That said, I do have a personal opinion of all the books I read (as we all do), and I pass some of those on to you as reviews. I also express my opinion on books I have not read, such as those ghostwritten for Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin. In no case, however, have I ever said, “Do NOT read this book!”
So quit blathering, Charlie, and get to your point. Okay, my point is this: I have absolutely nothing against vampire and zombie stories or the people who read them, but I do object to using real people, real events, and classic literature as the premise of, and foils for, creatures that do not exist. Here is a sampling, none of which I have (or will) read.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith
Smith, whom I believe started this trend with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, would have us believe that Lincoln’s mother died by a vampire when he was a boy of nine. He made a pledge of vengeance to track down and kill vampires, a vendetta which he secretly pursued throughout his life. According to Smith, slave owners were the allies of vampires.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim, by W. Bill Czolgosz
In this mangling of one of my all-time favorite books, Czolgosz’s premise has a mutant strain of tuberculosis bringing people back from the dead. Some are vicious and sent back to Hell, but the good ones stick around and work. Huck’s companion Jim is a good one, until a new strain of TB turns him into … you guessed it. Get this, though, from Amazon’s product review: “With so many zombies on the market, the slave trade is nonexistant [sic].”
Release, by Nicole Hadaway
In my opinion, this is the worst of the three. Hadaway, in an original story, uses the Holocaust as her venue. Miranda Dandridge is a vampire and, along with her friends, save children from the concentra- tion camps. Using the Holocaust, the real horror of all horrors, as the backdrop for the exploits of “good” vampires is a disgrace to both the millions of humans who died and those who survived.
Geeze, Charlie, lighten up! These books are for fun! Don’t you have a sense of humor?
Yes, yes I do. Once or twice a day, in fact.
What I don’t find humorous is this partial Amazon.com review by Buddy Guy for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim:
. . . One might argue that this is a great way to introduce a new generation to some great classic authors. Sure, zombies are needed to lure them in, but I like to think that it is the story that keeps them coming back for more.
More what, Buddy? More skewed classics that downplay or eradicate slavery by weaving fictional fiends into their fabric? Why not destroy Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (since this book is in the public domain too), and blame werewolves (along with vampires and zombies) for slavery?
If it takes zombies to lure a new generation to the classics, I don’t have much faith that the newbies will scramble to read the original Austen or Twain, or seek out biographies of Lincoln, or search for books on slavery and the Holocaust. With the dumbing-down of America’s “school” systems, lures will catch fish but not many teens and young people.
And that is my opinion.