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I Am Legend Paperback – Bargain Price, October 30, 2007
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One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the first writers to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. --Stanley Wiater --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The world's population has been obliterated by a vampire virus, though Neville has somehow survived. As he toils to make sense of it all and protect himself against the hounding vampires who seek out his life force, Neville embarks on a series of projects to discover the source of the plague and hopefully put an end to the vampires. In a tale that plays with the slippery slope of sanity, Dean makes the perfect choice for a narrator. His powerful performance proves chilling and haunting. As Neville teeters on the edge of sanity, Dean manipulates his tone, speed, emphasis and projection accordingly, making listeners tremble with his narration. While some might rebuke his narration for being too dramatic or providing too much interpretation, Dean's intensity adds to the book in a way that benefits listeners over readers. The visceral nature of his performance evokes the image of a foamy-mouthed Dean growling at a microphone with spittle flying. A Tor paperback. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The set up is great: a plague has killed most humans. Richard survives, barricaded in his own home, the last person on earth, as far as he knows. The rest of the city is populated by the dead, and the near dead. At first I thought they were zombies, but then came to realize (because the book says so) that they were vampires.
The narrative tension in the book is provided on the most basic level by Richard's battle to stay alive. However, that battle is interrupted by the appearance of a second survivor. How that plays out is the point of the book.
Some of the narrative is pretty convenient and predictable, and the characters really aren't well developed. Then just as it gets going, it ends.
As the headline says, not as good as the movie, but interesting read to determine the origins of the movie.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that I have seen two film versions of I Am Legend and this still felt original. I think it's because the main character is a truly human character. We get a front row seat to those flaws in the book and we get to do it as he battles vampires from a last man on earth perspective. It was a fun read. I will try more of Matheson's written work. (He also wrote many screenplays.)
Wow, just wow. I don't know what else to say. It's an incredible book, dealing with a very dark but thought provoking subject. I've always hated book like these, the whole post apocalyptic zombie land always seemed so childish and cliche to me, but I genuinely enjoyed this. The entire story just makes you think over and over, what would I do if I were him? Bare with me those readers that are like me that absolutely hate it when people (*cough cough* English teachers and librarians *cough*) say stuff like that but for once it's actually true. The author makes Neville seem so real and so painfully human that it's almost impossible not to relate him to yourself. That being said I did have a few problems with the book. For one thing the beginning was kind of a drag but it got better as it went on. For another, two words: The. Dog. That scene was the worst and was only put in to further inflict pain onto its readers. If I had been forced to read this in school I would have hated it but since I read it of my own volition, it actually was really interesting and I really liked the ending.
Written in 1954, it hits the vampire genre far before "Twilight" romanticized it. The book's main character is Robert Neville, who very well may be the last man on earth -- other than the half-dead and full vampires who try to lure him out of his home every night.
The book only lightly touches upon WHY there are vampires. Apparently, there was a plague or virus or "something" unknown that created a world of vampiric entities. Robert thinks he's been immune because he was bit by a vampire bat while he was in the war.
It's interesting to see how Robert handles being alone. I personally would go stark raving mad, but Robert handles the madness and frustration by trying to figure out just what causes a person to become a vampire. He discovers a potential reason, but the irony is it's just too late.
The ending I'll leave to you to read. It's faster paced than the rest of the book (which in and of itself is a short book and a quick read) and the ending leaves you wondering about "what if".
People who are in love with the romance of vampires will hate this book. People who loved Van Helsing will likely enjoy this book. Either way, it's a classic and worth the time.
Most recent customer reviews
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