Francisco Silva (volcaos) wrote in bookart,
Francisco Silva

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

Well, I've finished this one.

The cover has a blurb by Dean Koontz that states that this is the best vampire novel since Dracula. He's wrong. Dracula was a bit shit. This on the other hand isn't. Definately the best vampirte novel i've read, and for 1954 quite ahead of its time.

Basically I'd say that if you have any interest in horror whatsoever this is a book to read. If you have an interest in general culture this is a book to read, for the simple fact that this is the creator of all "survival horror" from _Night of the Living Dead_ to the _Omega Man_ or the _Resident Evil_ games. So when reading it remeber you are not reading cliches, because they weren't cliches when he wrote it.

Ok SPOILER ALERT.. if you are planning on reading it and mind being spoiled don't read this.

Matheson takes the Legend of Vampires and turns it on its head, the main character is the last man in the world, all the rest are vampires, infected by a bacillus which gives them the characteristics of vampirism. During the night he barricades himself in his house and during the day he hunts vampires in their sleep. Unbeknownst to him some vampires have managed to halt the contamination with the use of a vaccine which permits them to stay alive while still suffering photosensitivity and so on.

These living vampires go on to create a society seeing as they are not mindless as the dead ones. So who is the monster now? The vampires with an organised police force etc.. or the Human who kills them during their sleep?

The main character while waiting for his execution ends the novel with the words: "I am Legend"


I am Legend is a good example of what good sci-fi/horror can do in terms of twisting perspectives and providing new ways of thinking. Of course they wanted to do an Arnold Schwarzeneger film of it. How I love when Hollywood ruins good books.
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