Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Seth Grahame-Smith, read by Scott Holst. Hachette Audio, 10.25 hrs., $17.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-215-1
Given the zany conceit of Grahame-Smith’s latest novel—that a young Abraham Lincoln vowed to become a vampire slayer upon learning that his mother died after being tainted with vampire blood, and then made good on that promise—performing the story as if it were completely unremarkable is essential to the listener’s suspension of disbelief. And in this audio edition, narrator Scott Holst does just that, reading with measured delivery and a calm demeanor. This decision—and his fine performance—accomplishes more than over-the-top histrionics would in delving the listener into this remarkable alternate history, in which the blood-sucking undead play a part in the Civil War (on the side of the South, supernaturally) and the fatal events in Ford’s Theater. Holst aligns his pace with the mood of the text, slowing down at vital moments, e.g., when good vampire Henry Sturges informs a young Lincoln that he was born to “free men from the tyranny of vampires.” This audiobook will serve as a nice contrast to the big-screen adaptation of the book, which, inevitably, substitutes explicit gore for the listener’s imagination. A Grand Central paperback. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
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