to fiction, starting with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which quite frankly, I rifled through once, saw the bits that had been added, winced at how they'd been added, and put it gently back down and backed away.
See, that sounds like a great idea for a late night
discussion at a pub when you're all tipsy and want to argue about what
would happen if zombies invaded Jane Austen. To me, that remains the
proper locale. Such discussions do not generally need to be published. I
couldn't see anything they were adding to the story, and for the most
part, the author was using a book that's now in the public domain and
changing small bits of it, then making money.
For years, one of
my friends has collected Family Circus books, and circulated them at
parties, inviting people to write their own (frequently outrageous and
jawdropping) punchlines underneath the saccharine ones. I love these
books. They make me laugh, they make me outraged, they make me doubt the
sanity of my friends. I do not think they need to be published, even if
Family Circus were in the public domain.
So how do I feel about
this one, which appears to be more of the author actually writing,
rather than tweaking existing material, doing an alt-history? It's
certainly more up my alley - my husband and I bat around ideas for an
alt-Canadian history book we could write, with Sir John A. using a
wooden mecha to fight Bigfoot, or with Laura Secord as a superspy. Or
how ninjas helped win the Quiet Revolution. None of these ideas have
ever made it to paper, but we have fun talking about it.
Seth Grahame-Smith actually wrote it. Well, a book-length version of one story, and I'm not entirely sure there's enough here. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
kept my attention (unsurprising - I needed some fluff after a book
about the Sudan and another about the plight of the working-class in
Victorian England). But I didn't laugh, I didn't even crack a wry smile.
The book is already disappearing from my memory and I finished it
My American political history is spotty, so I can't
speak how in-depth his research was. So for pure entertainment value,
it's okay. It didn't bore me, it didn't enrage me, it didn't capture or
I had expected it to be funnier, and I'm not sure
the seriousness served this work well, although I do admit that I can
imagine plenty of versions where humour grated.
It's just fluff.
And sometimes, that's okay. But on the other hand, I can't think of any
particular reason to recommend it, either.