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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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  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 09-10-12
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2008

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

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    "Couldn't Finish... loved Abe Lincoln"

    I was excited to get a new work from Smith because I loved Lincoln when it first came out and I kept up with his interviews and blurbs to see when his next release would be available. Well, now that I have it, I don't think I can finish it. The items that made Lincoln so good seem to be missing here, i.e. historical facts that can be followed online as you read, a main character with depth, sci-fi, etc. And the environment also seems to have some constricting element do to being biblical history. I think the concept is neat and it did interest me, but I hate to say that I don't feel Smith pulled this one off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Pittsburgh, PA, United States 08-20-12
    Ronald Pittsburgh, PA, United States 08-20-12
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    "As good as Vampire Hunter"
    Where does Unholy Night rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 5. I started listening to Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter on a road trip with my wife. We took it in to the room with us and continued the story. It was the same with Unholy Night.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the whole thing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Battling with corpses in the valley.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and wowed at the connections between the original Bible story and Seth's reinvention/reconstruction of same.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Charleston Chicago, IL USA 08-13-12
    Robin Charleston Chicago, IL USA 08-13-12 Member Since 2007

    avid reader

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    "Disappointing; no vampires, zombies, or thrills!"
    Would you try another book from Seth Grahame-Smith and/or Peter Berkrot?

    Maybe if I didn't have to buy it.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Seth Grahame-Smith again?

    Not if it cost a credit or $.


    What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    If I had been reading the book, I would have set it aside because it was rather tedious.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    After Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer, I expected something at least interesting and out of the ordinary. This was neither. It's just a routine historical novel set in biblical times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlie Thompson Station, TN, United States 07-17-12
    charlie Thompson Station, TN, United States 07-17-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Fast paced twist on history"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I like to hear different points on history even if they are face or fiction.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked that it was a play on the bible stoy but thought it was a little cheeky in the ending.


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

    He was good.


    Do you think Unholy Night needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No I believe it was a good one off. They could take on other bible story's but with different actors.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy J. Meek Louisville, KY. USA 07-17-12
    Roy J. Meek Louisville, KY. USA 07-17-12 Member Since 2010

    Justin Meek

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    "Intresting Idea"
    If you could sum up Unholy Night in three words, what would they be?

    Supernatural Historical Adventure


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

    In some ways it has much in common with Ben Hur or The Robe. The book certainly has a christian viewpoint. It reminds me of the Indiana Jones movies too. It has the adventurous feel of Indiana Jones, but is set during the Biblical time frame.


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

    I was intrigued by the young Pilite; there is another story there.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I would not call my reaction extreme. It was often humerous and had a nice flow.


    Any additional comments?

    This was not as good as Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, but was still a good book and the narrator does a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad ANAHEIM, CA, United States 06-21-12
    Chad ANAHEIM, CA, United States 06-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "It was just ok"

    I LOVED Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter so much!! I guess I expected more supernatural or zombies or something crazy in the book. I was bummed it wasn't more like Seth's other books. But I did appreciate how he was able to weave all through the story of Jesus and his family's flight to Egypt and there wasn't a trace of ireverenace! That took some skill and was masterfully done.

    i want to give it 5 stars but when you compare it to Zombies and Vampire Hunter, I just can't do it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew plymouth, in, United States 06-17-12
    matthew plymouth, in, United States 06-17-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great!"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a big fan of the author anyway, so it should come as no surprise that I considered the story to be fantastic. Though a work of fiction, it was very well researched and based in factual biblical and canonical stories and references - a neat touch. You learned to love the unlovable character who was stuck in circumstances beyond his control. I'd recommend it to anyone, but keep an eye out for the younger readers - it's rather gory at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Zimmerman NEWARK, DE, US 05-08-12
    Sara Zimmerman NEWARK, DE, US 05-08-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Entertaining take on Nativity story."
    What did you like best about Unholy Night? What did you like least?

    I liked the new take on the Nativity story although it did get very gory at times, which is not really my thing, so I would've been happy to skip most of the fight scenes with all the blood spurting details.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked how everything was interconnected and wrapped itself up without leaving loose ends.


    What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed his narration, he did a great job on Herod's voice.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I might; but as it would most likely be an action movie with bloody battle scenes I would probably wait for the DVD to be available.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer more, but this was still a decent listen, I'll keep an eye out for any more books he writes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia lubbocki, TX, United States 04-22-12
    Tricia lubbocki, TX, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2005
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    "It all started with a lonely ibex in the desert..."
    If you could sum up Unholy Night in three words, what would they be?

    Gory, Bible, Retelling


    What did you like best about this story?

    Yet again, Seth Grahame-Smith takes a story we all know and mashes it up with another genre. This one takes on the bible, so instead of going with the addition of the supernatural elements (already present throughout the bible), he takes 3 characters - the three wise men and tells their story in a whole different light. Well, at least one of the wise men gets his story told. These are the aspects of the story I really liked.I loved the point of view of the ibex from the beginning, middle, and end.I liked the flashbacks to Balthazar's life - his back story gave his character more depth, and I bought his questioning whether the baby with his teenaged mother was the real deal. His struggle with faith through out the story was compelling. King Herod was also well developed and pretty disgusting to think about - a great bad guy.Seth Grahame -Smith also did an excellent job setting the tone for how it must have felt living back then under the Roman Empire - the tension and the hot desert climate were like a powder keg ready to blow at any time.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator did a great job with Herod - I loved his whiny wicked voice. The rest fell a little flat though, but I liked Sela's accent.


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

    Again, Balthazar's struggle with faith and his connection to the baby. You could see the connection a mile away - but all the chase scenes. gory fighting, and internal dialogue remind you that this is a book written to entertain you.


    Any additional comments?

    I love the way Seth Grahame-Smith makes sure his story and its elements come full circle. I like that in reading/listening to stories. We usually think of life as road from point A to point B and away from where we started. But I think life is much more a circle, because eventually we have to acknowledge where we have come from and the journey it takes to come back around.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duane FORT WORTH, TX, United States 04-21-12
    Duane FORT WORTH, TX, United States 04-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "No Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    After listening to Grahame-Smith's previous work 'Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter' and reading the intro blurb for this book, I was expecting something a lot more over-the-top than what we got. It was basically a revisionist version of the first two weeks of the life of baby Jesus. I was expecting a lot more magical/supernatural mayhem than what we actually got. For what it was, it was well written and it certainly was good enough to listen to the whole thing once I got started, but I think the intro blurb over-emphasized certain aspects which were really minor, short parts of the overall book.


    Would you recommend Unholy Night to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not. It is a little too far from the historical biblical story for mainline fans, but not far enough from the historical version for the hardcore sci-fi/supernatural crowd of listeners.


    What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator was excellent. I particularly loved his voice work for Herod the Great. The characters all had clearly distinct voices and you never had any problem knowing who was who from just his voice. He also did a good job with the women's voices - enough different from the men, but not stretched so far as to be annoyingly fake.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I'd probably go see the movie. But then I probably average seeing one movie a week, so I see a lot of movies and seeing a movie doesn't qualify as a special 'event' to me.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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