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I Am Legend Paperback – Unabridged, September 15, 1997
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
While this book is advertised as one of the best vampire novels of all time, it is really not about the vampires at all, but about a man. This is the story of what one man can endure, what his limits are, how much he can accept, and what will happen when he goes too far.
Yes, there are vampires in the book, and yes, he does hunt them by day, but it's not an action story; the suspense is more pyschological. This is also one of the more different vampire books you will ever read.
Somewhat short and written precisely, words are not wasted here, and the beauty and simplicity of the language is part of the appeal that this book holds. Robert Neville is an amazingly real character, and the ending of this book is perfect. While I have not yet read the multiple other stories by Matheson in this volume, I Am Legend alone is worth the cover price.
This is where it all started. The pioneering work that later inspired George Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead" and Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" and every other tale of a normal human being fighting against the odds in a world gone mad with the hungry hordes of the undead.
Matheson, a TV writer (most notable work, "The Twilight Zone"), places us in a world where a mysterious virus has not only killed off virtually ever other man, woman and child but causes them to return as zombielike vampires intent on only one thing... to drain the blood of the living. Matheson's hero holds up in his old family home, now a battered fortress assaulted nightly by what were once his friends and neighbors and who have become the walking dead intent on taking hold and devouring him. He, in turn, waits until the morning light and searches out there hiding places in order to destroy the revenants when they are at their most vulnerable. A one man army, who is patiently, skillfully ridding his world of this vermin.
Fortunately, in one of his sweeps he finds that there is another who is doing the same thing. He is not alone in the world afterall.
Unfortunately, this other wants to destroy him as well.
Matheson wrote a thinking man's horror novel. He touches on that feeling of alienation and loneliness that pervades so much of our modern world. A world that places us as pawns, used (and often victimised) by the science and technologies of our own creation. However, Matheson also inspires in the reader a feeling of hope and fighting back even if the odds are staggeringly against us. He appeals to the survivalist instincts that every healthy, normal man and woman possess. He builds the anger in us to strike back and overcome the menace to our existence.Read more ›
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH starred Vincent Price. Made back in 1964, it's the most faithful of the adaptations, but hindered by a very low budget.
THE OMEGA MAN starring Charlton Heston, 1971, could charitably be described as "based upon" I AM LEGEND. Worst of the bunch.
I AM LEGEND the big budget action movie starring Will Smith (2007) was reasonably faithful in an "amp it up and blow it away" manner, but continued the tradition of totally missing the ending. Hint: To see what Matheson was getting at with the ending, look at the title!
Anyway, the book remains one of my all-time favorites. It's still the only book I've ever finished and then immediately returned to page one to read again!
If you're expecting a "zombie gross-out" or anything along those lines, you'll be disappointed. There's suspense a'plenty, but mainly it's a personal drama as Robert Neville strives to find meaning in a world in which he no longer belongs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My father first told me about this book (and a little bit about how it ended) after I had seen the Will Smith adaptation as well as the Omega Man. Read morePublished 14 hours ago by Kindle Customer
I have wanted to read this book for many years to see how the book was changed for the movies audience. As usual, I prefer the book to the two movie adaptations that I have viewed. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Stradman1960
Very different read from any other thriller. Lots of surprises and turning points in the story. You didn't know how it would come to an end until "the end".Published 1 day ago by s Sanchez
This gives the true story of the isolation and also gives the idea the evil is in the eye of the beholder.Published 3 days ago by Kindle Customer
Don't judge this book by the crappy Will Smith movie. It's pretty good.Published 4 days ago by rfswitch
This was a good story, completely different the zombie movies that were supposed to be adaptions of this book. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Brian M. Mcgowan
If you have never read this, take a day and do it. The movies don't do it justice. There is a reason Stephen King and many other masters of the craft acknowledges Richard Matheson... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Spenser Calderin