Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Great Book Guru,  Memorial Day weekend in Sea Cliff with its  sweet parade and lovely ceremony at Clifton Park always fills me patriotic fervor. Also, of course, Sea Cliff Beach officially opens, so I would love to lie  on the sand with a good book about American history, but with a  somewhat different twist.Any thoughts?   Sunshine Patriot                                                                                                                                                 

Dear Sunshine,   I have just the book for you:  ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER  by Seth Grahame- Smith. My erudite friends Jim and Chris Schatz both recommended this book to me a few weeks ago. In fact, Jim specifically recommended it as a beach read, but I disagree: it is much more than that. The book, after you get past the title, is really a fascinating study of good and evil using the vampire myth as metaphor. Grahame-Smith traces the struggle between these Miltonic forces, beginning with the mysterious disappearance of the lost colony of Roanoke, through the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, the conflicts leading up to and including the Civil War, culminating in the Civil Rights marches of the 1960's. Using actual letters and newspaper accounts, the author traces the violence that permeated our culture to a longstanding clash between good and evil with Abraham Lincoln as the pivotal  player in this drama.  While farfetched at times, the novel is always entertaining and its treatment of  actual history illuminating . Lincoln emerges as an even more complex and admirable figure than our history books have portrayed him. A good read!

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