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Reviews of I Am Legend (1954)

Review by johnafair (2008-11-02)
This is a great read as we follow Robert Neville's attempts to first of all survive the plague that had apparently wiped out the rest of humanity to leave a mixture of the revenant dead and a diseased remnant wandering the night streets eager to search out any blood that would feed their hunger.

Shut in his house by night, surrounded by the baying mobs, Neville finds solace in the bottle but eventually he is forced by his own curiosity to work what the plague was and how it had spread so fast. By day he goes seeking out the infected and slaughtering them in expiation of an initially unexplained guilt.

Bit by bit, Neville's story is exposed even as he becomes increasingly aware that he is the last proper human alive.

Matheson handles the story excellently depicting Neville's descent into madness and his eventual redemption as he becomes aware of the society that is being created under the cover of darkness.

Review by zara958 (2007-12-12)
READ THIS BOOK! its amazing !!! i loved it soo much, at the end of the book it left me thinking " ahh, thats was a great book" it's so easy to get into and you keep learning more and more on the way along about the character and how everything came to be. its sad at times and scary almost all the time. a real page tuner. read it!
10 out of 10

Review by cthulhu99 (2007-02-25)
This is probably my favorite book by any writer. Somehow, even though a premise that seems like it would be more fit for a short story worked well as a novel. It read very fast and was very scary. It is probably the best vampire book I've ever read... even moreso than Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, and Carmilla. The clausterphobic feeling that I was left with reminded me of Night of the Living Dead. Perhaps Romero was inspired by Matheson. At least two movies were made trying to capture the mood of the story, but failed miserably. Not even talented actors such as Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth or Charlton Heston in the Omega Man helped the movies be any more than a cheap adaption of a great novel. I give my highest recommendation to anyone to read this book.

Review by clong (2005-10-30)
This is a very effective short novel, told in a direct and simple way. Atmosphere is established quickly and effectively. The cast of characters is small. It hearkens back to a simpler style of storytelling, which so often seem to be lost in today's world of 700+ page long epics, with a cast of characters that reads like a phone book, and multiple convoluted storylines. I read it shortly after reading John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids, another classic short novel very much in the same style.

One thing I really liked about this book was that the protagonist, when faced with a horrible post-apocalyptic doom, turns to deductive reasoning, ingenuity, and thoughtful scientific research as he searches for an explanation and perhaps even a solution.

Vampire stories are not really my cup of tea, but I would certainly recommend this one to anyone.

Review by ManticBlueCat (2004-06-23)
This is by far the all time best short story ever written in the horror genre. I've never read anything like it before and it made my skin crawl. I have since passed it around to all of my friends! If you plan to read this book at night, leave the hall light on.

Review by r-beagle (2004-01-18)
Great, great book!

There are so many reasons to love this book. The best one though has to be because it's short. After reading series that go on for hundreds and hundreds, thousands and thousands of pages, sometimes it's nice to read a book that can be finished in a night or two. And you'll be completely satisfied with it. No loose ends, no under-developed characters, no over-developed characters. Just one guy, against a world of vampires.

I Am Legend brings a scientific angle to the typically paranormal topic of vampires. But that doesn't mean it can't freak you out now and then. Be it horror, suspence, action, emotion, romance, even a little philosophy and of course survival, I Am Legend brings a little bit of everything to the table. The beauty is that it just does enough of each, just enough to satisfy you and the story. Then it moves on while you're still fresh and wanting more.

I don't want to reveal much of the story, 'cause there's really not much of it to go around. So I'll keep this short, much like the book in question. If you have a liking for horror, sci-fi, fantasy then you really must read it. If you don't, then this is one of the few books of the genre that I would reccomend to you. If only to fill a couple of days.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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