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Bryan Preston

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February 13, 2012 - 3:07 pm

Is it wrong to hope that this movie turns out to be good? Is it wrong to anticipate this film four months ahead of its June release? If it’s wrong…

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Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2010 novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter sounds like a ridiculous spoof but it wasn’t, really. It was a straightforward rendering of an unambiguously heroic figure as a man with a secret life. But unlike most secret life takes, this secret life of Abe Lincoln doesn’t tear him down. It makes him even more of a giant. Not only is Abraham Lincoln a self-made man, a thinker far ahead of his time and an American leader without peer, Lincoln secretly spent his entire life hunting down and killing vampires with his trusty axe. The novel weaves major events of Lincoln’s real life — the death of his mother, the visit to antebellum Louisiana that turned him forever against slavery, his political career and the Civil War — into the fictional story of vampires invading young America from their home in Europe. Slavery provides them their ideal world; they can set themselves up among the plantations in the South and use the slave culture to serve themselves an infinite feast. Abe Lincoln aims to stop them.

The whole premise of our 16th president as strapping slayer of immortal fanged monsters shouldn’t work at all, but in the novel it does work, thanks to solid writing and a serious tone that captures the melancholia of 19th century America and Lincoln’s life in particular. It works as alt history, Gothic fiction and action horror. It keeps the good guys good and the bad guys bad; there are no tame prettyboy Twilight vampires here. This Abe Lincoln might make Chuck Norris think twice before taking him on. The novel is a dark, fun page-turner, moreso if you’ve studied Lincoln’s life in any detail. Hopefully Tim Burton’s movie can live up to the book.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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