I’ve been reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. It isn’t very good! I feel badly about that, because I wanted it to be good — I love Abraham Lincoln, and vampire hunters — but there isn’t much you can do when an author positively refuses to oblige your irrational prejudice in his favor. The most annoying infringement so far is the unsophisticated prose; the book reads like a decently-researched YA novel. I’m about eighty pages in and absolutely sure Abe’s going to have a sexual awakening any moment now, for example, which fills me with a kind of dread I didn’t know it was possible to experience outside the spiny fences of a prisoner-of-war camp. Also the vampires are pretty uninspiring! Abe learns of their existence from his lazy, illiterate, untrustworthy, and much-hated father, in a stupid story Lincoln pére babbles incoherently to Abe in the middle of the night after Nancy Hanks has been dead for months (it turns out a vampire killed her, slowly, for almost no reason, while Dad sat around with his thumb in his ass). Abe’s first slaying isn’t impressive, either: He summons the apparently retarded vampire who killed his mother to the family home, kills him, mumbles something Dirty Harry-like about making more stakes to dispatch the inevitable torrent of vampire avengers come to get even for their fallen comrade, and then wanders off. Meanwhile, Abe is experiencing FEELS, RE: SLAVERY. And he has AN AXE. Yes, I am afraid it’s that kind of novel.
I’m going to finish it because I started it, and also because I literally cannot wait to see how vampires will be responsible for Mary Todd’s madness (probably she will see a vampire eat a baby, or something, and we’re off) and the death of Abe’s sons. Apparently they are also responsible for the entire institution of slavery! That sounds exciting. Anyway, updates will be forthcoming.
Lincoln deserves a much finer postmodernist literary-horror tribute, in my opinion, but I suppose it’s almost impossible to outmaneuver the horrorshow of history, especially in a context like this one. (And to out-write Lincoln, one of the most artfully original prose stylists in American letters.) Maybe the movie will be better?