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I Am Legend Mass Market Paperback – 1964
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|Mass Market Paperback, 1964||
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I AM THE LAST MAN ON EARTH! i AM NOT INSANE! I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH LONGER I CAN LAST OUT! Every night they surround my last stronghold, these vampires form another world. In the darkness, they screen obscenities at me. No matter how many I kill still they come at me. How long before they reach me?
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I was delighted that I could find a Non-Will Smith cover for this book. As many people know, this story has been adapted into 3 or 4 movies over the years. Word of warning, this is different from the Will Smith movie. If the movie was a standalone with a different name, I would have liked it more. As an adaptation of the book, the movie is seriously lacking.
Differences like the fact that the vampires can talk make this story more compelling as the last man on earth isn't alone. This is one of my favorite books of all time.
If you've seen the movie, you can still read the book and be very enthralled. Different enough where you won't know the twists.
Great writing. This book made me want to become an author when I was little.
Can't say too much more as I don't want to give anything away.
Be careful to purchase the correct copy if you're avoiding the Will Smith movie cover print.
The sticker on the back of mine was sticky enough that now, once removed, my book sticks to everything. That's my biggest complaint people. Back of the book is a little sticky. Seriously. Buy this!
This book is fantastic. The way that Matheson builds Robert Neville, from the angry drunk to the somber yet thoughtful man, resigned to his fate. It's an emotional ride as we visit, through his memories, the brutal way in which his daughter was taken and burned with the other infected. The way his wife slowly succumbed to the plague and the way he had to deal with her, the dog, and finally Ruth and his breakdown.
The way Matheson treats the vampires is so clever and refreshing and something I didn't expect. I chose this book because I'm making my way through the Sci-Fi Masterworks list and thought, well it's about vampires, why is it on this list? Well now I know and I'm glad it deserves to be.
Finally, unlike the movie, when you read the very last sentence to fully understand why it's titled, I Am Legend.
I Am Legend follows protagonist Robert Neville after a plague has swept through, claiming the entirety of mankind and leaving nothing but vampiric beings in its wake. It is the end of times. Yet somehow, Neville remains. Alone and outnumbered, he must fight for survival and try to establish a life of solitude.
I want to note that for a brief portion of this story I actually listened to the audio book narrated by Robertson Dean. I can safely recommend it, as I found the narrator’s tone to be reminiscent of the actual film, Omega Man. It was nostalgic. So If you are in search a shorter audio book, this might be an ideal option. You could certainly knock this one off of your TBR in a matter of hours.
Where to start? This is a brilliant read! Cleverly disguised as your run-of-the-mill science fiction, I Am Legend delivers a reading experience that goes well beyond the expected. This is not just a mere story of a virus and mankind’s end. This is a keen observation of humanity through the eyes of one desperate and desolate human being.
“He stood there for a moment looking around the silent room, shaking his head slowly. All these books, he thought, the residue of a planet’s intellect, the scrapings of futile minds, the leftovers, the potpourri of artifacts that had no power to save men from perishing.”
Our main character is everything you would come to expect him to be. He is angry. He is despairing. And he is forever seeking answers and solutions. It is through Neville that we exposed to the horrors of what it is to be the last surviving human. The psychological ramifications are endless, and I feel that the 3rd person narration seen through Neville’s eyes conveys this appropriately with well-timed emotional responses and outburst. The sense of desperation is forever present in his relentless studies and efforts to find a cure, a solution. The loneliness is experienced through his need to reside within his own memories of his wife and a life that was. The added element of his alcoholism and sporadic actions expose his weakness and ineffective coping, reminding us once again that this is more than a science fiction story.
The writing is very impressive when you take into account that I Am Legend was originally published in 1954 and set with a futuristic Los Angeles during 1976. While the pace is somewhat slow, it is consistent and aids well in setting the atmosphere. I feel that it was a brazen decision on the author’s part to create a single character and leave him to his own devices while providing the reader with limited insight through the chosen narration. It is easy to see why this book has influenced multiple films. By the time you have completed Neville’s journey, I Am Legend will evoke a different type of fear that is very human and very real.
“Full circle. A new terror born in death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of forever. I am legend.”
This is an ideal read for fans of the films, post apocalyptic settings and titles that take an abstract approach to exploring humanity. I found this to be a very solid first encounter with Matheson’s work, and it will certainly not be the end of the line in this new relationship. I walked away from I Am Legend with a real sense of why he is such a prolific name in science fiction.
I’m not a frequent reader of vampire stories, but I’m glad I gave this a go. Written long before the recent zombie and vampire book/TV show deluge that seemed to be everywhere, I found this novella well-written and thoughtful. I was thoroughly entertained.
There were a few moments when I disconnected from the book, but mostly I thought it was great. I flew right through it.