Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book Review - I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

Title: I Am Legend
Author: Richard Matheson
Genre: Horror / Science Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 well-spoken vampires

Let me first say this: If you have seen the recent Will Smith movie, I Am Legend, forget everything about it. The film may be based on Richard Matheson's horror novel, but it is so COMPLETELY different that they book and movie feel like very separate stories.

I Am Legend is the story of Robert Neville, the last man on Eart that has survived a plague that turns people and animals into vampires. We follow his attempts at survival and destruction of the undead, while also getting snippets of his past. Also, I Am Legend contains an ending that you WON'T see coming.

The most interesting part about the story is the combination of classic vampire myths with scientific theory. The vampires in Legend come straight out of historical culture: garlic, stakes, mirrors, sunlight, the whole deal. However, Neville's scientific experiments sheds light on a logical causeof the vampirism. This reconcilliation between two different schools of thought is very intriguing.

As with most Matheson novels, the main character is very three dimensional and the reader can not help but feel empathetic towards his situation.

Like I said (and although I won't spoil it for you), the ending was very exciting and surprising. It served to tie together many of the themes of the novel. My only problem with I Am Legend is that the ending seemed to come too quickly.

For a mix of classic vampire lore and modern science fiction, give I Am Legend a try!

4 out of 5 well-spoken vampires


  1. Movies and books do tend to be different - but I find it so funny that they are completely different.

  2. I read this years ago and was so excited when I saw the trailer for the movie, but I was bitterly disappointed. And I'm ususally the kind of person that has an open mind about books-turned-films, assuming the medium is different and changes will have to be made. But I was actually furiated with this one! Great book though. Did you like the movie?