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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend (original 1954; edition 2019)

by Richard Matheson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0872121,088 (3.87)100
Neville is essentially the last man on earth, and the loneliness of his situation is the central part of the story. Matheson is able to communicate Neville's emotional feelings vividly, making him very real. We gradually acquire the story of the deaths of Neville's wife and daughter, essentially experiencing the pain he goes through when these memories overcome him. We watch him drink himself into a stupor as each night finds him besieged in his fortified house, surrounded by vampires, including his old friend and neighbor, calling for him to come out. We watch him slowly lose his grip on sanity and come very close to giving up.… (more)
Title:I Am Legend
Authors:Richard Matheson (Author)
Info:Tor Books (2019), 448 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 30
    The Death of Grass by John Christopher (crdf)
  2. 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.
  3. 31
    The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (KatyBee)
  4. 02
    The Mouse on the Mile by Stephen King (VictoriaPL)

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» See also 100 mentions

English (209)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 209 (next | show all)
This book while not mind blowing, sure raised a lot of interesting questions.
I'd made the mistake of watching the Will Smith movie first and I can honestly say that, in the history of cinema, never before a movie missed the point of the book as much as this one. It's not only the ending but also the plot and the messages the book encompasses.
I read the greek translation of the book which wasn't very good so it made the experience less pleasant that it could have been.

I hate spoilers so the only thing i will say about the book is this;

People tend to view themselves as the righteous heroes in every situation but sometimes the only difference between heroes and monsters is where the observer lies. ( )
  Fidelias | Jan 9, 2020 |
I finished I am legend but not the other short stories as of this moment. hoping to finish those eventually but really just wanted to read I am legend. I thought it was good and answered a few things from the movie and was better...of course. ( )
  tmbookluvr | Dec 3, 2019 |
I saved the title story for last, reading all of the others first, which is probably not the best approach in hindsight. Matheson's earliest written stories are generally his best, but even these didn't make much impression on me. While he deserves appreciation in the context of horror genre's history, based on this collection I don't find his work has much to offer intrinsically to a modern reader, and even less to a jaded one.

Asterisk indicates stories I would revisit.

I Am Legend - I thought this last man on Earth tale was about zombies, but they're more like vampires. The ending was miraculously never spoiled for me, but I had plenty of time to imagine what it might be. Didn't think of this particular one, and it works.

Buried Talents and The Near Departed - a couple of short mood pieces from 1987, later work. I found them pretty light.

Prey* - I'm not sure the final logic holds together, but it's a solid precursor of Chucky and his ilk. It offers a good model for turning disbelief against the reader.

Witch War - indirect participants' obliviousness to the horrors of war, where their indifference is a big part of the horror. I'm feeling a metaphor coming on: a young man's perception of attractive girls who don't give him a chance.

Dance of the Dead - commercialization of mutants. There's notable precursors of Stephen King's style with the music and whatnot.

Dress of White Silk* - it's a bit vague to me what happened here, but it has an effective ending.

Mad House - a man unleashes his frustrations on inanimate objects - or are they? The premise works about as well as in King's 'Maximum Overdrive'.

The Funeral - reminiscent of the Hotel Transylvania cartoons, and that's all.

From Shadowed Places - Only mildly horror, mildly soft porn, and showing its age in other respects.

Person to Person - fun premise with some humour, about a man hearing a telephone ringing in his head. ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Oct 23, 2019 |
One of my favorite books is Melville’s MOBY DICK because for me it seems to be a book that is at once of it’s time and yet exists outside of time. The same for Cervantes DON QUIXOTE—a book that clearly represents its world but at the same time does so in a fashion that is forward thinking and from which the future will draw grand inspiration. Both books can be read as straightforward adventure stories. Beyond being a saga of the sea, MOBY DICK is the first techno-thriller with amazingly detailed evocations of whale hunting and DON QUIXOTE not only created the novel but brilliantly blurs the lines between reality and an unreliable narrator. I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson joins this category. At first blush a straightforward monster story, it becomes so much more as it moves along. Robert Neville is the last conversational man on earth. There are other people around but they have all been transformed into vampires which makes Neville’s life a bit of a struggle. Published in 1954, this story echoes through many of the thrillers that would follow it. Even the current spate of zombie dramas owes a dept to Matheson. At once a new breed of vampire story, it is also a medical thriller, social critique and personal drama. As he did with another of my favorite stories, THE SHRINKING MAN, Matheson gives a wonderful sense of normalcy to his setting before gradually revealing something more bizarre. The day to day grind of a life lived alone and the thin margin of his survival are felt from each page. My concern when I began reading was that such a promising beginning would likely dwindle down to nothing as many thrillers or horror novels tend to do. Near the end it turns in a direction that I did not expect and ends wonderfully with the main character making a decision he has actively avoided for reasons that he could never have imagined. A short novel who’s brevity works to its advantage, this edition also includes several short stories including his classic PREY about a very active doll and single woman with mommy issues. All the stories are good to great and fit well with the sense of isolation inherent in the title novel. ( )
  KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
The title story is ok. The other short stories range from tired old crap to unbelievably stupid crap. At his absolute best Matheson writes pretty bad Tales From The Crypt episodes. ( )
  Adammmmm | Sep 10, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 209 (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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Original title
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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
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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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....

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Average: (3.87)
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