Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Meet Seth Grahame-Smith

There are two reason why I have selected to write about this author: I have received an advance reading copy of one of his books; and the movie adaptation of another of his novels is in the theatres.

Seth Grahame-Smith is an American bestselling author, screenwriter and producer of film and television. After receiving a degree in Film from Emerson College he moved to Los Angeles. There he wrote and produced several television series including Vendattas, Histories Mysteries, the Hard Times of RJ Berger and the series Clark and Michael. I guess the show Histories Mysteries would have been inspiration for his Abraham Lincoln novel.

Unfortunately the library only own some of Grahame-Smith's works so I will concentrate on those titles

Grahame-Smith was presented with the idea for his Pride Prejudice and Zombies (M) novel by his editor at Quirk Books, Jason Rekuluak. Because the Jane Austin book was now part of the public domain, Rekulak suggested mixing in a zombie element to it. Grahame-Smith read the original novel and performed what he called “microsurgery” to insert the gruesome zombie plot into the novel. Initially the novel was rejected,   fearing offending Austinian fans. But in the weeks before its release, the cover and title was released onto the internet. Anticipation for the book created such a groundswell that in its first week of release it reached #3 on the New York Times Best Seller List. Since then it has been translated into over 20 languages and has sold millions of copies and their has been a graphic novel adaptation made.

His next novel, Abraham Lincoln: vampire hunter (M), debuted at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Once again it is a mash-up relying on the combination of history and a popular supernatural theme. Since Grahame-Smith has done zombies and vampires, I wonder if he will do werewolves! A co-worker and I were trying to figure out who could be the werewolf and we thought of Rasputin. Then we realized that the other books had a historical figure who fought the creature not the other way around, but I digress. The novel traces Lincoln's life from childhood to assassination., and along the way reveals his secret diaries depicting his role in a world-wide struggle against vampires. The novel has been adapted into a Tim Burton film, currently at movie theatres

Grahame-Smith's newest novel also has a historical event, but no battles against supernatural creatures, Unholy Night (Mwas released on April 10, 2012 but it has taken me a while to get around to reading it. (I blame Game of Thrones for that!). Everyone has heard of the three wise men, even though the Bible has very little to say about them. Grahame-Smith presents them as infamous thieves lead by the dark and murderous Balthazar. After escaping from Herod's prison, they stumble across newborn Jesus and his parents. Balthazar does not want to be stuck with the new family. When he hears of the slaughter of first borns in Judea, he helps the family escape. As one review stated “it may be the greatest story never told”.

I am sure that this Grahame-Smith novel will be compared to one of my favourites, Christopher Moore's Lamb: the gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood pal(M)

Like I have said, the library currently only has a few of Grahame-Smith's titles. From what I have read I am sure that we will be adding to this collection with both his past and future endeavours.

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