I am Legend

Posted on: February 27th, 2007 by Anthony Rapino 4 Comments

Why not start out with a classic?

Not to overstate this or anything, but Richard Matheson’s I am Legend is a masterpiece, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees. Though short (170 pages) compared to today’s standards, this novel has more life in it than many contemporary novels breaking 500 pages.

What I found particularly striking about this novel is its close resemblance to many zombie novels and movies–but its about vampires. It is a post apocalyptic novel about a lone surviving man who spends his days hunting vampires and his nights barricaded inside his house.

Some of you might recognize this scenario. That’s because this novel has been adapted to film twice as The Omega Man and The Last Man on Earth. I recently viewed both films after devouring the novel, but neither could stand up to it.

The book I purchased also contains a slew of Matheson’s short stories. I’m still working my way through these, but I may say a couple things about them later on.

What do you think about this novel?

4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ll give it a look.

    Cheers.

  2. Steve says:

    I think it’s great. You already know that, but I’m saying it again: Its great!

    There is talk of an Omaga Man remake starring Will Smith. I am not sure if it’s going to happen, but there is a lot of talk about it.

    I agree with what you said about The Last Man On Earh not comparing well with the book. I still haven’t seen The Omega Man yet though.

  3. Anthony J. Rapino says:

    Wow, an Omega man remake? That’s interesting. I wonder if it would be any good…

    I think the Omega Man resembles the book even less then The Last Man, but the movie was a bit better, if not campy.

  4. julia says:

    I’ve always thought that that was a very interesting scenario. The lone person, or usual group of persons, who have basically created a siege situation. They have to be resolved and ready to deal with any situation. The thing that really interests me though is about the “B” stories that come from this type of situation. There usually arises a sort of political, racial, or social dynamic of our culture that is observed and looked at, not just that these people are in a tight spot. All of Romero’s films deal with these sorts of situations, and newer versions, such as Feast or Demon Night have some similar secondary stories or themes that are better explored through this kind of crisis. Check out Feast if you haven’t seen it. Also, I think that there has been a push for longer books, that if a book doesn’t have ten thousand pages then it’s just no good. My real favorite stories are short and punctual, some longer pieces are great but length doesn’t necessitate goodness, or vise versa.

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