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Unholy Night | [Seth Grahame-Smith]

Unholy Night

They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.
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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times best-selling Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes Unholy Night, the next evolution in dark historical revisionism.

They're an iconic part of history's most celebrated birth. But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity, besides the fact that they followed a star to Bethlehem bearing strange gifts? The Bible has little to say about this enigmatic trio. But leave it to Seth Grahame-Smith, the brilliant and twisted mind behind Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to take a little mystery, bend a little history, and weave an epic tale.

In Grahame-Smith's telling, the so-called "Three Wise Men" are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod's prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary, and their infant. But when Herod's men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt.

It's the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.

©2012 Seth Grahame-Smith (P)2012 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

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  •  
    Ryan Springfield, MO, United States 11-21-12
    Ryan Springfield, MO, United States 11-21-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A nice twist to the greatest story ever told."
    What did you like best about this story?

    I don't know how much of the historical background of the Roman Empire and the Roman characters Grahame-Smith took from actual facts, but I felt that this book really helped me get a perspective on how evil and corrupt the government of the time period was. If half of what he wrote about Herod is true he is one of the most evil men to ever live. As a Christian and a fan of Grahame-Smith I was excited to read this story. I was worried that it would either be a poor read or offensive to my beliefs. I am happy to say I was wrong on both counts. The book is not my favorite of the author's, but I did really enjoy it. As a follower of Christ I am happy to say that nothing that Smith wrote contradicted the character or divinity of Jesus. I don't know if Smith is a Christian or not, but he took a potentially explosive topic and handled it very well. The book gave me more of an appreciation of the hardships Joseph and Marry went through in this time period. For those who choose to read this book based on my recommendation I feel that I should give you two warnings. First, some nonessentials to the story have been changed (some of the facts about the life of Jesus are wrong.) However, these errors did not offend me or take away from the fact that He was the Son of God who came to save the world. Second, there is some bad language and a lot of graphic violence.


    Any additional comments?

    Yes, this book has Zombies!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Canada 07-02-12
    Dianne Canada 07-02-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Surprisingly wonderful story"

    History takes on a life of it's own as demonstrated by this story. Time changes things. Over the centuries minor insignificant characters become something much larger than life, ordinary men become heroes. The characters in this tale are well developed and ultimately human yet as we know, they have taken on a somewhat supernatural aura through the centuries. This could have happened very much like this story describes, we'll never know, but then again, maybe we will someday.

    I very much enjoyed the idea that these characters taken out of context could have been much different than "history" remembers them. Tales that make you think "it could have happened" stay with me for weeks after the book is finished and this is one I will remember a long time. The author has taken a tale so well known and developed it, or perhaps unravelled it would be a better way to describe it, into a story that is both familiar and believable.

    Well worth the credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Ellerman 05-01-12 Listener Since 2000
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    "Good Listen"
    Would you listen to Unholy Night again? Why?

    No. Not because it was bad. I listen and move to the next audiobook.


    What other book might you compare Unholy Night to and why?

    THe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I could not tell where they were leading. Too many books reveal the end before you are halfway through; these were fresh and insteresting.


    Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Balthazar's pragmatism through the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth the listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Little Rock, AR 04-12-12
    James Little Rock, AR 04-12-12 Member Since 2011

    Live naked, eat anything, feel no shame and kill monsters.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not too bad at all."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I enjoyed this book almost as much as ALVH. I would have said, as much, but right at the end it seemed that the author got in a hurry and rushed the ending. But, overall it was well worth the time and money.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Unholy Night?

    I would have said that it was the Zombie attack, but the action seemed to be abbreviated. Almost as if, like the ending, the story was over edited or rushed to an ending.


    Have you listened to any of Peter Berkrot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not your Mother's nativity story!


    Any additional comments?

    Overall a good yarn.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Gonzales 04-04-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great!!"

    I liked it from beginning to end! The narrator was amazing and story did not disappoint. Definitely worth listening to!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KASUN 03-23-15
    KASUN 03-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Holy$$$$$!!"

    Loved it. What a page turner. A must read!! Smith is a master of story telling. Highly recommended. Can't wait for his next creation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy 12-21-12
    Tammy 12-21-12 Member Since 2009

    mcleantj

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    "Unholy Night"

    This was not a book I expected to like. I bought it because I really liked Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and was looking for something else by the same author. My choices were Pride and Prejudice and Zombies...and Unholy Night. I thought I was picking the lesser of two evils when I chose this one.

    At first, I thought I probably would not listen past the first chapter or two; I wasn't enthusiastic about the subject matter or the narrator's voice - but before I realized it, I was captivated by the story and grateful for the choice of narrator. Both author and narrator have done a great job.

    I found myself laughing aloud at some points, weeping at one point, gasping in surprise and/or horror, and frustrated that people kept interrupting me with piddly stuff like work....

    There's nothing here to offend the especially religious or the especially unreligious. It's a very different story than Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter - but having now listened to both, it is Unholy Night that I will replay firrst.

    I recommend this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn J. Bregman my living room, USA 05-07-15
    Robyn J. Bregman my living room, USA 05-07-15 Member Since 2013

    robyn

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    "Good but grotesque"

    Great storyline with a new twist to the Christmas miracle,!but became violent out of nowhere during the last hour of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Bray New England, United States 05-05-15
    Robert Bray New England, United States 05-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I'd be biased but for the fact...."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Seth Grahame-Smith is an incredibly unique spinner of what we've become accustomed to. Y'know - Abe Lincoln is a vampire hunter; lovely Elizabeth Bennet on a quest to end a zombie plague in a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice; and most recently in his The Last American Vampire, sequel to Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter. Tucked in among these beauties is Unholy Night. In the tradition of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, Grahame-Smith tells about the Three Wisemen from the Bible - Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar. And at the risk of exposing my inner heathen, they're bad-asses.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Balthazar - Peter Berkrot plays him perfectly. Charismatic, endearingly arrogant, full of dry wit, and extraordinarily cunning.


    Which character – as performed by Peter Berkrot – was your favorite?

    Balthazar - Peter Berkrot plays him perfectly. Charismatic, endearingly arrogant, full of dry wit, and extraordinarily cunning. Berkrot has the perfect delivery for this book. He's eloquent yet seedy. He has a rich 'drive' (so-to-speak) to his voice that lends heavily to it's subject matter; bordering on regal while making you feel as though you're very lucky to be in on this "true" story about the Three Wisemen that many people don't know.


    Any additional comments?

    My subject line refers to the fact that I know Peter Berkrot personally. So while I'm more than inclined to sing him praises even if he were terrible (LOL!), this is actually the first book of his that I listened to. As a human being, he's such a pain in the *ss, but as a narrator he's blown me away. I asked him to recommend one of his faves that he's narrated over the years and he told me Unholy Night. I can see why. It's an outstanding story made all the more so with perfect casting. I can't recommend Unholy Night enough. As for his other books. Meh. We'll see. LOL! If you happen to read this, truly impressive, Peter. Truly impressive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danny 02-09-15
    Danny 02-09-15 Member Since 2012
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    "I like it better this way."

    Jesus birth was always spectacular. now it is visceral and gritty. the best thing since the good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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