Study Guide

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Memory and the Past

By Seth Grahame-Smith

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Memory and the Past

History in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is eerily accurate and wildly… wild. We get to look back at these famous figures we've met in history class and see how they fit together, how history is changed by what they choose—whether it's quitting a job, killing a vampire, or just eating a ham sandwich. This intimate portrait of Abe and his life is a history buff's dream. But there's a catch. Seth Grahame-Smith adds vampires to the past, and that throws one big fat monkey wrench into the gears of history. It makes us question all the choices and chances that shape the future.

Questions About Memory and the Past

  1. Is everyone in this book important to history? Do some of the characters not really matter?
  2. Are there moments in the text that examine the present-day effects of Abe's activities in the past? What are those moments?
  3. Do any of the characters think about their futures?
  4. How does Seth Grahame-Smith make this strange, fantastical history seem realistic? Or does he, even?
  5. Does the idea of destiny mess with the concept of history? For instance, Abe dreams about being assassinated at the theater—does that prophetic dream mean that history is already set, and there's nothing he can do to change it?

Chew on This

By inventing a secret history, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter makes us question the reliability of all history. Who's to say Abe wasn't a slayer? Come on, anything's possible.

Memory is a major character motivation, but anticipation isn't. Characters are more involved in their pasts than in thinking about their future, even though they can sometimes see it.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Memory and the Past Study Group

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