BookBanter Episode 27 with Seth Grahame-Smith

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This episode features my interview with Seth Grahame-Smith, who is the author of the original mash-novel that swept the world by storm, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is now being turned into a movie, as well as a graphic novel, and there’s even a prequel coming out soon. But most of our interview — after some initial discussion about Seth’s thoughts on zombies — was spent talking about his new book coming out March 2nd, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In the interview, you learn where he came up with the idea for the book (which predates Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), how he went about writing the book with all the research. Seth also does a lot of TV work, which he talks about, as well as other projects he’s currently working on. There was a bit of an issue with the recording and sound quality, but the interview is clear enough and pretty interesting.

This episode features my reviews Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the new book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter :

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by East Bay and Footlocker, leading world suppliers of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, featuring top athletic brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, and Nike.  Go to East Bay.com and use the code AFBOOK15 to receive 15% off your order, or the code AFBOOK20 to receive 20% off your order of $75 or more.  Or go to Footlocker.com and use the code AFBOOKFL to receive 15% off your order.

For more updates and news, as wells as thoughts and comments about books and writing, be sure to check out the BookBanter Blog.

Be sure to join me on the next episode of BookBanter, coming March 15th, where I’ll be talking with bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson, and we’ll be talking all about his latest book, Galileo’s Dream.

Until next time,

Alex C. Telander.

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“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” by Seth Grahame-Smith (Grand Central Publishing, 2010)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunterstarstarstar

After the incredible success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, with one million copies in print, and now available in twenty-one languages, as well as being optioned to become a major motion picture; Seth Grahame-Smith returns with his next book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  The front cover seems somewhat subdued, inviting the viewer to investigate further: Abraham Lincoln stands with what appears to be an ax behind his back; blood drips down the wall behind him, along with a bloody handprint and some bloody footprints.  Flip the book over to the back and your curiosities are satisfied: he is holding an ax, and a bloody one at that; in his other hand is a severed head, also dripping blood.

The book begins with the framing device that Grahame-Smith received an unusual package wherein were the journals of Abraham Lincoln, in which the man reveals the hidden and terrifying reality that vampires are alive and well, existing in our world, killing us off one by one.  Grahame-Smith is charged to write a book explaining Lincoln’s stories.  The result is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, featuring excerpts, quotations and passages from Abraham Lincoln’s journals, as the author creates the story of this man’s incredible life from a young boy who held little respect for his father, who then went into politics looking to change things, and eventually became president.  Along the way Lincoln discovered the existence of vampires and began his quest to rid the land of these undead one by one with his deadly ax.

Seth Grahame-Smith has put a lot of work into this book for, while Lincoln never kept a journal, Smith does his best to keep true to Lincoln’s life, using his speech and writing style, and making the incidents involving vampires seem just part of this incredible biography of one of the most famous people in history.  Grahame-Smith goes even further, interweaving the existence of vampires with the civil war and slavery, so that when Lincoln makes his monumental decisions and steps towards a better nation, it is also to stop the growing power of these vampires.  And if you’re not fully convinced, there are some very interesting photos to help prove the story.

You’ll get a lot from reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, with not just an interesting biography on our former president, but an entertaining read that will make you think twice about our history, with what really happened, and more importantly the state of the world today and whether there might in fact be a vampire out there, watching you, hungrily.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on January 25th, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

For an interview with Seth Grahame-Smith check out BookBanter Episode 27.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” Book Trailer

Episode 28 of BookBanter will be available later tonight, a little before midnight, and it will feature my interview with Seth Grahame-Smith, author of the bestselling runaway success that started the whole literary mash-up craze, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  His new book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter will be out on Tuesday, March 2nd.

I’ve never really been a fan of book trailers, and feel it’s a lot of work for something usually not that impressive, and I really wonder how much they help with advertising and sales.  But seeing the book trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has changed my mind on this, as it’s very well made, very entertaining, and a great advertising piece I’m sure.  See what you think:

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombiesstarstarstar

Wait a minute!  Check that again.  Did you read it correctly?  Yep.  Definitely says Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  And the cover proves it.  Well now, there’s something you don’t see everyday.

Writer Seth Grahame-Smith has an eclectic oeuvre, author of Pardon My President, The Spider-Man Handbook, and The Big Book of Porn; he’s now a member of a growing group of writers who’ve decided there’s more to Pride and Prejudice than just the words penned by Jane Austen.  In Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Grahame-Smith works on a simple premise: what if in the world of Mr. Darcy getting to know Miss Bennett the dead did not stay dead, but became zombies searching for delicious brains.  Grahame-Smith has created a new art form here in taking a good percentage of the original text and inserting his own text alongside it.  His talent is in using the same voice as Austen, so that the new scenes featuring zombie mayhem and impressive martial arts skills from the Bennett sisters are written in the same tone and therefore aren’t different or jarring.

There are two different schools of training in this world.  The Bennett sisters are trained martial arts professionals, having spent years training under Master Liu in Shaolin, China.  They each know how to use a variety of different weapons, though Elizabeth is best with her katana.  When the five are together, facing a horde of zombies, they execute the Pentagram of Death fighting move that never fails.  While Mr. Darcy was trained in Japan, under his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the most famous zombie killer in all of Britain.  Along with the help of her highly trained ninjas, she is unstoppable.  That is until she must face Elizabeth Bennett in an ultimate showdown over Mr. Darcy’s hand.

Austen fans need not worry that Grahame-Smith has ridiculed a work of art, but has merely added and in some ways “improved” it, giving the story a new look and new subplots.  He even provides a Reader’s Discussion Guide at the end of the book.  The last question reads: “Some scholars believe that the zombies were a last-minute addition to the novel, requested by the publisher in a shameless attempt to boost sales.  Others argue that the hordes of living dead are integral to Jane Austen’s plot and social commentary.  What do you think?  Can you imagine what this novel might be like without the violent zombie mayhem?”  After reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies you won’t be able to.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally written on March 31st, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.

For an interview with Seth Grahame-Smith check out BookBanter Episode 27.

Bookbanter Episode 26 with David Grann

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In this new episode of Bookbanter, I had the chance to interview David Grann. Grann is a staff writer for the New Yorker and last year published his first book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, about one of the world’s last explorers, Percy Fawcett, and his expeditions into the Amazon in search of a lost civilization. In the interview, you learn of David Grann’s history: how he became an article writer, how he ended up working for the New Yorker, and how he comes up with his incredible ideas for articles. Grann also talks about his new book due out in March 9th, The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, collecting a number of his articles. We concluded the interview with discussion on whether Grann ever plans to return to the Amazon in light of some recent evidence of archaeological excavations that are being made there.

This episode also features my reviews for The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, Altar of Eden by James Rollins, and The Lost City of Z by David Grann:

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by East Bay and Footlocker, leading world suppliers of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, featuring top athletic brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, and Nike.  Go to East Bay.com and use the code AFBOOK15 to receive 15% off your order, or the code AFBOOK20 to receive 20% off your order of $75 or more.  Or go to Footlocker.com and use the code AFBOOKFL to receive 15% off your order.

For more updates and news, as wells as thoughts and comments about books and writing, be sure to check out the BookBanter Blog.

Please join me next time, in Episode 27 on March 1st, where I will hopefully be interviewing Seth Grahame-Smith, author of the bestselling Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and his new book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

See you next time,

Alex C. Telander.

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01/06 On the Bookshelf . . .

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Managed to snag myself an advance reader copy of Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which is due out March 2nd.  Some of you may remember Seth as the co-author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (with Jane Austen), which was a lot of fun.  While I don’t plan to read any summaries or copy describing this book — I like to be completely surprised and unspoiled — the cover and title alone have me fascinated and excited.

Since I missed out on the chance to interview Seth for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies due to schedule conflicts, I’m hoping to get him for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on a future episode of BookBanter.

And it looks to be an well-designed book with a unique look to it, so will try to get a finished copy to see how it looks.  And here’s the back cover to intrigue you even further:

Back Cover