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I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

I Am Legend (original 1954; edition 1997)

by Richard Matheson

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5,129192870 (3.87)88
Title:I Am Legend
Authors:Richard Matheson
Info:Orb Books (1997), Edition: Third Printing, Paperback, 317 pages
Collections:Your library, Kindle, Completed in 2012
Tags:vampires, dystopian, plague

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 88 mentions

English (190)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed the main story from which the books gets its title-- I am Legend. However, I didn't care for the remaining stories. I like how Matheson shows the vampires as adapting and evolving. Matheson could have written and entire novel based on the I Am Legend short story.
Like others, I didn't realize my particular edition was simply a collection of I Am Legend and other short stories. So when I finished I am Legend, I was kind of taken aback that the story really was over. I wanted so much more out of the story-- there was so much that was left incomplete or unanswered. ( )
  Jazmsngr | Mar 25, 2016 |
I have to admit that I first read the I Am Legend story in 7th grade. It just might be this book that cemented my lifelong friendship with my best friend (let's just say more than 20 years later). Our teacher would read the story to us in sections. What bonded our friendship is that neither one of us could wait for the next day's passage and we were the only two in our class of 30+ that got the book from the library to read ahead. We bonded over the mocking way our teacher emphasized 'Come Out Neville!" (As a matter of fact, we still giggle over that.) Once we heard the movie was coming out, we both bought the book to re-read then went to the opening night of the movie.
Well the story held up over the years. No one is particularly likeable, but Richard Matheson spun the story in such a way that the reader is somehow drawn into rooting for the crotchety Neville. Back in the 7th grade, the ending was a shock to us. Now a days dystopian worlds aren't as novel, but the premise is solid. I own a copy now, and am sure I'll be reading this again. (The movie was a complete let down though:( ( )
  TinaJean | Mar 25, 2016 |
He is the last human on earth.

But he's far from the last humanoid.

Creepy and claustrophobic, this is a gem of the post-apocalyptic genre. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
How could I have gotten away with never reading this book before? The writing is great, as expected, and the story didn't feel cliched, even though the basic concept--one man surviving an apocalyptic event that turned everyone into vampires--is everywhere nowadays. Many of the details feel slightly dated, but not so much to seem intrusive. All in all an enjoyable read. ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |

3 ★

I chose I Am Legend for a variety of reasons.
I was curious as to how Matheson addressed the vampire theme in 1954, I wondered why a friend had chosen to read it and I had a challenge in a genre I don't usually read.
Oh!.... I don't want to forget the fact that it was a short book.

Whoa !... to the microbiological liberties taken with "bacillus vampiris."
I do give him credit for his scientific readings and even his attempts at extrapolation.
And, I can safely say I had no critiquing experience in the results of injection of essence of garlic into a blood sample....it just wasn't included in my curriculum.

That aside, he did eventually face head on, issues of isolation, depression and substance abuse.
He consistently overcame obstacles, only to be faced by new doubts and fear.

Since I'm not a connoisseur of the genre, I'll withhold any pertinent"critical" judgment.
But, I'm glad I finally took the time to read it. ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Mathesonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rasovsky, YuriNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
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 (2)

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)

As the last living person on Earth, Robert Neville spends his days hunting vampires and nights barricaded inside his home while the vampires come after him.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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