Hey fellow readers! Have you picked up your copy of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter yet? We are already one week into our book club and this month is flying by. Before you know it we’ll be lining up at the box office window buying tickets to see this novel turned into a film!
However, don’t fret if this is the first you are hearing (reading) of this book club – you can join in at any time! Check out the official Word of the Nerd Book Club page. Sign up for this month’s read, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith in the form below and let us know what you think of this month’s book choice and any other books you want to read with us in the future!
Once you’ve done that, I’d say you are ready to join the discussion!
This book is conveniently broken into three parts, which could serve as a guide for your reading so you don’t find yourself trying to read everything in one sitting. This is a great time to be finished up with part one of the book subtitled “Boy.” Of course, you could go further, but I will focus my thoughts and discussion around that section for today’s post, and I’ll pick up the discussion at part two “Vampire Hunter” in next week’s book club check-in.
*SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS: If you have not read all of PART I: Boy, then there may be SPOILERS in the text below. Take a moment to consider whether or not you want to read the rest of this post now, or save it until after you have read!*
Thoughts About Historical Fiction
Alas, as I read through this book one of my weaknesses has revealed: History was never my strongest subject. While I, American born and raised, know much of Abraham Lincoln’s legendary tale, I find myself constantly questioning everything in this book – Could this be one of the truths weaved into this tale? I wonder throughout my reading. I find myself relieved at the mention of vampires because I am certain, at those points, that this is part of Grahame-Smith’s creation. Of course then I am left questioning whether or not a man named Jack Barts played any part in Abraham Lincoln’s history during the time of his mother’s untimely death!
I am thinking that this is part of the draw of historical fiction, as I have had little experience with it myself. In contrast to any other fiction, historical fiction offers us a setting and characters that are grounded in truth. The embellishments of their stories are placed on an already solid foundation, but it asks us to perceive all that exists on that foundation with a brand new lens. In a world where technology, advances in the sciences, forensics and global connection have allowed us to see, and reinterpret, the entire world with a new lens I think this is the right kind of brain candy we need.
Questions for you:
What are your experiences with historical fiction?
Do you think Seth Grahame-Smith has done a good job of balancing the real with the fantastic in this novel?
Thoughts About The Grahame-Smith Vampires
I am one of those people that is fascinated with vampire stories. I’m not sure when it started, exactly, (The Lost Boys?) but you can definitely place the blame on Joss Whedon for its eternal grip on my imagination. One thing that I love is when a new vampire story comes with its own vampire rules. Here are some of the rules I have picked up in this book so far:
- a taste of vampire’s blood in what is called a “fool’s dose” can transform you without immortality – in other words, kill you. (It is suspected this is how Abe’s mother was killed.)
- vampires are mostly solitary, non-social (even with each other) beings.
- vampires start out sensitive to the sun, but after a hundred years or so they can walk in daylight.
- vampires eyes are always sensitive to the sun.
- vampires look like pale humans, except when they are about to attack. They have black eyes and long fangs.
- vampires are very strong and fast.
What did I miss?
Also, are you a fan of changing vampire attributes from story to story, or do you believe that there is one “true” definition of what a vampire is? If so, what is it?
Thoughts About Henry
While I probably should be thinking about Abe first, I am fascinated by the unfolding story of Henry. We first “meet” him in the Introduction of the book where we are given the first big surprise: the mysterious rich guy is a vampire. Then, when we (or at least I) least expect it, he turns up on the bank of the Ohio River killing a vampire that is about to kill our young protagonist! I have so many questions, I don’t know where to begin. Why did he kill that vampire, if she was his first? Why is he helping Abe? How does he determine which vampire names to send to Abe? What (or WHO) is he eating?
I know all of these questions will eventually be answered, but what are your thoughts about this guy?
Do you trust Henry?
Why do you think Henry saved Abe?
Alright! That’s enough for now. Geez! Once you get me started talking about a book I’m reading I can go on forever. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg of part one, so what other thinking points did you have during this part of the reading? What are you looking forward to next?
Remember, we’ll be having our “official” discussion in week four of May, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share your comments here today!