I Am Legend: What Legends Are Made Of

For a movie review of I Am Legend, click here.

There are only a handful of writers that I can say write so well, that they inspire me to write, and Richard Matheson is certainly one of them. Without a doubt, I Am Legend is one of the most superbly written stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Thought provoking and full of surprising twists, my eyes were glued to the pages throughout the entire novella. Robert Neville is the last human on the planet, as a mysterious plague overwhelmed humanity, turning everyone into blood-lusting vampires. He hunts them throughout the day, but at night, Robert locks himself inside his fortified home, anxiously awaiting the morning sun while the vile demons roam around the house, taunting, stalking, and begging for him to come out. How long can Robert survive in a world no longer human, where the odds are sorely against him?

This is not your typical vampire saga. It’s a profound view on the human condition through the eyes of a normal man, and the changes he must endure while struggling with grief, loneliness, and disastrous circumstance.

Despite there being vampires, the most horrifying aspect of the story is the sense of hopeless, irreversible isolation, and the effects it can have on someone. The novella seems more tragic than terrifying, but nonetheless, this is an excellent story that should not be passed up. Beautifully written, captivating from its unnerving beginning to the unforgettable climax, I Am Legend is a work of literary genius, written by a master that has inspired many of todays modern writers.


I Am Legend available at Amazon.com
Hardcover: 317 pages
Publisher: Orb Books (September 15, 1997)

I Am Legend was originally written in 1954. A motion picture starring Will Smith is slated to be released 14 December, 2007.

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    • eatthelemons
    • September 2nd, 2007

    The stories that followed “I Am Legend” were pretty awesome too, although of course not AS awesome. This whole book is the kind of horror it’s hard to get these days; the kind of thing Stephen King or Clive Barker can’t really give you. And in the novella itself, I really liked that he made references to works like Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe to describe his condition (Robinson Crusoe pales in psychology, although wins in survival techniques). It wasn’t just a great story, it was also intelligent with roots extending into classical literature. Oh, and I bet the movie isn’t going to do it justice at all.

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