Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Richard Matheson – I Am Legend

Robert Neville is the last man alive, the rest of the population have become bloodthirsty vampires. He spends his days safeguarding his home, killing the vampires and searching for a cure. He spends his nights barricaded in his home trying to drown out the vampires that gather outside trying to get him.

I was looking forward to reading this book as it sounded like just the kind of thing I like. I had seen the film some time ago but couldn’t really remember it very well (in fact I couldn’t even remember it was vampires, I thought it was zombies but that came back to me once I started reading).

I was certainly not disappointed with the book. I enjoyed it very much and read it quite quickly. Before starting I was a little disappointed that it was so short but having now read it I think the length was just right, it would not have gained anything from being any longer, in fact it may have been the worse for it.

I think the loneliness of Robert Neville was captured well. I particularly liked the chapters with the dog which really illustrated this well. I found the book to be well written, enjoyable and quite thought provoking. I would definitely recommend it.


  1. Your memory lapse as to vampires vs. zombies is understandable. The first film version, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964), stayed pretty faithful to the book and had Neville (or Morgan as he was renamed) facing vampires, but they looked and acted a lot like the zombies that soon appeared in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). In the remake, THE OMEGA MAN (1971), they were light-hating albino mutants, and in the 2007 Will Smith version, they were, well, lousy CGI mutant critters. For further information on all four films, see my book RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-4216-4), tentatively due out in early October.

  2. I didn't realise there were that many films based on the book ! I was referring to the 2007 film with Will Smith.