Alyce from At Home With Books features one of her favorite reads each Thursday and this week my pick is…
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.
From the back cover: Robert Neville the last living man on Earth…but he is not alone. Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville’s blood.
By day, he is a hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.
How long can one man survive in a world of vampires?
My thoughts: I know what you’re thinking…not another vampire book. Recently, I featured The Historian, and yep, I seem to be feeling a theme. OK readers, it is October, let’s all have a bit o’ creepy fun. 🙂 I know we’re all sick of the vampire thing but humor me — these are the GOOD ones.
I Am Legend is not your typical vampire book. In fact, it’s more like science fiction. (As a side note, this book was written in the 50s but takes place in the mid-70s.) The world that Robert Neville lives in has been decimated by a disease and that disease has turned the world’s population into bloody thirsty fiends. He spends his days alone trying not to descend into the darkness that inhabits his mind and of course vampire proofing his house and trawling empty grocery and hardware stores for supplies. In many ways, it’s worse than actually facing the vampire hordes because all of what he experiences is more than possible without the vampire threat looming in the background. The depression that comes from loneliness, the vampire-imposed confinement, and the vampire taunts that lull him to sleep each night only add to the tension. In addition to being a vampire book, it’s also a psychological study into how much we as humans can take mentally.
The ending, and no I won’t be revealing too much here, is a strange bit of irony in that Robert Neville becomes the hunted. I won’t say it’s a twist on the vampire tale but it makes for a much more exciting ending, at least for me.
Will Smith stared in the movie that came out in 2007. Here’s the I Am Legend IMDB page if you’re interested. I liked the movie but much was changed, and while it was good, I preferred the book. Did you expect me to say anything else?! 🙂