A Well Done Enthralling Story!
Fiction – Alternative History - Paranormal
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Literary awards: Goodreads Choice Nominee for Paranormal Fantasy (2010)
While not an action packed adventure story Grahame-Smith does a superbly well done biography, completely comparable to other actually real biographies. I originally expected something a bit more campy or even some tongue and cheek, but this book takes itself seriously without being pretentious. The story was enthralling and carried me along with it at a very good pace.
The intro gives the book an air of authenticity and sets the believable tone. I found the intro to be very comfortable and homie and the narrator someone I could actually know in real life. While the exquisite detail in the story reinforces it’s validity. The character Henry was incredibly fascinating and I liked the introduction of Edgar Allen Poe. I didn’t find Abe very likeable at the beginning with his ridiculous pride and endless search for vengeance, but as the story progressed I became so engrossed in his life that I couldn’t help but understand him.
Okay now a couple of minor complaints. I must confess on occasion the foray into someone’s thoughts during the writing was a bit jarring and the dream sequences did push me out of the storybook world and broke the reality at times. Likewise, I was a little disappointed with the last couple of chapters; they didn’t seem to measure up to the quality of the rest of the book. While I found the sequence of events plausible, the writing was harder to follow than it should have been. I also really would have liked to see a scene between the author and Henry at the end when he turned over the manuscript. I was invested in the author – it was his story that first made the Lincoln story feel real – and I just didn’t get the payout I felt would have been pretty easy to achieve. My displeasure in the ending, however, could in no way overshadow the book as a whole. It was pretty great and fairly comparable to a majority of the “factual” biographies I have read.
Now I am on the hunt for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of the Jane Austen novels – talk about hilarious -, but I am really interested in seeing what Seth Grahame-Smith has to contribute to it.
ISBN 0446563080 (ISBN13: 9780446563086)