I Am Legend
I am Legend is the story of Robert Neville, the last man left alive on earth. But he’s not alone. The rest of the world has been transformed into vampires, and as far as only Neville knows, he is the last of his kind—a normal man, trying to survive against endless hordes of the undead. It’s a very well-written, creepy, and disturbing look into the psychology of survival, and one man’s struggle to understand a world that’s gone mad around him. I enjoyed it a great deal, overall. There’s a bit in towards the end, when a new character gets introduced, that I found a little less interesting, but overall, great stuff. Matheson has a very nice, tense, writing style that manages to pack a lot into a relatively short piece. The story has been adapted into a couple of movies, but I haven’t seen them.
The Orb edition of I am Legend has a number of Matheson’s other stories attached. I didn’t read all of them (one about a depressed, failed, writer was too much for me to take), but the one’s I did read were all good. Reminded me of Philip Dick, in the way he plays with reality, and people’s expectations. And again, I’m really impressed with Matheson’s ability to keep things short. The creepiest story of the one’s I read is only about three pages, but the punch line is so powerful, it makes whole story incredibly frightening. In a world of 800-page fantasy novels, it’s refreshing to read something short, sweet, and to the point.
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