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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend (original 1954; edition 1997)

by Richard Matheson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,515202788 (3.87)93
Title:I Am Legend
Authors:Richard Matheson (Author)
Info:Orb Books (1997), Edition: 1, 317 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2017 challenge

Work details

I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard Matheson (1954)

  1. 20
    The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson (sturlington)
    sturlington: Similar in many ways. Each stays in the head of a solitary hero, isolated by unnatural events beyond his control, struggling to hold onto his sanity and his sense of self.
  2. 10
    No Blade of Grass by John Christopher (crdf)
  3. 21
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (KatyBee)
  4. 02
    The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (VictoriaPL)

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» See also 93 mentions

English (200)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All (202)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
First story I Am Legend totally lives up to it's billing as a FANTASTIC, original vampire tale. The vampire mythos that Matheson tore down with "scientific" explanations was incredibly thought out and detailed. My favorite part being where Neville showed the cross to Ben Cortman, who laughed in his face, then brought out the Torah and that set him off. Highly recommended story.
The next two--Buried Talents and The Near Departed were bad. Could have been better, but they were missed opportunities.
After that came Prey. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to realize that it was original story behind "The Doll"! The third short of 1975's Trilogy of Terror. Another winner.
Witch War was creepy and fun. I would love to see the story of the seven girls expanded upon.
Dance of the Dead sucked. They can't all be winners.
Dress of White Silk was another one the was eerie and vague. But a regular spine chiller!
Mad House kinda sucked. Where Buried Talents was a good idea that wasn't fleshed out enough, Mad House was a good idea that dragged on WAY to long. Ugh.
The Funeral was okay. Nothing too exciting.
From Shadowed Places not too bad, but again, nothing too exciting.
Person to Person was one of the better stories.

All told, I Am Legend remains the best of the lot and a good enough reason to pick up the book, even if it's the only one that you read. ( )
  writertomg | Sep 6, 2017 |
Richard Matheson wrote I Am Legend in 1954 and he set his futuristic post-apocalyptic thriller in 1976. The protagonist is Robert Neville, who has lived alone for a few years after losing his wife to a virus that infected most of Earth’s population and turned them into the living dead. The virus was thought to have been spread by mosquitoes after a war. Neville lives boarded up in his home, drinking often to ease the pain of his lone existence. He ventures out during daylight in search of food and supplies while also killing vampires. He spends his days trying to figure out the virus and how to cure it. I felt bad for him from the start. You get to see his past through a few flashbacks. I felt that Matheson wrote Neville’s loneliness and desolation masterfully and he was really creative with his storyline.

Some of the vampires can speak, others are fully dead and cannot. Something about that just got under my skin, that some of the vampires could still speak, that they were still technically living. Neville’s old neighbor continues to call and taunt him as a vampire. Just like most zombie stories today, everyone is infected, some people are immune, like Neville. Reading this one I realized that Matheson has influenced the vampire/zombie genre greatly. While the pacing was slow at times, I very much enjoyed I Am Legend and found myself fully immersed in a creative storyline, which was both bleak yet at the same time showcased the endurance of the human spirit in the worst of times.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of I Am Legend.
https://bookwormnai.wordpress.com/2017/07/01/i-am-legend-by-richard-matheson/ ( )
  bookworm_naida | Jul 1, 2017 |
Interesting premise, but slow-paced and plodding. Get the edition that has his collection of short stories as well. ( )
  Paulnakhiv | Apr 18, 2017 |
This is a book that divides me: there are aspects of it that I admire (and that ending! It ought to get 5 stars for that ending alone) and then there are others that leave me rolling my eyes (oh, classic scifi, I accept it's part of when you were written, but I don't have to excuse, ignore or enjoy it. No 5 stars for you).

Predictably, I like that it dwells on Neville's frame of mind, but have problems with the story development and the inconsistencies within Ruth's character.

Much musing about book and the most recent attempt to film it ( )
  imyril | Apr 15, 2017 |
A story about a distraught and manic man trying to overcome loneliness, most likely being the last human alive, and constantly trying to survive a vampire horde. The book is great and nothing like the movie. The vampires were there, but are really just an element for the theme of the story, which is how someone would behave and think when all alone and constantly in fear. There is a lot of inner monologue in the story that is gritty and likely realistic. I also enjoyed the take on vampires, with a more scientific and humanistic viewpoint. ( )
  renbedell | Nov 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Mathesonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasovsky, YuriNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To HENRY KUTTNER with my grateful thanks for his help and encouragement on this book.
First words
On those cloudy days, Robert Neville was never sure when sunset came, and sometimes they were in the streets before he could get back.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the work for a short story collection, which includes the novella "I Am Legend". Please do NOT combine it with the main "I Am Legend" work which just contains the novel.

Stories contained in this work are:
I am legend --
Buried talents --
The near departed --
Prey --
Witch war --
Dance of the dead --
Dress of white silk --
Mad house --
The funeral --
From shadowed places --
Person to person
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description

Robert Neville may well be the only survivor of an incurable plague that has mutated every other man, woman, and child into bloodthirsty, nocturnal creatures who are determined to destroy him.

By day, he scavenges for food and supplies, desperate to find any other survivors who might be out there. But all the while the infected lurk in the shadows, watching his every move, waiting for him to make a mistake....

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031286504X, Paperback)

One of the most influential vampire novels of the 20th century, I Am Legend regularly appears on the "10 Best" lists of numerous critical studies of the horror genre. As Richard Matheson's third novel, it was first marketed as science fiction (for although written in 1954, the story takes place in a future 1976). A terrible plague has decimated the world, and those who were unfortunate enough to survive have been transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Except, that is, for Robert Neville. He alone appears to be immune to this disease, but the grim irony is that now he is the outsider. He is the legendary monster who must be destroyed because he is different from everyone else. Employing a stark, almost documentary style, Richard Matheson was one of the first writers to convince us that the undead can lurk in a local supermarket freezer as well as a remote Gothic castle. His influence on a generation of bestselling authors--including Stephen King and Dean Koontz--who first read him in their youth is, well, legendary. --Stanley Wiater

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"Robert Neville is 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"--Publisher's description, I am legend.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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