• Published: January 21, 1999
• Genres: Horror, SciFi
• 160 pages
• Goodreads Rating: 4.06
• My Rating: 4.00
Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth… but he is not alone. Every other man, woman and child on the planet has become a vampire, and they are hungry for Neville’s blood.
By day he is the hunter, stalking the undead through the ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.
How long can one man survive like this?
I first picked up I Am Legend when I was about 14 years old. I wanted to read a vampire book where the vampire were actually monsters instead of love interests, and had heard good things about Legend. Unfortunately, it was a bit too “old” for me at that age, so I put it on the back burner. I’ve owned the book for a good bit now, and just recently decided I really needed to just read it. It isn’t very long, and I needed a good Halloween book.
The Book is 1000x Better Than the Movie
This is not an exaggeration. I wasn’t a big fan of the movie to begin with since I knew the antagonists were originally vampires. I had read the first few pages before the movie came out, so I was expecting vampires the whole time. When I saw that it was badly-done CGI zombies, I became completely uninterested. I honestly can’t see how they could say the movie was based on the book at all because 90% of it is different. In the book, Neville is an alcoholic who doesn’t take care of his body. He is completely alone. He is a war veteran, not a doctor. His family dies after being infected by the disease. The vampires can talk to him and try to coax him out of the house. The book is so much more intense than the movie and I loved it.
Alternative Future (SPOILERS BELOW)
The book was published in ’99 but takes place in the mid-70’s. The emergence of a new society – this one ruled by vampires – gives us a completely new idea of the future. We know they view their rising as a revolution, so it makes me wonder whether or not they’ll find peace soon or later in their evolution. We’re never introduced to their leader, so we have to rely on our own thinking to imagine what happens after Neville’s death.
• Prostration (noun)
• Desultory (adjective)
• Maudlin (adjective)
• Reveries (noun)
If you’re looking for a short, creepy book, I am Legend is for you. Definitely try to pick up a copy that has some of Matheson’s short stories too – they’re worth it. He Who Kills and Dance of the Dead were my two favorites. I’m so spoiled by epilogues that I wish Legend had one, but that’s really just nit-picking.
Have you read I am Legend or any other books by Richard Matheson? Do you have any favorite Halloween books, or books to read around Halloween? Let me know in the comments below!